Sunday, May 11, 2008
"By the time Hillary Clinton figured out how to beat Barack Obama, it was too late", says Charles Krauthammer.
When she began the race in 2007 thinking she was in for a coronation, she claimed the center in order to position herself for the real fight, the general election. She simply assumed the party activists and loony Left would fall in behind her.
However, as Obama began to rise, powered by the party’s Net-roots activists, she scurried left, particularly with her progressively more explicit renunciation of the Iraq War. It was a fool’s errand. She would never be able to erase the stain of her original war vote and she remained unwilling to do an abject John Edwards self-flagellating recantation. It took her weeks even to approximate the apology the Left was looking for, and by then it was far too late. The party’s activist wing was by then unbreakably betrothed to Obama.
But going left proved disastrous for Clinton... Matched against this elegant, intellectually nimble, hugely talented newcomer, she had no chance of winning that contest.
It wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that she figured out the seam in Obama’s defense...
The line of attack is clear: not that Obama is himself radical or unpatriotic, just that, as a man of the academic Left, he is so out of touch with everyday America that he could move so easily and untroubled in such extreme company and among such alien and elitist sentiments.
Clinton finally understood the way to run against Obama: back to the center — not ideologically but culturally, not on policy but on attitude.
It was an overreach... The lightness in Hillary’s step in the days before Indiana and North Carolina reflected the relief of the veteran politician who, after months of treading water, finally finds the right campaign strategy. But it was far too late. And the gas-tax overkill, one final error of modulation, sealed the deal — for Obama.
There’s only one remaining chapter in this fascinating spectacle. Negotiating the terms of Hillary’s surrender. After which we will have six months of watching her enthusiastically stumping the country for Obama, denying with utter conviction Republican charges that he is the out-of-touch, latte-sipping elitist she warned Democrats against so urgently in the last, late leg of her doomed campaign.
Read the whole thing.