Prof. Ken Bode Writes of Hillary Clinton's "Vulnerabilities" in Newspaper Op-Ed
November 2, 2007
November 2, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "Tuesday's MSNBC Democratic debate did little to upend the growing assumption that Sen. Hillary Clinton is fixing to run the table, that she will have the nomination in the bag quickly," writes Ken Bode in today's Indianapolis Star. DePauw University's Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism notes that, with the benefits of a "tsunami" of cash and her husband ("the most popular Democrat in the party and, at her side, his popularity rubs off"), Hillary Clinton seems on her way to her party's nomination. However, the professor states, "vulnerabilities" stand in her path.
"First, electability. As her opponents pointed out from the debate stage, half the people in the country say they would never vote for her. There is also an underlying feeling that it inevitably would be a third Clinton term, with no ability to change the rancorous tenor of politics in Washington, unable to get a lot done."
Dr. Bode sees the war in Iraq as another potential Clinton liability. "Traditionally, Iowa's caucus-goers have leaned toward peace. They will be reminded constantly of Hillary's vote to authorize Bush to invade Iraq and her unapologetic failure even to read the National Intelligence Estimate that might have convinced her war was unnecessary. Indeed, Hillary reminded them herself with her recent vote to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. The more Bush and Cheney rattle the sabers about invading Iran, the more it will seem that Hillary learned nothing from her vote for the Iraq war."
Clinton's unwillingness to offer a specific plan for reforming Social Security "won't cut it in Iowa," Bode declares. "Campaign money is another area where the Clinton campaign looks a lot like old politics. Already the campaign has returned contributions from a convicted felon on the lam, as well as cash from a New York Chinatown fundraiser where dishwashers and waiters were writing $1,000 checks. This is reminiscent of 1996. Taking money from suspect sources like Buddhist monks and Chinese hustlers created a scandal and a hangover in Bill Clinton's second term, as Hillary might well remember. Also, unlike her main competitors, Hillary not only accepts money from lobbyists, she defends the practice."
The former senior political analyst for CNN also notes, "Corruption in Republican ranks should be a strong Democratic issue in the general election, but if Hillary can be depicted as a captive of special interests, that asset might be neutralized."Back