Monday, February 26, 2007


Senator Hillary Clinton has an interesting challenge in her quest for the US Presidency -- opposition in her own party from those who will not forgive her vote for the Iraq war. It has created an unusual communications problem. She won't apologize for her vote, but she won't defend it either. She has moved half-way toward her opposition by saying she would have voted differently had she known the facts. That is not nearly enough for the liberal wing of the Democratic party, which tends to vote in primaries.

The challenge is interesting because Clinton's position appears to be the right one for the rest of the country -- that is, voters who can put her in the White House -- but she must get by her own party first. One can say the liberal wing of the Democratic Party is extreme, but the Republican party is no different for other reasons. The conservative wing of the Republican party doesn't like the Republican candidates it sees either.

So where are moderate voters and how does one communicate to them while keeping immoderate elements at bay during the primaries? This is a serious problem in an era when any remark one makes will end up on the internet in minutes and follow one thereafter. I'm sure Clinton's message creators are puzzling over what to do, especially if polls show she isn't registering with likely primary voters in key states. It is difficult to figure out a position. One can't change the past and acceptance isn't enough. What it does mean, however, is that any candidate may be forced to blur key positions well before the final campaign for the office. Moderate voters will pay the price for a lack of clarity.


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