Sunday, November 18, 2007

Maureen Dowd: "Rudy will not be so easy to spank"

And neither will any of the other Republican candidates. Clinton isn't being well served by everyone rolling over and playing dead. She can turn her opponents into blithering idiots by her icy demeanor but she won't be able to do that to our candidate. She may have the moderator trained to follow her lead (Blitzer was more like a toy poodle than a Wolf) and go easy on her but our candidates won't. She can't intimidate them because they know that there is too much at stake, obviously her Democrat opponents don't get that:

She has continued to flick the whip in debates. She usually ignores Obama and John Edwards backstage, preferring to chat with the so-called second-tier candidates. And she often looks so unapproachable while they’re setting up on stage that Obama seems hesitant to be the first to say hi.


Other guys, like Rudy, wouldn’t even be looking for a chance to greet Hillary, as Obama always does. Other guys, like Rudy, wouldn’t care if she iced them.

But she can tell that Obama does care, that he doesn’t want her to not like him or be mad at him, that he responds to the sort of belittling treatment that she sometimes dished out to her husband and his male aides at the White House, yelling at them and calling them wimps if they disappointed her.


When Hillary walked onstage Thursday, Obama stood to her left waiting to shake hands and say hi, as he and Edwards had done with Chris Dodd. She turned her body away, refused to meet his eyes and froze him out. Again. And he looked taken aback. Again.

For the rest of the night she owned him. He was so off his game that he duplicated her dithering performance from the last debate on the issue of whether illegal immigrants should get driver’s licenses. After a tortured exchange with Wolf Blitzer, he ended up saying he favored it — one more sign that the law professor is oblivious to the visceral nature of campaigns.

Hillary brazenly leapt away from that politically devastating position and said she didn’t support the licenses anymore. And Obama didn’t even call her out on her third reversal on the matter.
These candidates are giving her a free ride, Wolf Blitzer didn't press her on her long string of flip-flops to the point of making her answer the charge and neither did her opponents. The Republican candidate will point it out that she hasn't explained why she has taken both sides on every major issue. Is this process helping her to prepare to meet the challenge of facing a real opponent who won't roll over and play dead? I don't see how.