Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 01:54 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 25 Nov 2020 | 01:54 | SYDNEY

Hillary Clinton defined


Sam Roggeveen


22 January 2008 17:40

A fine portrait by the New Yorker's George Packer. The piece portrays the Clinton-Obama contest as a clash between two styles of presidential leadership: Hillary thinks it is a technocratic task of mastering the machinery of government (and there are some impressive quotes from her demonstrating her readiness for this task), while Obama argues the president needs to inspire the public to promote change. Obama's is the more ambitious claim, as it implies that the president needs to transform society rather than just achieve specific policy goals. As I've argued before, this seems to imply that America's problems are deeply urgent. Whether Americans really feel this urgency might determine their vote. If, as I suspect, Americans are not feeling real angst about their lives or the future of their country, they'll be tempted to go with the safe technocrat.

UPDATE: Kevin Drum at the Washington Monthly's blog puts this argument better than I can.

UPDATE II: George Packer has posted more quotes from his Hillary Clinton interview on his blog.