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July 14, 2004
Hillary Snub Sparks Outrage

The Kerry campaign's ham-handed attempt to shove potential rival Hillary Clinton into the shadows during the nominating convention may be backfiring already. The AP reports that Democratic officials are voicing "outrage" that Sen. Clinton has been denied a speaking role at the convention, while Gov. Tom Vilsack's wife -- not an officeholder -- has been given time instead:

The former chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party on Wednesday called it "a total outrage" and "very stupid" that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has not been offered a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention.

"It's a slap in the face, not personally for Hillary Clinton, but for every woman in the Democratic Party and every woman in America," said Judith Hope, a major party fund-raiser.

Hope said she would appeal to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to "correct this omission" and would send an e-mail message to more than 1,000 New York women "many of them major donors to the Kerry campaign" complaining about the slight.

The Kerry campaign had no immediate comment.

This report confirms that the Kerry campaign generated the list of speakers and therefore decided at some point that Hillary was a liability to their effort. Why this might be so is not entirely clear, although Democrats have their own theories. What's clear is that Kerry/Edwards intended to exclude Sen. Clinton. If the inclusion of Christie Vilsack wasn't meant as a slap in the face, it obviously comes across as such -- and Clinton loyalists are just as obviously not going to sit quietly and let it pass.

Let's review, for just a moment, the competence of the Kerry campaign so far this year. In the past several weeks, Kerry has managed to antagonize:

* The Democratic mayor of his hometown, as well as a number of his counterparts from around the nation
* The NEA
* The Deaniacs, who have yet to respond to the Edwards selection
* Clintonites

Of those four, the latter will be the most worrisome. The Clintons may not control the fundraising, but they do exert a strong influence among key money people in the party. Judith Hope is just one example, and when you have Judith Hope calling your campaign decisions "frankly, very stupid" for attribution, you have a problem. For that matter, when you have Thomas Menino calling you "incompetent", you have huge problems.

By the time the convention rolls around, the Democrats and their interest groups will do their best to present this as just a minor flap that received way too much attention from the [ahem] conservatively-biased corporate media. Maybe they really will kiss and make up. However, if Candidate Kerry and his team run a campaign with this level of obvious incompetence, why should anyone trust him with the White House?

You know, just asking ...

UPDATE: TalkLeft's Jeralynn Merritt notes that the Kerry campaign has added the Illinois candidate for Senate, Barack Obama, as the keynote speaker for July 27th. But, alas, no one at Kerry/Edwards has room for Hillary. Does this mean a state Senator outranks a federal Senator at the DNC?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 14, 2004 11:41 AM

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