January 31, 2008 by Marc Lamont Hill
Democrats have long wanted a candidate that can win, but is Hillary’s campaign style the only way to take back the White House?
Hillary Clinton’s Ruthless Campaign
By Steven Rosenfeld
Democrats have long complained that they need a presidential candidate who knows how to fight and win.
On Tuesday night, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, flew to Florida for a “victory rally” in a state that was awarding no delegates, because it was penalized by national party officials for holding an unauthorized early primary. Last summer, she and the other candidates pledged not to campaign in the Sunshine State. Still, Clinton held the rally, declaring victory on national television. Millions of people in the 22 states who will vote next Tuesday probably saw her, not knowing the Florida vote was moot. And in Florida, Clinton pledged to seat its delegates at the Democratic National Convention.
“Hillary won the highest turnout Democratic primary in Florida history,” her website gushed, on a page giving daily talking points to supporters. “Hillary received more votes in Florida than Sen. (John) McCain, the winner of the Republican primary. Hillary also received more votes in Florida alone than Sen. (Barack) Obama received in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.”
If Clinton’s boast makes you grimace — she also charged that Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, was first to break the DNC’s no-campaigning pledge by running a national cable ad that was seen in Florida and by getting good press after winning big in South Carolina — then these brazen moves give a very clear view of Clinton’s leadership style. Regardless of her center-left positions on issues, Hillary Clinton is fighting to win.
In fact, there may be no better illustration of the divide-and-conquer style of politics that Obama seeks to overcome than the tactics of his most aggressive rival, Hillary Clinton.
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