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Dash of Pepper

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Maggie Thatcher she's not
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
The men running against Mrs. Clinton in the Democratic primary race finally woke up and began to challenge her with some blunt questions during the most recent Democrat debate.
Actually, it was their first real debate. All the previous events were either anti-Bush propaganda hours or boring soft ball nonsense from an adoring press. So, while the mainstream press remains in a collective coma, John Edwards, Senator Obama and Senator Dodd came alive and confronted Hillary, the front-runner, on Iraq, immigration, and social security.
Candidly, I was amazed. I expected her to bob and weave and evade. But the sheer amount of bobbing, weaving and evasion was quite staggering. So much so, that, after the debate, the Edwards campaign rapidly mounted a web ad which a lefty blogger called "devastating." It featured clips of Mrs. Clinton totally contradicting herself. The blogger said it was "brutal and fair, contrasting Hillary's own words with herself, often only seconds apart." Even Senator Obama said, following one of her responses, that he had no idea what she just said. Senator Edwards was even more blunt, telling her she couldn't keep coming down on both sides of an issue.
The buzz the next day was "Will this awful debate hurt Hillary's chances in the primary?" Her campaign quickly followed up with an ad of its own. The ad depicted each of her opponents, all male, rapidly firing verbal shots at her. The ad ended with a female voice calling their performance "a pile-on." Can you imagine Margaret Thatcher, after a tough debate, saying that her (male) opponents were piling on?
Critics of the ad say it smacks of "poor little me, those nasty guys are picking on me." Well, that may not be a good strategy for the general election, but I think it will work just fine in the primaries. I would bet that every disaffected Democrat-leaning female in, for example, Iowa, will relate to it. Sadly, in certain segments of our society, seeing oneself as a victim is not uncommon. It's a ploy that will resonate to some extent.
The guys, of course, weren't attacking her because she is a female. They went after her because she is the front runner by a substantial margin. They may have been encouraged to do this after some polls surfaced indicating that at least 50 percent of voters said they could not support Mrs. Clinton.
The primaries, finally, are just a couple of months away. Thankfully, they will clear away the fringe candidates and minnow the field way down for both parties. On the Republican side, it looks like a Romney/Guiliani shootout.
As for the Democrats, while Edwards and Obama clearly have some support in New Hampshire and Iowa, I don't see anyone being able to overcome Mrs. Clinton's machine.
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 15:38  

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