Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hillary and Mitt

Two names I didn't expect to be paying much attention to in late November, but following Romney's provacative New York Times op-ed today and the (perhaps) looming nomination of Sen. Clinton as Barack Obama's Secretary of State it's hard to ignore them.

Romney came out swinging today by penning a piece for the Times suggesting that the best thing for Detroit (and the American economy in the long run) is to allow the "Big Three"--Ford, GM, and Crysler--to go bankrupt and change the way they do business. As much as I disagreed with and disliked Romney during Campaign '08 it's hard to disagree with the arguement he lays out:

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check

Second, management as is must go. New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries — from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations. Investments must be made for the future.

No more focus on quarterly earnings or the kind of short-term stock appreciation that means quick riches for executives with options. Manage with an eye on cash flow, balance sheets and long-term appreciation. Invest in truly competitive products and innovative technologies — especially fuel-saving designs — that may not arrive for years.

Read the full article HERE.

The article that drew my attention to Hillary Clinton comes from the conservative Weekly Standard. Some Democrats will play off any notion that one of their own being popular among conservatives is a good thing for the party, but Noemie Emery's piece makes me realize just what it was about Hillary during the closing months of the primary fight that I loved so much. Emery writes:

As her previous base was collapsed by Obama, she responded by taking the only route open: She morphed by default into the champion of middle-aged, middle-class, small-town and middle America; of the more conservative, post-Reagan Democrats; and, by her party's standards, the hawks. In no time at all, Hillary Rodham of Wellesley and Yale became the new voice of the Democrats' social conservatives, defending rural voters and small town inhabitants against charges of "bitterness," saying elites had degraded the culture, knocking back shots of Crown Royal in bars.

She didn't just change, she seemed authentic in changing, as if a woman who had gone through multiple makeovers during decades in politics had finally found a persona that fit her. Martha's Vineyard flaked off, revealing the soul of a Midwestern scrapper.

This shift in the Hillary Clinton persona did not go unobserved on the left, which commenced to tear her apart in the same terms of endearment it would later unleash upon Sarah Palin, and had used before on George W. Bush and Joe Lieberman., founded ten years ago by liberal Democrats to defend the Clintons against impeachment proceedings, now assailed her with the savage ferocity they had once reserved for Ken Starr. As a result, perhaps, Hillary later refused to attack Sarah Palin, and treated her, and McCain, with personal courtesy throughout the campaign.

As for the conservatives, many of those who began 2008 willing to do anything to defeat her tended to end it feeling sorry she lost. They began to tell themselves and each other they would sleep better at night if she were the nominee of her party, for reasons having to do with the now-famous three a.m. phone call. She would not, they said, have gone to Berlin and said that the city was saved by the world coming together; she would have known that the Air Force had something to do with it. As thoughts turned later on to possible cabinet picks, the thought of Hugo Chavez and Vladimir Putin staring into the clueless eyes of John Kerry and/or Bill Richardson roused still more anxiety. Better the steely gimlet-eyed stare of a Hillary Clinton.

A fantastic article that any Democrat (Obama supporter or Hillary fan) would do good to read. Check out the whole piece HERE.

Crossing my fingers for Sec. of State Hillary Clinton...

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