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:
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.