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Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 1999/10 Tishrei, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Hillary's blunders
and bloopers -- FORTUNATELY, for the state of New York, Hillary Clinton's political instincts don't match her reputed intellect. If she continues to blunder, that state (and the nation) may be spared her elevation to the Senate.

Hillary's repeated mistakes expose her as a brazen opportunist concerned not with New York but with finally building her own resume in the twilight of her productive years.

When the First Lady was preaching from her White House soapbox, she advocated the creation of a Palestinian state. Never mind that this gratuitous policy pronouncement was at variance with the First Husband's official position concerning Israel.

But shortly after launching her unannounced Senate campaign, she immediately reversed herself by declaring Jerusalem "the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel." In this transparent move to pander to the N.Y. Jewish constituency, she didn't even bother to acknowledge, much less reconcile, her prior inconsistent statement.

Then the Terrorist-Pardoner in Chief granted clemency to 16 Puerto Rican terrorists over the vehement objections of all law enforcement agencies and the emphatic condemnation of both houses of Congress. Such an outrageous abuse of presidential authority cannot reasonably be explained, apart from Bill's effort to enhance his wife's standing with the N.Y. Hispanic voters.

Hillary, it should be noted, publicly supported her husband's decision to pardon the unrepentant anarchists. But as soon as it became apparent that the move had backfired, Hillary switched gears again.

She made a public statement asking the president to withdraw his offer of clemency -- instead of just going into the other room and talking it over with him. That is, if you believe their insulting joint denial that they had colluded on the matter. With her about-face she not only alienated N.Y. Puerto Ricans, but also seriously offended certain N.Y. leaders by failing to consult with them before announcing her turnaround. N.Y. Rep. Jose Serrano said that another such misstep could be fatal for Hillary's campaign.

Hillary is also coming under fire from Democrats for relying exclusively on her small cadre of advisors and ignoring the leadership of the party structure. Said N.Y. Congressman Charles Rangel, "Nobody is so good they can make decisions by relying on one or two people and without communication with the leadership of the party."

Being an equal-opportunity offender, Mrs. Clinton has also managed to alienate the N.Y. African-American community. It seems that she has been unwilling to make herself available for a meeting with black community leaders of New York City.

In addition to her policy gaffes, the Clinton's home purchase in Chappaqua with the support of Democratic fund-raiser Terry McAuliffe, has drawn Hillary heavy fire on ethical grounds. And her flagrant abuse of public funds to subsidize campaign air travel convinced 46 Democrats to join 215 Republicans in voting to make her fully reimburse those expenditures.

The all-knowing Mrs. Clinton even unwittingly provided some comic relief this week by demonstrating her intimate concern for NYC's mosquito problem. She was responding to a question about lobbying her husband for federal funds for the city's mosquito-killing campaign. "I have been concerned about malaria for many years," said Hillary, revealing that she was painfully unaware that encephalitis, not malaria, is the problem.

Let's also not forget Hillary's foray into psychoanalysis when she blamed her husband's serial philandering on his being whipsawed between two battle-axes in his formative years.

Finally, in her Senate campaign, Mrs. Clinton is in the process of resurrecting the issue that led to the plummeting of her approval ratings in the past, universal health care. Happily for Republicans, Hillary subordinates even her political opportunism to her uncompromising socialistic passions.

So what's the net result of all this? A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that 40 percent of Americans now have a negative view of Hillary, up from 25 percent at the start of the year.

Hillary should have listened to those of us who tried to tell her that she could only remain popular if she clings to her victim-status. When she delves into the policy-arena, whether from her Pennsylvania Avenue pulpit or as a senatorial candidate, she forfeits all sympathy lavishly bestowed on her by an anachronistic press still romanticizing the virtues of Marxism.

Exit this campaign Hillary, while your First Victimhood is still salvageable. Go Rudy!

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.


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