Urbin Report

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Clinton Brand

On the day of President George W. Bush's inauguration to his second term, let us take a look at this look at the last two term President and his legacy.
Here are some highlights:

The Democrats are at a crossroads. As close as they came to success in 2000 and 2004, the party reached its max in turning out its base and, organizationally, isn't prepared to expand.

Part of the problem is the Clinton brand. It's a brand that only sells well in about 10 states and only to certain segments in those states. It's not Clinton's ideas that are unpopular, but the Clinton name itself. It isn't taken seriously by rank-and-file, former Democratic voters (married white women), because these folks are still troubled by the former president's personal transgressions. And, more importantly, they are troubled by how he handled being caught.

In short, the term "Clinton," when used by a Republican running against a Democrat -- particularly in the South -- sends the message that, just like Clinton, this Democrat is "morally ambivalent."

Clinton's biggest defenders can't come to grips with the fact that the former president became what his critics said he was. For his first four years in office, these fringe GOP-leaning critics regularly denounced Clinton as a "slick," lying philanderer. Well, what did Clinton do while in office? He lied about cheating on his wife. This, in turn, gave these fringe GOP megaphones on the right credibility. And it's this credibility that has allowed this not-so-conspiratorial right wing to become an even bigger force in American politics today.