What kind of president would Hillary Clinton be?
To grasp the essence of how her Administration would run aground, watch the way she's handling the Iraq War controversy right now.
She has painted herself into a corner with her bad judgment, tone deaf instincts, and stubbornness. Now she's squirming to find a way out – and looking bad in the process.
As she struggles to meld her conflicting past and present positions about her 2002 vote authorizing the Iraq war, she has become as convoluted as a pretzel.
At the same time, her style and mechanics are significantly improving. Hillary has settled on a novel, presidential-looking, and well-toned campaign vehicle: an "almost weekly" Internet video address to the nation via her web site HillaryClinton.com.
Between the chatty and overly contrived "talk on the couch" she used to announce her candidacy and her new, more formal format, one senses she has been busy getting the input of focus groups.
Her new format works. Hillary looks convincingly presidential against a backdrop of French doors that mirrors the Oval Office. She has found her groove.
But she still has problems. The juxtaposition of good advice and handling on the one hand, and flawed candidate instincts on the other, has always characterized Hillary's activities. Such dissonance in her performance continues to this day.
Hillary's problems today stem from her 2002 vote in favor of the Iraq war. Clearly, she cast it because, as a new Senator from New York, she saw Ground Zero from a front row seat.
Her constituents demanded action and she wanted to seem to be tough on terrorism.
Hillary also know that as a future woman presidential candidate, she needed to appear tough enough to be commander in chief. When no WMDs were found in Iraq after the U.S. invasion, Hillary still stood by her vote because she feared appearing inconsistent.
Now Hillary is a full-fledged presidential candidate and faces the dilemma of whether to apologize for her vote, as John Edwards did.
No doubt, Hillary remembers vividly how the label of "weak" and "flip flopper" dogged her husband. Bill Clinton challenged this labels by taking decisive actions in Bosnia and against the House Republican government shut down.
And there was John Kerry and his windsurf ad in the 2004 that characterized him.
Haunted by these memories, she has put a premium on never reversing field and refusing to say "I'm sorry."
Of course, she should have said she made a mistake. Everybody did. Voters would have taken her admission and not missed a beat.
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