Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have their fates entwined.
Many true blue Democrats are despondent over the “marginalization” of Hillary Clinton while many Republicans are despondent over the disasters of Sarah Palin. But the death announcements for Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin are premature.
What is neither premature nor uninteresting is tracking the paths chosen by Hillary and Palin to not only survive, but to overcome and win.
The substantive part of our observations will come in Part II of this discussion. For now let’s look at the very latest public chess moves by both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin.
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As she begins a world wide travel schedule Hillary spoke to the Council on Foreign Relation yesterday. Hillary outlined her agenda:
But the international agenda today is unforgiving: two wars, conflict in the Middle East, ongoing threats of violent extremism and nuclear proliferation, global recession, climate change, hunger and disease, and a widening gap between the rich and the poor. All of these challenges affect America’s security and prosperity, and they all threaten global stability and progress.
But they are not reason to despair about the future. The same forces that compound our problems – economic interdependence, open borders, and the speedy movement of information, capital, goods, services and people – are also part of the solution. And with more states facing common challenges, we have the chance, and a profound responsibility, to exercise American leadership to solve problems in concert with others. That is the heart of America’s mission in the world today.
Hillary talked foreign policy and the implications for domestic policy:
First, though, let me say that while the ideas that shape our foreign policy are critically important, this, for me, is not simply an intellectual exercise. For over 16 years, I’ve had the chance, the privilege, really, to represent our country overseas as First Lady, as a senator, and now as Secretary of State. I’ve seen the bellies of starving children, girls sold into human trafficking, men dying of treatable diseases, women denied the right to own property or vote, and young people without schooling or jobs gripped by a sense of futility about their futures.
I’ve also seen how hope, hard work, and ingenuity can overcome the longest of odds. And for almost 36 years, I have worked as an advocate for children, women and families here at home. I’ve traveled across our country listening to everyday concerns of our citizens. I’ve met parents struggling to keep their jobs, pay their mortgages, cover their children’s college tuitions, and afford healthcare.
And all that I have done and seen has convinced me that our foreign policy must produce results for people – the laid-off auto worker in Detroit whose future will depend on global economic recovery; the farmer or small business owner in the developing world whose lack of opportunity can drive political instability and economic stagnation; the families whose loved ones are risking their lives for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere; children in every land who deserve a brighter future. These are the people – hundreds of millions of them here in America and billions around the world – whose lives and experiences, hopes and dreams, must inform the decisions we take and the actions that follow. And these are the people who inspire me and my colleagues and the work that we try to do every day.
Hillary wants to produce results not just talk. Hillary wants to address heath care, education, housing and jobs – results, not just talk on health care, education, housing, and jobs.
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The canny former Mayor of San Francisco analyzes Governor Sarah Palin’s resignation move:
The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin’s decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.
Palin has some of the best political instincts I have ever seen. She became a pop-culture superstar overnight when John McCain made her his veep pick, and she’s still second only to President Obama among politicians the public is interested in. Even in liberal San Francisco, she’d be front-page news if she ever came to town.
But that kind of celebrity comes at a high price. What a lot of people don’t know is that Palin entered Alaska politics as a reformer attacking the corruption of the state’s Republican establishment. As such, she was the darling of the Democrats – until she hooked up with McCain.
After the election, with Palin back home but positioning herself for a 2012 presidential run, it was clear she would catch nothing but ridicule from Alaska’s Democrats. It was not going to be pretty.
If Palin wants to play on the national field, she has to be free to move around. She has to be able to drop into Indiana, Ohio or Tennessee and help Republican candidates raise money. She has to be available for radio and TV.
She has to be like Gavin Newsom, free to roam around the country, safe in the knowledge that things will pretty much take care of themselves back home.
Instead, Palin faced the prospect of being constantly pinned down in a state that is a day and a half away from the rest of America. She would have been totally isolated in every sense of the word.
Now she can study up on issues where she is lacking and become a full-time political celebrity.
The pundits call her a quitter, but let’s be honest – the pundits never liked her to begin with. Better to take one hit for stepping down and move on than to stay in Alaska and die a death by a thousand cuts.
Governor or not, Palin is still the biggest star in the Republican galaxy. After all, who else have they got?
Governor Sarah Palin has also begun, like Hillary, to make her very public chess moves. On Tuesday, Palin staked out a major issue as her turf by writing an Op-ed article in the Washington Post:
There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing. Worries are widespread that even when the economy finally rebounds, the recovery won’t bring jobs. Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.
Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges. So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:
I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.
While slapping Big Media gossip mongers posing as journalists, Palin takes on legislation which even some very prominent liberals believe should be euthanized. The energy issue is Governor Palin’s chosen entry route to the issues of health care, education, housing, and jobs.
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Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have made major chess moves this week.
In the background, as Hillary and Sarah play chess for control of their fates, the fire and roar of cannons are heard as Democrats fight a civil war against Dimocrats.