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July 19, 2007



I guess people need the freedom to decide if one or two issues are key for them, or if they broadly look at a range of issues. Both can be 'liberal' in my book, but I join you in feeling that there are so many issues (and multiple 'hot issues') that I admire the full-spectrum evaluation - and the full-spectrum liberal candidate.

On the problems of a female being 'strong' on national security, that is a very fine line to walk, jagged as it is. I'd be much happier with Hillary on this issue if she referred to Margaret Thatcher or Golda Mier as models of tough female heads of government rather than the hard line she's taken on the rightness of the Iraq war (in principle), the badness of Iran, or the purity of the Israeli cause v. the Palestinians and Israel's neighbors. But given the political environment (AIPAC, rabid war-mongering on the right, etc.) I'd hate to risk my candidacy and election on some pure liberal position if I were her. This is tough to decipher.

Her challenges are manifest: many men who distrust a female as head of state, many independents (needed for victory) whose views are opaque, and many Dems who just don't like Hillary as Hillary. And Hillary as Clinton. And Hillary as a man-hating feminist (in their thoughts, not mine). I'm not sure if she was fully anti-war she'd get all of the left as supporters, probably not. So she must go where the votes are. That's not cynical, that realistic.

I'm still cutting her a fair amount of slack, and she's not my current choice - I'm not even sure who is: maybe Obama, maybe Edwards, not Richardson.

Final thought: I think all 3 leading Dems can win in the popular vote nationwide (before 11th hour 'surprises'). I am really worried about the electoral college vote however and that's where all 3 Dems raise more concerns than assurances. We've lost two in a row on a few electoral votes in swing states and we face a GOP party that not only knows this, they know how to manipulate this non-democratic structural aspect - AND they have proved willing, twice, to doing all sorts of illegal or non-democratic things to exploit the system.

Sorry for rambling, but this isn't easy to write the plot for.

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