Thursday, March 1, 2007

Hillary's Identity Crisis

Born Hillary Diane Rodham.

In the beginning it was Hillary Rodham of Arkansas.

After moving to the White House, first it was Mrs. William J. Clinton.

Later it became Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Then it was Hillary Clinton.

More recently, it's been Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Now, as she tries to become the nation's first female president, she wants to be known to supporters simply as Hillary.

According to CanWest News Service, this is an attempt to cash in on her celebrity and differentiate "Hillary" from Bill:

The first-name-only strategy is being viewed as an attempt by Clinton to develop a national political persona independent of her husband, the former president, while also elevating her to equal status alongside mononymic entertainment icons such as Oprah, Madonna and Bono.

"There are very few people in our popular culture universe who are defined by one name -- Cher, Oprah, Madonna. If you are up in that stratosphere, like Hillary Clinton is, why not play to your strength and exploit that for all its worth?"

There must be a huge investment in polling and focus group crap behind this informalization Nevertheless, it all seems a little too Prince-like for me.


Randall Ryan said...

Let's go with HRC.

An identity crisis is just another symptom of her real problem, which is an integrity crisis. No matter how popular Bill was, is, or will be, if you ask yourself what he stood for it's very difficult to give much of an answer. HRC suffers from the same problem, but she doesn't have the charisma to make voters look past the lack of principles.

It seems so apparent that she is a disastrous choice. I just don't know how the Dems actually get out of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see a coalescence behind Bill Richardson before it's all said and done. Unless Obama truly can capture those who fund the machine.

California Yankee said...

Randall, Clinton certainly brings a lot of baggage to the 2008 campaign. But she assembled an awesome organization. Obama is a real threat, and Hillary's juggernaut reacts to Obama as the main threat. I just don't see Richardson catching on.

Randall Ryan said...

Agreed that she has already reacted to him in a way to put him on equal footing, which I think is a major tactical mistake. HRC does have serious organization, as Bush did in 2000. However, GWB was a relatively unknown quantity at that time; if he had Hillary's baggage he would never have sniffed the White House.

I'm not saying that Richardson is the guy to beat, but it is plausible that the Obama campaign exposes HRC as an unelectable candidate without making the case that he is best-suited to win the general election. If that happens, Richardson will likely be the heir apparent. His game right now is to be mentioned as one of the front runners by this coming fall, and let Edwards, Kucinich, Dodd, etc. be the also-rans.

California Yankee said...

I agree it is plausible that the Obama campaign might derail the Hillary juggernaut without winning the nomination. That doesn't necessarily make Richardson the heir apparent, Edward must be dealt with first.

Randall Ryan said...

I don't think John Edwards has even a ghost of a chance. He has a bit more name recognition, but I suspect his negatives are way too high; plus, he hasn't done well at raising money.

Edwards is seen as an enemy of business, and big corporations will spend freely to keep him away from the White House as they did when he was named Kerry's running mate. (That was probably the single biggest mistake Kerry made, because big business was willing to stand on the sidelines until Edwards got the nod, and they poured tons of money into the Republican coffers from that point forward.)