Hillary Chills A Key Supporter With Her "Centrism"
As we head towards the end of 2005 and I find myself looking forward to 2006, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and readership of The Left Coaster. Whatever success we’ve had in furthering political discussion in blog-land is a result of the hard work of our editors here and your support and engagement to discussion here. I am heading off for a week on vacation to the Big Apple, so let me extend to you my wishes for a happy and safe 2006 to you and your families.
Before heading off however, I wanted to point you to an interesting piece in Professor David D. Perlmutter’s blog POLICYbyBLOG. Perlmutter posts a piece about Hillary Clinton’s troubles with the center-left blogosphere, an area that the Clinton team seemingly treats with ignorance at best and indifference or contempt at worst. Perlmutter posts an open letter to Hillary Clinton from liberal activist Bob Kunst, who has headed HillaryNow.com since 2003 and has been touting her candidacy around the country. Without having an official position with her or being her blog/internet coordinator, Kunst has taken it upon himself to be an advance person, but now finds his dedication waning given Clinton’s determination to stay in the middle and miss opportunities to call attention to Bush’s many failings.
Perlmutter’s piece brings up the question of how far the front running Clinton can get in 2008 if the “netroots” are lukewarm if not disappointed in her willingness to chill the base and appeal to the DLC crowd. It is a valid point to raise, given that Clinton has managed to see challengers spring up on both her left (Russ Feingold) and her right (Mark Warner) who both will have significant appeal and much help from the netroots. Clinton may very well feel that boatloads of money and the Democratic machinery behind her will be enough to get the nomination without making an overt effort to appeal to the anti-war portions of the base or the netroots. Some would say that it’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi would say, with another establishment “electable” front-runner trying to steamroller their way to the nomination without hearing or even reaching out to the base or netroots. As I said, both Feingold, as well as Warner will have help from the netroots, and this doesn’t count John Edwards and Wesley Clark, both of whom are paying close attention to the netroots and have significant support in the country.
Will it matter if Clinton is supported by the netroots by 2007? Is Clinton staying distant for now until after her reelection, only to embrace the netroots and the base in 2007 when her full-fledged candidacy kicks in? Perhaps. But will any late-arriving embrace of the netroots and the anti-war base by Clinton work, if Edwards and Feingold have already spent over a year working with them, and Warner and Clark have likewise done the same from the right?