Saturday, February 10, 2007

Juggernaut! As Hillary Clinton Does New Hampshire She Still Has Iraq Issues

GreenMountainPolitics1 is a big fan of John Edwards.

We believe that he is the only candidate with the campaign organization, policy positions and charisma to take on Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for President in 2008.

Not that it will be easy.

At a Concord High School town hall meeting today, Team Hillary showed 1,500 New Hampshire voters that John Edwards (and anyone else that wants a shot at the champ) is in for a knife fight.

Hillary's event was a model on how to plan and execute political events in the modern presidency.

Every detail, no matter how small, was managed by Team Hillary to maintain control of the candidate, her image and her message while in the public eye.

The room was set-up to maximize favorable still and TV shots of Hillary interacting with voters. The audio and lighting was excellent, the bleachers were packed with Clinton supporters and crowd control was first rate.

Hillary's campaign staff truly put together a Presidential level event. Their experience and savvy is a definite advantage over every other '08 candidate except for John McCain (Weaver/Dennehy/Nelson know the score).

But let's not forget Hillary herself.

Hillary Clinton is whip smart, articulate and battle tested . She speaks well on the stump, is visibly relaxed and seems to feel comfortable talking with voters and shaking their hands.

And, the old gal knows how to give the media what it (and she) wants.

During the Q&A portion of the town hall meeting Hillary took a question from two boys representing Victory NH, a advocacy group dedicated to protecting New Hampshire's First in the Nation Primary.

The boys asked Hillary if they could give her a lapel sticker to show her support for New Hampshire's Primary. "Of course," Hillary replied, gesturing to one of the boys. "Come up on stage and give me the sticker."

She knows a front page picture in the Union Leader when she sees it.

Unfortunately, the first boy dashed up onto stage so fast that the news photographers weren't ready to take the pictures. So Hillary, who realized what happened and without missing a beat, motioned the second boy up on stage to take his lapel sticker and get the photograph she wanted.

She is smart, self-aware and savvy. Her staff is A+.

Team Hillary is a legitimate juggernaut.

But Team Hillary still has a serious problem with her Iraq War answer. It stinks for a Democratic Primary.

Non-binding resolutions, troop caps, "I wouldn't have taken us to war in 2003 if I were President" and "I will end the war if I am elected President by 2009" DOES NOT pacify Democratic Primary voters who are trying to understand her vote in 2002 to authorize the President to go to war in the first place and DOES NOT help them understand why, if she is so opposed to the Iraq War now, she doesn't join Senator Feingold in cutting off funding for the whole shooting match.

John Edwards (and Dodd, Vilsack and Obama) can't understand it either. And they are going to ask her that very question in a far more pointed and public manner than any of the two or three questions Hillary took on the subject in the Concord gymnasium this afternoon.

Team Hillary clearly believes that she cannot win a general election if she supports Feingold's legislation to cut off funding for the war in Iraq.

The question is if she can win the Democratic Primary if she doesn't.