Daschle Tells Dems to Stay the Course; Hillary …

December 13, 2004

Despite his defeat outgoing Senate Minority leader Tom Daschle says Democrats should not compromise their principles or move to the right — but stick to their “progressive principles.”

I don’t think the Senator has much to worry about there. But I wonder what he would think of a slight modification of that plan. How about continuing to be progressive while pretending to move to the right for electability purposes? With Hillary tacking to the right on national security and now immigration issues, that seems to be the wave of the future.

But Hillary’s smarter (and more calculating) than Tom Daschle. Daschle didn’t start moving to the right (inside his home state) until late in the campaign when he knew he was in trouble. Hillary has started wearing her combat fatigues and her border patrol costume already so that when the campaign comes it will look like she actually believes in these things.

She’ll probably be able to fool a large number of the unengaged on these issues, but will she ever be able to overcome her unlikability? Bill Clinton reportedly enlisted the aide of motivational guru Tony Robbins during his tenure. Maybe Hillary will try a variation of that by signing up for a closed-doors Dale Carnegie Class. But this writer remains immovably skeptical about Hillary’s ability even to fake likability. Even when she makes nice at some obligatory political function, her smiles are obviously forced, reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West’s entreaties to Dorothy to hand over the Ruby slippers.