Clinton Falling Into a Familiar Habit That May Doom Her

David Brooks says she's been playing defense her entire political career
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2015 1:02 PM CDT
Clinton Falling Into a Familiar Habit That May Doom Her
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Cleveland last week.   (AP Photo/David Richard)

David Brooks has a line about the Clinton campaign today that should be seriously depressing for her supporters, and it doesn't even involve the word email: "Maybe next to Michael Dukakis’s, it is the least romantic, poetic, and uplifting Democratic campaign in decades," he writes in the New York Times. The problem, he argues, is that Clinton has assumed her natural posture of playing defense—in fact, the headline calls her the "Great Defender." She has done this for her entire political career, while fending off scandals ranging from Whitewater to her husband's dalliances to email servers.

In some ways, this is good: "She has endured and persevered and rarely bent," writes Brooks. "But this defensive posture has given her, at least in public, an embattled combative posture, and sometimes an air of reactiveness." In this election, people are looking for something more, an "uplifting mood if not a new agenda." So yes, Clinton remains the heavy favorite, but she's going to have to learn to play offense. She "has not creatively defined a new field in front of the country," writes Brooks. "Instead, she’s left a void others are filling." Click for his full column. (More Hillary Clinton 2016 stories.)

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