Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Hillary's Hidden Assets?

I'm less sold on Hillary as a presidential candidate than Phil is. But she does have three lesser-known qualities that could help in a national run and which certainly helped her do so well in Upstate New York.

1. Her boundless appetite for hard work. She toured Upstate constantly during her 2000 campaign, and studied obscure local issues until she knew them cold.

2. Her piety. Hillary actually comes from a pretty devout social-gospel Methodist background. This gave her an earnestness that NYC-area residents found phony and foreign, but which resonated Upstate. It could easily help her in a place like, say, Ohio.

3. Her flat, undistinguished Midwestern speech. People expect Hillary to have some high-flown East Coast accent. Instead she has a Chicago honk that, helpfully, sounds a lot like the way many Upstaters talk. Once again, could help her in Ohio.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

These skills will hopefully get her reelected, so she can continue working towards her goal of becoming Senate Majority/Minority Leader.

I mean, does anyone really think she's going to run for President? She's way too smart for that.

MWS said...

IMO, Hilary has several problems. She has lots of baggage from the White House years such as the "futures" debacle. In general, she developed a reputation for not being trustworthy. I think that will be hard to shake. Second, as long as foreign policy is an issue, the Dems are going to be on the defensive. It's hard to see how Hilary could realistically project an image of strength (although she was pretty hawkish on the war). There seems to be a general narrative that liberal on social/economic issues, weak on defense. Of course, that's a problem that any Democrat is going to have.

I think people are making too big a deal out of this accent thing. Kerry didn't lose in the Midwest and South because of his accent; he lost because people did not see him as a strong foreign policy leader.

ironbruce said...

When Hillary first ran for Seantor I predicted that she would do well Upstate precisely because of her Midwestern roots. The Midwest actually starts in Upsate New York. I would say Utica is the Easternmost city of the Midwest and it extends through Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, and Buffalo. Culturally, these places have more in common with the traditional Midwest than they have in common with Downstate NY.

So that's a plus for Hillary. I admire her work ethic and her savvy and her smarts. But I fear she might be too tainted for the national ticket. She might be the Teddy Kennedy of her generation , although she's a lot smarter than Ted. But she might have to accept her role ffor what it is. I think there's someone else with connections to Arkansas, senator Blanche Lincoln who is a real rising star for the Dems. She's a moderate Dem who handily won re-election to the Senate this year. She won every county in Arkansas but one, which she lost by something like 12 votes. She's smart, intelligent, well-spoken and appealing. I think she would make a great VP nom in 08.

ironbruce said...

When Hillary first ran for Seantor I predicted that she would do well Upstate precisely because of her Midwestern roots. The Midwest actually starts in Upsate New York. I would say Utica is the Easternmost city of the Midwest and it extends through Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, and Buffalo. Culturally, these places have more in common with the traditional Midwest than they have in common with Downstate NY.

So that's a plus for Hillary. I admire her work ethic and her savvy and her smarts. But I fear she might be too tainted for the national ticket. She might be the Teddy Kennedy of her generation , although she's a lot smarter than Ted. But she might have to accept her role ffor what it is. I think there's someone else with connections to Arkansas, senator Blanche Lincoln who is a real rising star for the Dems. She's a moderate Dem who handily won re-election to the Senate this year. She won every county in Arkansas but one, which she lost by something like 12 votes. She's smart, intelligent, well-spoken and appealing. I think she would make a great VP nom in 08.