Chelsea at IUS (revisited)...
More on Chelsea at IUS...
From Stephanie Mojica with the Jeff/NA News-Tribune (hat tip: Mike Martin)...
I like Mojica's description of Chelsea's style: "Clinton spoke in a gentle voice with strong words..."
Mojica opens with her account of Chelsea's thesis statement: "her mother’s plans to rebuild the country".
If true-- and it sounds accurate after the little bit I heard-- that's a bit frightening, yes? "Rebuild the country" implies a whole lotta government activity. Or perhaps it's just the rhetoric that Bill made famous in his State of the Union addresses-- and Bush has ably continued-- of promising a laundry list of things he'll try to get the federal government to do.
Mojica quotes Chelsea about "her mother’s plan to institute optional universal health care if elected": Clinton said, “It is not only the morally right thing to do, but the economically right thing to do.”
As my friend Mike Martin properly points out, it's not much good to talk about moral obligations without talking about how one might pay for them. (Actually, it may be a political good to talk that way, but not an objective or even a moral good to talk about one without the other.)
More broadly, a claim for political rights (e.g., voting) does not impose a significant cost on others. But a claim for economic rights (e.g., free health care) imposes costs that require explanation-- and more to the point, a defense. And of course, politically, it's not much fun to lay out a defense for spending a lot of our money.
On the war, I was struck by this paraphrase: "Concerning Iraq, Clinton said her mother is dedicated to withdrawing the troops and those Iraqis who have been helping protect American civilians and soldiers quickly and safely."
The latter is a smaller but still important point, but may have been used rhetorically to distract from the larger issue of withdrawal.
The former seems like the sort of language one would use to craft a middle-ground position. We want them out (hey, don't we all?!), without pushing the issue much. I had heard that Clinton was in the middle (compared to Obama and McCain) and Chelsea's language seems consistent here. The bad news is that a President Clinton would only be slightly more driven than Baron Hill and most of the House Democrats-- to wrap up the military portion of our activity in Iraq.