Monday, July 25, 2005

Hillary exploits Drudge for a change

Drudge is reporting that Hillary Clinton will support Roberts for the Supreme Court.

Of course, being Drudge, it's impossible to tell if this is true. But assuming it is, it shows Hillary's - and her staff's - finely-tuned political smarts. There of course is no immediate political need to release this information, especially to scandal-sheet websites. This clever centrist positioning, an almost subliminal message for 2008 aimed at Drudge's broad, right-leaning readership. It's political ju-jitsu, using Drudge's and the right's weird Hillary obsession to promote Hillary.

More generally, it shows she is willing to support a conservative nominee (a palatable one that many Democrats will support anyway) and it separates her from the left wing of the party, Sister Souljah style.

"She is simply doing what is right for the country, not MOVEON.ORG," the Clinton insider explained.

Would Kerry have done this? Would he or his staff even have thought of something like it?

See also this recent USA Today story:

BUFFALO — Bill Herberger, an 80-year-old former American Legion commander, didn't vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton when she won a Senate seat in 2000.

But when Clinton finished her pitch to save the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station from closure before the federal base-closing commission last month, the Swormville, N.Y., man and hundreds of other veterans, reservists and military family members roared their approval.

"I will tell you that I didn't support her, because I didn't think she'd be supportive on issues like this," Herberger says. "And I will tell you that I will vote for her next time. She's been absolutely marvelous."

Hillary and her people are really smart. At a time when the political center is up for grabs, they are seeding the media with messages linking her to the center. Will it work?