As readers have no doubt noticed in ever more excited terms, we've been carrying an ad for Hillary Clinton's Portland event. I suppose it's theoretically possible that someone who saw the ad decided to pay $50 minimum to 'nob with the beautiful ones, but I don't generally troll in the high rent district. But we're happy to carry the announcement, and hope everything went smoo...wassat? Wasn't a Bush-quality handpicked crowd?
In her 30-minute speech, Clinton acknowledged the "passions" of those who feel the war is a mistake. Still, she said it would be a mistake to withdraw American forces while Iraqis are working to form a government. "If we take precipitous action it could make a bad situation worse," she said.
Clinton was interrupted several times by a dozen or so anti-war protesters who shouted "Bring the troops Home!" and "Hillary supports the war!" Clinton was undeterred and continued talking through the shouts. She did say the Bush administration needs to give accurate information to the American people and a possible timetable for troop withdrawal. Then she said the United States need to "stay as long as it takes."
You gotta love a town where people will pay 50 bucks to shout down the presumptive nominee of their own party! I certainly understand, and almost completely sympathize--but crazy right wing people don't usually hoot down Olympia Snowe at fundraisers, do they?
Obviously, this whole "continues to support a lame ass war" thing seems to be developing into a problem of sorts for Hillary. Don't let me overstate it--it's two years away and she's already socked away more money than Heidi Fleiss at the Oscar afterparties. But the developing judgement on Clinton from the left seems to be "meh." Here's the problem: so far it's looking like 2 of every 5 voters are going to pull against her from the start. She's got another 2 of 5 viewing her favorably, but not all of them plan on voting for her necessarily. So she's already got a hole in her base.
Clearly she's not stupid; she knows she does not have an appealing position on Iraq to a wide swath of the Democratic faithful--and, it should be noted, a big chunk of independents and even Republicans. But she's stuck with it now, and there's an investment being built in by the DLC establishment that locks the top of the party into this Bushesque policy for Iraq. Why some Democrats plan to run for President suggesting that their Iraq plan is to pretty much do what Bush is now, I cannot fathom. Large majorities are not satisfied with the Bush plan, and to offer yourself as an alternative without changing anything but the nametag is so politically tone-deaf I can't stand it.
Today (Sunday) Hillary's people have changed her ad message. "Thank you, Portland" perhaps? "Suck my left one, you ungrateful bastards?" "Here's 5 grand, now quit crying?" "Bill always told me he never found good tail here, so chew on that?" Nope. And now I've missed it, because it's after midnight. Bollocks! But I can tell you what the headline was: Hillary Clinton -- No on Alito
Well then! I don't know when the Senator got into town, but seemingly the first chance she got to talk to somebody, she made known her vote not just on Alito but on cloture tomorrow morning: No. Joining Dianne Feinstein of California as filibusterers, Clinton seemed to give a boost to netroots activists, reenergizing their flurry of calls and faxes to newly wavering Senators. Which made me wonder: was she trying to soften up the evening's crowd? It's certainly not a play-it-moderate move, and not something she's been high profile about. I'll accept it as sincere for now (and frankly I don't care whether it's completely craven or not at this point; if there are 41 Democrats who oppose Alito there should be 41 voting against cloture.)
If she was trying to soothe the savage breast of the Stumptown Radicalia, I guess it didn't work. With $5,000 of shut-up money to the state party, Hillary was back on the Preordained Tour and Oregonians were left to scratch their mullets and ponder what they'd been fed.