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Hillary is a mixed bag of advantages and disadvantages. It may work to her advantage that so much is already known of her that it may be impossible to "swift boat" her.

I don't believe voting for the Iraq resolution (which was a statutory authorization to use military force, if necessary, to insure Saddam was disarmed) ia necessarily a bad thing. It, combined with a similar resolution from the UN the following month, did what it was designed to do; it got the inspectors access.

All that said, it is true that giving that authorization to this president was a mistake. I agree with Hillary Clinton that this administration misled us, misused this authorization, and failed to plan for after Saddam was removed.

Her problem here, as I see it, is her vote to confirm Condi Rice. This is also Biden's and Obama's problems, as they also voted to confirm.

What do any of these three know today that they did not know when they voted to promote Dr. Rice, who was an integral part of misleading, misusing, and failure to plan? How can they reconcile their complaints about these things with their vote (an official "okay") for one who part of what they now complain of?

That question is lurking out there. It will come up. How can they answer it?

John S. Smith

Hamilton, NJ

Mar 14 2007 - 5:55pm

Web Letter

Greider does not mention Hillary Clinton's beholdenness to AIPAC.

If not for AIPAC she might not have been such a determined hawk. I think it is important to bring this a topic out of its taboo status.

I notice on one of todays's blogs that Obama dares to talk about the plight of the Palestinians.

Nina Sakun

Hartford , ctCT

Mar 14 2007 - 11:45am

Web Letter

You'll excuse me if I believe nearly sixty years of life experience that includes being a fine attorney, First Lady, wife/partner to one of the best Presidents of the United States, Senator from one of the biggest states and an articulate and intelligent person overall makes Hillary Clinton MORE appealing as a potential President rather than LESS.

In your zeal to make Barack Obama the crown-prince of destiny, you neglect to factor in the main reason he is not: that same life-experience.

Given the present mal-Administration's penchant for moral depravity, I'll take a calculated Hillary over a directionless Bush any day. To replace Mr. Bush with a "nice guy" in Barack Obama simply because he is, in your opinion, "fresh," does a great disservice to those who have the gravitas to be President from Day One. The presidency is NOT the place for rookies...that's "Bush-league," if you will.

Barack Obama? An excellent choice to be Hillary's Veep for eight years starting with their inauguration in '09. THEN, I'll support President Obama in 2016...when he's seasoned, experienced and ready to lead.

Dale Shaw

Philadelphia, PA

Mar 13 2007 - 5:19am

Web Letter

The comparison to Teddy Kennedy is an apt one. Hillary's hawkishness and vote for the Iraq war was her Chappaquidick.

She obviously wasn't the only pro-war vote in the presidential field, but she seemed to relish it. From everything I've read, sheseems to have done all the right things in the Senate: build constituent services (a Moynihan deficit), advocate for the limit pork available to a member of the minority party, as well as find common cause and ways to work those in the other party.

She's widely admired for what she's accomplished and might make a great majority leader one day. But she sounds more like a Senator and less like a President. She is the kind of person who can write and move legislation, but I don't think she can move the country.

Monicagate made her a more sympathetic figure, but, if anything, retarded the view of her as a potential leader. When she had the kind of broad public stage that comes with the White House, she set health care reform back by decades (albeit with help from the GOP and the inusrance lobby). I don't see her showing the kind of skill needed from a first class national leader: someone in tune with the public mood but also able to move ahead of it or transcend it.

Senate skills are clearly different from Presidential skills. LBJ's skill as a Senator was part of what did him in as President, although it did give him a network of people he could engage as relatively trusted contrary voices (e.g., Richard Russell on Vietnam & civil rights). JFK bided his time in the Senate and beyond initial questions, wasn't hurt by his lack of Senatorial stature. He had leadership and management skill sthat were well fit to being president. Nixon wasn't much of a legislator, either and it didn't hurt. He was ill-suited to be president and probably ill-suited to the Senate, as well.

Hillary seems to have found her calling. It would be nice if she recognized it and let go.

Richard A. Jenkins

Washington, DC

Mar 9 2007 - 8:03pm

Web Letter

These thoughts are on target but I think we are still only in the early stages of realizing how strong a candidate Obama is. It may more his strengths than her weaknesses.

On the Democratic side, it is Obama driving the dynamics of the race: Bayh, Warner and Vilsack out; early HRC announcement; Edwards marginalized; significant and growing grass roots excitement 10 months out; forcing HRC to use her best cards early- Bill and the specific appeal to women voters; inevitability strategy already lost.

He is also hard to attack with any resonance. He or his campaign could screw up but there is no evidence that this might happen. The trajectory of this campaign from not running in mid 2006 to now only about 10 points behind the formidable Clintons is amazing.

Michael Boehm

San Francisco, CA

Mar 9 2007 - 6:51am

Web Letter

Hillary Clinton is accomplished in her own right and she has twice been elected as a senator from New York.

I will agree to the extent that Mrs. Clinton is accomplished in her own right, but I believe that her accomplishments have nothing to do with politics. It is true that she was twice elected as a Senator for New York State. However, in the 2000 election, she received a lower percentage of the votes than Mr. Gore received. To truly consider her accomplished, I would expect that she would equal or exceed the total garnered by Mr. Gore. In 2004 the senior senator from New York, Charles Schumer, was re-elected and received 71 percent of the vote, a greater percentage than Mrs. Clinton received in the following cycle in 2006. Again, if she were so accomplished I would expect her to exceed or equal the percentage as her peer.

If Daniel Patrick Moynihan had not retired his senate seat, there would not have been any other state in the country where Mrs. Clinton would have been a viable candidate in 2000. Had Mr. Moynihan not retired, Mrs. Clinton would not be running for the White House and would not be a sitting senator.

Just my view, Mrs. Clinton may have her talents, politics is not one of them.

Tony Lynch

New York, NY

Mar 9 2007 - 12:21am

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