Saturday, July 28, 2007

Love Letters: Hillary's Transformation from Goldwater Girl to 'Pseudo-Hippie' and Beyond

NEW YORK – Positioning Hillary Clinton is a difficult proposition. To many Democratic liberals, Senator Clinton is a true-blue centrist, a DLC Democrat, and former Goldwater Girl, who unapologetically supported the invasion of Iraq, voted to certify George W. Bush's election, and stood squarely for economic growth through relatively unfettered free trade. To Conservatives, Hillary represents the feminism, free love, free-speech, and free-thinking liberalism and political uncertainty of the 1960s. To Democratic Centrists, Senator Clinton is a measured, rational, political professional, whose willingness to forge a balance between the interests of the business community and the public at large. In fact, Senator Clinton possesses all of these qualities – and this is precisely why it is so difficult for her coterie of professionals to position her campaign.

From a branding perspective, we might try to divine her essence, the core of Senator Clinton's unique and defining qualities. And the key to this might live far from the many biographies that have been written about her. The key might be found in letters of her own hand.

As Senator Clinton seeks to position herself as the next President, perhaps her campaign might find a powerful kernel of differentiating truth in the handwritten tomes of her Wellesley youth – the defining moment in which Hilary Rodham transformed herself from Goldwater Girl to Democratic Leader.

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