Roger L. Simon

Why Hillary Made Her Mistake

Evidently there was some minor consternation in the otherwise seemingly-unflappable Hillary Campaign Camp over her gaffe the other day over illegal alien drivers’ licenses. She obviously fumbled out of fear of coming out on the unpopular side of a contentious issue, but in the process demonstrated what we already knew – that she isn’t as good as her husband under fire. Bill was one of the best in difficult situations. Sure, he bordered on the ludicrous when he made his famous statement about the “definition of is,” but he was under a lot more pressure at the time. Hillary could have slid through this one a lot more gracefully, which should worry her handlers. She may still be a slam-dunk (or nearly) for the nomination, but she will have a bit more of a problem in The Big Show. Giuliani, especially, may prove extremely difficult for her. So far he seems much better on his feet than Hillary is – and he has plenty of experience. The other leading Republican possibilities – Thompson and Romney, even McCain – may also give Clinton more than she bargained for. If I were a Democratic strategist, I’d be worried, especially with the news from Iraq improving to the degree that even the LATimes can’t hide it.