Several Steps Ahead

Citing a Boston Globe report, Glenn Reynolds notes Hillary Clinton’s membership in the Religious Left. I might add that there are other political dimensions at play. Consider the context of her invocations of God:

Sen. Clinton Urges Use of Faith-based Initiatives

On the eve of the presidential inauguration, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton last night embraced an issue some pundits say helped seal a second term for George W. Bush: acceptance of the role of faith in addressing social ills.

In a speech at a fund-raising dinner for a Boston-based organization that promotes faith-based solutions to social problems, Clinton said there has been a “false division” between faith-based approaches to social problems and respect for the separation of church of state.

“There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles,” said Clinton, a New York Democrat who often is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008.

As I discussed two days ago, these initiatives have helped Bush gain ground within the black community. Indeed, they represent the GOP’s primary issue for reaching out to a traditionally Democratic bloc. With her speech, Senator Clinton attempts not only to prevent significant Republican inroads but also to claim parts of the religious platform: she defends her party’s turf while simultaneously chipping away at the opposition’s base. Moreover, she appeals to a group that’s very loyal to her husband, thereby associating herself with the former administration’s virtues without running the risk of highlighting its vices (no pun intended).

These are very sophisticated moves. If Republicans want to derail her political ambitions, they better do so carefully, because she has the instincts to overcome them.

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Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. bryan says:

    So you really think faith based initiatives are the primary way bush reaches out to the black community?

  2. Not just the instincts, but also the advice – remember that she’s “fortunate” enough to be married to one of the absolute best in the biz.