In the Arena

Elizabeth v. Hillary–The Smackdown

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Despite the words of my esteemed coSwamplander below, who is correct about the usual Drudgery, I suspect that Elizabeth Edwards–resuming her designated hitter role in the campaign–is not being all that sympathetic to Ms. Senator Clinton. This is not sympathetic:

The question is, what does her campaign tell you about how she’ll govern? And I’m not convinced she’d be as good an advocate for women. She needs a rationale greater for her campaign than I’ve heard. When she announced her candidacy she said, “I’m in it to win it.” What is that? That’s not a rationale. Same with Senator Obama — I’ve yet to hear a rationale. John is extremely clear about what he can accomplish and why he’s the one to do it.

Edwards goes on to lambaste Clinton, appropriately, for not laying out a detailed universal health insurance plan, and foolishly, for Clinton’s wisely-hedged language on abortion. But there are issues and issues…and on the most important issue, Iraq, Clinton has been more detailed than John Edwards, who continues with his irresponsible call to “immediately” withdraw 50,000 troops without saying which troops, from where and what he’d have the remaining 112,000 do.

There are three possible theories about why Elizabeth Edwards is erupting with increasing frequency:

1. That’s just who she is. (I can attest to the veracity of this one, and love that quality in her.)
2. She’s in what-the-hell mode, given her chronic illness. (Who knows?)
3. Edwards is slipping in non-Iowa polls, slipping behind Bill Richardson in New Hampshire, and the campaign believes it’s time to start taking the front-runners down, using its most potent, bullet-proof cannon. (A real possibility.)

Update: A co-worker was asked not to be identified because she enjoys country music, or something like that, sends this question along:

How is hillary suggesting that, as a woman, she would be better for women
> any different than someone using “son of a millworker” to suggest he would
> be better for working class people?


To which I say: right–in politics you go with what you’ve got. I guess the problem I have with E. Edwards’ statement is this: I don’t believe Hillary Clinton would be any different for women, and certainly no worse, than John Edwards. (Nor do I believe that Edwards would be appreciably better for working people than Clinton, by the way.)