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September 18, 2005

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Off the cuff, too. I wonder how many hours with Rove Georgie had to log to get "You know, the voters will have to take this into account if it bothers them" right when he ran for governor?

I don't know why you're so fixated on this "pledge" thing, Brendan-- as Bill Clinton points out, hedging on this issue is par for the course with upward-looking elected officials-- nothing new or especially shocking. And this won't become a big campaign issue, because if the Republicans try to attack them on it, Dems can just point to George W.(as Clinton just did). This is a non-issue.

Yeah Brendan, isn't the dodge the answer itself? Of course she's not going to simply say "no" when asked to pledge. Why should she? And of course Bill isn't going to do it for her---the nerve!

I leaned forward in my chair, too, when Tim asked the question. But only because I love to watch Bill at bat.

This doesn't look like a "dodge" to me. "I don't think they should make commitments." That seems pretty direct. I think it's right to avoid making a commitment that can't or won't be kept.

If you think that Clinton is running for President but doesn't want to tell us, then maybe you look at this commitment issue as some kind of proxy for that question, but they're really different questions. If Russert had asked, "Is Senator Clinton running for President?" and former President Clinton had danced around it, that'd be a dodge. This is just a good answer to a question other than what you're really interested in.

I'm having a hard time understanding why a "pledge" has any importance,
aside from the press and commentators (like yourself) trying to beat
her up over it. Her intentions are undoubtedly well known to the
voters, who will have to take them into account. Even if 60% of
some group of voters "want" a pledge when asked in some fluff poll,
how many do you think will *demand* one for their vote?

What other jobs involve making a pledge that you won't seek a promotion
while holding it?

Both Mr. Bush and Ms. Clinton have been perfectly responsible on this.
(I don't get a chance to write that very often, so I just couldn't resist.)

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