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Hilary Ascendant?

I overheard the older couple sitting behind me at dinner last night discussing how surprised they were with Hilary Clinton as a candidate: that they were unexpectedly warming to the prospects of her as a worthy presidential aspirant. Couple that with yesterday's David Brooks column in The New York Times in which he comments on this as a broader phenomenon: that Senator Clinton is carefully distancing herselves from her rivals--Democrats and Republicans alike--as having the requisite experience to lead as well the politically advantageous positions on the key 2008 issues. Here is a taste of the analysis offered by center-right pundit Brooks:

The biggest story of this presidential campaign is the success of Hillary Clinton. Six months ago many people thought she was too brittle and calculating and that voters would never really bond with her. But now she seems to offer the perfect combination of experience and change.


Iraq will still be a shooting war in 2008. Health care is emerging as the biggest domestic concern. This is natural Democratic turf. So as I travel around watching the Republican candidates, I’m looking for signs that they’re willing to try something unorthodox. Eighty percent of the time, what I see is the Dole campaign: Republican candidates uttering their normal principles — small government, military strength, strong families — and heading inexorably toward defeat.


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