Hillary May Feint, But She Will Not Swoon

"Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind."- Bobby Fischer
What do the following four things have in common: chess; fencing; ‘Risk,' and; the current Democratic Party's nomination for president? They are all, fundamentally, contests of strategy where neither the best looking, the best speaking, or best new ideas win. The winner is the one who forces his opponent to play by his game plan.

Forcing an opponent to abandon their original strategy and conform to one's own is not a new tactic but it is effective. Sun Tzu wrote about this during the 6th Century BC in "The Art of War," saying,

"Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."

In other words, develop a strategy of misdirection and misinformation so that one's opponent never has the opportunity to assert their strength in the contest. Keep them off-guard and they will never gain proper footing.

One of the most practical applications of this strategy is the "feint," which Webster's defines as "a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack." The feint has many other names in the political realm: "spin" and "wagging the dog" are two that have been adopted into the American pop-cultural lexicon. It is no coincidence either that these two terms became popular in the mid-to-late 1990's.

Over the years, this country has witnessed the feint used to perfection by former-President Bill Clinton and his political team. One may wonder, in what way was this done? If a propositional truth were inconvenient to the president, or worse, in his opinion derogatory, then the team would effectively employ a feint to divert the nation's attention. After sufficient time had passed, the former president and his cohorts would go on the offensive against those who dared to question the dear leader. The merits of the original complaint would be ignored while salacious accusations would be levied at those who had originally dared raise the issue.

If one has trouble believing this, one can always ask Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Linda Tripp, Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich and others their opinions of the matter. This strategy was employed so often and with such success that when President Clinton finally left the White House he had cut a wide swath through the American political landscape.

King Solomon put it well in Ecclesiastes 1:9 when he said,

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."

Eight years after President Clinton left office, what is the situation? President George W. Bush is finishing his second term and there is no Republican heir-apparent. The economy is in a down cycle, the War on Terror in Iraq has lasted longer than some hoped, and the dollar is weak internationally. (The litany of complaints is long and doubtlessly familiar to the reader of this and other conservative Web sites.) The moment Senator Hillary Clinton has been waiting, planning and hoping for has arrived: an open presidential ticket for both parties.

However, the Democratic nomination has not been automatically granted; no, Senator Clinton finds herself having to fight for it. As history has shown, though, fighting is something she knows and does well. Tucked away among her political arsenal is the knowledge and ability to use the feint at the right time to temporarily confuse her opponent and allow her to set the agenda for the nomination.

One may ask how Senator Clinton has employed the feint in her bid for the Democratic nomination. Many excellent commentators and political observers have drawn appropriate attention to some of the more sinister efforts put forth by the Clinton team in castigating Senator Obama in South Carolina. Other examples include the accusations of voter fraud and intimidation in Nevada, the association of Obama and Rezko, and the near ad hominems of Obama's character in "leaked" e-mails are only the beginning. It is this author's opinion that these feints will increase in both number and viciousness until the nomination is sealed. Then they will turn on the Republican nominee.

A rhetorical question is worth asking at this point: why does the average American voter continue to accept these feints as part-and-parcel of the campaign process? A better question still is: how does Senator Clinton manage to disassociate herself from the feints so effectively? She did this while serving as First Lady, i.e. "Travelgate," "Filegate," and "Whitewater." She has done this on the campaign trail by allowing her husband, the former president, to take the blame for the heinous accusations. Regardless of the reader's opinion of Hillary Clinton, she is a strategist par excellence. If she is allowed to continue to write the rules of engagement for the presidential campaign, come November 4, 2008 America will wake up to "Madam President."

Make no mistake; with Hillary Clinton in the race, the contest to win the Democratic nomination for president is war. The candidate who does not view it as such has already lost, because he will inadvertently allow her to define the rules of engagement. And by her definition, there can be only one winner.
"Chess is war over the board. The object is to crush the opponent's mind."- Bobby Fischer
What do the following four things have in common: chess; fencing; ‘Risk,' and; the current Democratic Party's nomination for president? They are all, fundamentally, contests of strategy where neither the best looking, the best speaking, or best new ideas win. The winner is the one who forces his opponent to play by his game plan.

Forcing an opponent to abandon their original strategy and conform to one's own is not a new tactic but it is effective. Sun Tzu wrote about this during the 6th Century BC in "The Art of War," saying,

"Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him."

In other words, develop a strategy of misdirection and misinformation so that one's opponent never has the opportunity to assert their strength in the contest. Keep them off-guard and they will never gain proper footing.

One of the most practical applications of this strategy is the "feint," which Webster's defines as "a mock blow or attack on or toward one part in order to distract attention from the point one really intends to attack." The feint has many other names in the political realm: "spin" and "wagging the dog" are two that have been adopted into the American pop-cultural lexicon. It is no coincidence either that these two terms became popular in the mid-to-late 1990's.

Over the years, this country has witnessed the feint used to perfection by former-President Bill Clinton and his political team. One may wonder, in what way was this done? If a propositional truth were inconvenient to the president, or worse, in his opinion derogatory, then the team would effectively employ a feint to divert the nation's attention. After sufficient time had passed, the former president and his cohorts would go on the offensive against those who dared to question the dear leader. The merits of the original complaint would be ignored while salacious accusations would be levied at those who had originally dared raise the issue.

If one has trouble believing this, one can always ask Gennifer Flowers, Juanita Broaddrick, Linda Tripp, Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich and others their opinions of the matter. This strategy was employed so often and with such success that when President Clinton finally left the White House he had cut a wide swath through the American political landscape.

King Solomon put it well in Ecclesiastes 1:9 when he said,

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."

Eight years after President Clinton left office, what is the situation? President George W. Bush is finishing his second term and there is no Republican heir-apparent. The economy is in a down cycle, the War on Terror in Iraq has lasted longer than some hoped, and the dollar is weak internationally. (The litany of complaints is long and doubtlessly familiar to the reader of this and other conservative Web sites.) The moment Senator Hillary Clinton has been waiting, planning and hoping for has arrived: an open presidential ticket for both parties.

However, the Democratic nomination has not been automatically granted; no, Senator Clinton finds herself having to fight for it. As history has shown, though, fighting is something she knows and does well. Tucked away among her political arsenal is the knowledge and ability to use the feint at the right time to temporarily confuse her opponent and allow her to set the agenda for the nomination.

One may ask how Senator Clinton has employed the feint in her bid for the Democratic nomination. Many excellent commentators and political observers have drawn appropriate attention to some of the more sinister efforts put forth by the Clinton team in castigating Senator Obama in South Carolina. Other examples include the accusations of voter fraud and intimidation in Nevada, the association of Obama and Rezko, and the near ad hominems of Obama's character in "leaked" e-mails are only the beginning. It is this author's opinion that these feints will increase in both number and viciousness until the nomination is sealed. Then they will turn on the Republican nominee.

A rhetorical question is worth asking at this point: why does the average American voter continue to accept these feints as part-and-parcel of the campaign process? A better question still is: how does Senator Clinton manage to disassociate herself from the feints so effectively? She did this while serving as First Lady, i.e. "Travelgate," "Filegate," and "Whitewater." She has done this on the campaign trail by allowing her husband, the former president, to take the blame for the heinous accusations. Regardless of the reader's opinion of Hillary Clinton, she is a strategist par excellence. If she is allowed to continue to write the rules of engagement for the presidential campaign, come November 4, 2008 America will wake up to "Madam President."

Make no mistake; with Hillary Clinton in the race, the contest to win the Democratic nomination for president is war. The candidate who does not view it as such has already lost, because he will inadvertently allow her to define the rules of engagement. And by her definition, there can be only one winner.