April 17, 2014

Thursday Hillary Bash - Bill Tacks Right?

Out - triangulation.  In - New Improved Triangulation with more Bill in Billary.

Hillary Clinton has a problem.  The left doesn't think she's liberal or progressive enough.  Having had a taste of full on progressivism in president Obama, the far left is not likely to want to let it go.  In their eyes Obama did not go far enough, and a Hillary Clinton presidency in 2016 would actually represent a step back towards the center in their view.  The left would rather select an Elizabeth Warren type as their nominee.  So Hillary needs their votes.  But Hillary's problem does not end there.

Hillary has a problem with the right and possibly the center as well. As Karl Rove pointed out on Fox News this morning, She beats out Christie, Jeb Bush and Rand Paul by roughly 50 - 41 each in a poll conducted on the presidential election recently.  Rove suggested that the 50% represents a ceiling for Hillary since she can't seem to surpass it no matter who the opponent is, and in each case, those opponents still have a number of unknowns about them. Hillary on the other hand is a known commodity.  She's at her support ceiling right now.  There's no guarantee she can remain there.

What to do? Bill Clinton perfected triangulation but everyone is onto that trick, so the Clintons may have come up with a newer approach to winning voters that borrows from president Obama's be everything to everyone when campaigning.  It's the 2-for-1 package approach.  The notion is that when you get Hillary, you also get Bill.  They'll argue that when you had Bill, you also had Hillary too.  It's a partnership.

From a campaign perspective, it allows Bill to tack right to pick up voters while Hillary can continue to pander to the left.  Bill can drag voters over from the right and the center. It pushes that potential ceiling upwards from 50% to a more winnable ceiling level.  The Clintons together, can be everything to everyone.

As evidence, Bill Clinton has taken a stand against voter ID laws.
AUSTIN, TEXAS (NNPA) – Former President Bill Clinton praised President Lyndon B. Johnson for signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law, but said the progress that stemmed from those landmark measures are being undermined by Republican-led efforts to suppress the vote.

“We’re here because the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act made it possible for Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama to be president of the United States,” Clinton said to loud applause during a speech last Wednesday that was part of a 3-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Clinton said 10 states require some form of state-issued ID before allowing voters to cast a ballot. Last year, the U.S. Justice Department sued Texas and North Carolina over their voter ID laws, charging that undercut voter participation by Blacks and Latinos.

...Supporters of the ID laws say they are needed to curb voter fraud. But the Justice Department and civil rights groups said voter fraud is minimal.

...Calling Johnson a “son of the South,” Clinton described him as “a Texan bred with the state’s outsized ambitions (who) saw limitless possibilities in the lives of other people like him, who just happened to have a different color skin.” He said, “Just as Abraham Lincoln stewarded the 13th Amendment through Congress, Johnson’s leadership embodies the power of the presidency to redeem the promise of America,” Clinton said in his speech here.

But that promise took a beating last year when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the provision that requires states with a history of discrimination to pre-clear any voting-related changes with the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington, D.C. before implementing them.

Clinton criticized the ruling that was decided by the court’s conservative majority.

“Any time you erect a barrier to political participation [by people] … based on their race or their physical capacity or their income … it undermines the spirit of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act,” he said.
Voter ID laws are something a lot of conservatives bristle at because of privacy, especially in light of the NSA scandals of the last year.  Bill's argument about it setting back the civil rights efforts provides cover to Hillary to argue to the left that he means it with respect to civil rights progress.  He's framed his argument that way. But Bill meanwhile can peel off some youthful libertarian support from the GOP that might otherwise support a Rand Paul worldview by tacking to the right in his argument when faced with a different audience.  It won't change the opinions of those concerned with the issue of voter fraud - a predominantly Democrat driven problem - but it doesn't need to do so. It just needs to attract those who are concerned about an overly intrusive government.  A lot of Tea Party supporters can identify with that notion.

The Clintons don't really want to be everything to everyone.  They just want to do enough to win another election.  From that perspective, this new approach to electioneering is brilliant and it isn't yet being countered by the GOP who may not even recognize that the 2-for-1 approach will present a formidable challenge to any GOP nominee.

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