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Posted by on May 16, 2008 in At TMV | 7 comments

Clinton’s (New?) Motivation

I enjoy Andrew Sullivan’s writing and he’s been gracious enough on occasion to link to what I write. But this post may cause him to denounce and reject me.

Andrew seems convinced that Hillary will do anything in the pursuit of power, and said pursuit is practically all that drives her.

Maybe he’s right. But I think there’s something more powerful than power that drives her, and that is her concern about her long-term image; her legacy.

I’m starting to believe image/legacy may be more important than power to her, because — after her ill-advised, ill-structured comments on working-class white folk — she has seemed to recently (and dramatically) dial down the divisive rhetoric that defined her campaign on the Appalachian trail.

Whereas before, she was all-too-quick to jump on the McCain-bashing-Obama bandwagon, she’s now jumping to Obama’s defense. Granted, her most recent defense was against Bush, not McCain, and it was a rather generic defense at that — but it remains a stark contrast to her prior behavior.

Net: Say what you want about Sen. Clinton, but she’s not entirely blind to reality. She sees the writing on the wall. And whether it’s for self-preservation or party-preservation, I think she is clearly, intentionally taking the initial steps in the required healing and re-alignment process — the first, tentative strides that will enable Obama and other party leaders to give her a plum assignment, post election, whether or not Obama wins.

And no, I don’t think said plum assignment will be the VP slot. But it might be as chair of a key Senate Committee — like Appropriations — which wouldn’t even require an Obama win in November. Or if he does take the White House, perhaps a key cabinet position, like Secretary of State.

Is that a power-grabbing move? Perhaps. Or maybe it’s just an exhausted person worried about how history will eventually write its book on her. Fact is, if she continues down this more-gracious path without reversal, I — at least — will be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on her motivation.

Sorry, Andrew.

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