A report in the London Sunday Times says that Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisers are looking to liken her to Great Britain’s legendary Iron Lady:
HILLARY CLINTON is to be presented as America?s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House. As she entered the 2008 presidential race yesterday, a senior adviser said that her campaign would emphasise security, defence and personal strengths reminiscent of the Iron Lady.
?Their policies are totally different but they are both perceived as very tough,? said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton?s campaign chairman. ?She is strong on foreign policy. People have got to know you are going to keep them safe.?
Clinton, 59, used her website to announce that she was taking the first step of her campaign by forming a presidential exploratory committee. ?I?m in. And I?m in to win,? she said.
It made the New York senator the instant frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. ?She has the name recognition, the money, the glitz, she?s got it all,? McAuliffe said.
Conservative loyalists and fans of Margaret Thatcher may scoff at this, but it is, I think, an entirely plausible strategy and probably a pretty smart one. During the Cold War and since 9/11, Democrats have suffered, right fully so in many cases, from the image of being soft on defense. As the 2004 election showed us, perceived weakness on defense is not a plus in an era when the public is rightfully worried about Muslim fanatics willing to fly airplanes into buildings.
Creating an image for Hillary as a tough-on-defense Democrat, as untrue as it might turn out to be if she were elected, just might work. And don’t forget, in one version of future history she is known as “the most uncompromising wartime president in the history of the United States.”
And, then, there is this excellent point from Radley Balko:
Someone with negatives like Hillary’s can only get elected president under a very defined set of circumstances. Basically, the electorate has to be so fed up with the party occupying the White House that they’ll vote for whomever the opposing party puts up.
Sound familiar ?