Friday, November 16, 2007

The Celebrity of Hillary Clinton

By Alan Caruba

The cover of the November 19 issue of U.S. News & World Report has Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger smiling demonically, his huge head filling the page. Though nominally Republican, Arnold is more a Democrat and crazed environmentalist. It is the last page of the issue that is worth a brief comment.

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, the Editor-in-Chief, can usually be counted upon to write something thought provoking and, indeed, the title of his weekly commentary is “Hillary Hits a Pothole.” Proving that a week in politics is a very long time, Zuckerman was reflecting on her poor performance in a debate in which she took several positions on the issuing of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.

Within days, New York Governor Elliot Spitzer who had advocated it, decided it was a bad idea, The fact that 75% of people polled on the subject hated the proposal might have had something to do with it, but more likely Elliot got a call from the Clinton campaign to help him change his mind.

By the time of the Nevada Democrat candidate’s debate on November 15, Hillary was once again being proclaimed the front-runner. The media is desperate to insure she will be the Democrat candidate.

While Zuckerman’s commentary might have seemed a cautionary view based on its title, its full text is one long accolade for Sen. Clinton. Acknowledging that her lead over Sen. Obama had shrunk and that she was “vulnerable” on the war in Iraq, Zuckerman spent half of his text singing her praises. “She has a quarter century of national political experience; a grasp of policy that makes the other Democratic contenders look shallow or uninformed; a willingness to work unbelievably hard; a prodigious memory; and a formidable campaign machine, including fundraisers who have brought her an overflowing war chest.”

In case you still hadn’t got the message, Zuckerman declared she has “star power.” However, the White House is not about celebrity, but competence. As Gov. Mitt Romney has noted, Sen. Clinton has never run a single business, a single city, or any other enterprise. Not exactly the best credentials to run the nation. Nor has she produced a single piece of significant legislation while in the Senate.

Indeed, her only real credential is that she is the wife of a president who served two terms, both of which were filled with scandal. Halfway through, voters turned Congress over to the Republicans. As to the other attributes Zuckerman cited, they mostly speak to her knowledge of waging political campaigns, not actually being in charge of anything as important as the government of the United States. She wasn’t even in charge of a husband whose philandering is legendary.

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