Monday, September 21, 2015

Why Hillary Clinton is defending Planned Parenthood

Jumping into the fray created by the doctored ant-abortion video carries some political risks but is likely outweighed by the political advantage.

Greg Sargent at the Washington Post/Plum Line makes that point in his remarks on the political advantage for defending PP. Scriber thinks that Clinton believes that it is the right thing to do ... and the attendant political profit is gravy .

Here is a key similarity with the 2012 missteps by the then candidate Mitt Romney.

With Congressional Republicans scrambling to avoid a government shutdown amid the push by conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton aligned herself squarely with the group in a Sunday interview with "Face the Nation," defending the health care services it provides for women and hitting GOP shutdown chatter as "the height of irresponsibility."

Since Planned Parenthood is probably going to be a major issue in 2016, it’s worth recalling: The Obama campaign attacked Mitt Romney for months over his position on the group. Obama’s team turned Romney’s offhand suggestion, captured on video, that "we’re gonna get rid of that," into an emblem of Romney’s paternalism and dismissive attitude towards women, in the quest to win over undecided female voters.

A key difference this time, of course, is that the Democratic presidential nominee is likely to be a woman. And this time, Clinton is fully embracing the idea that electing a female president would be groundbreaking. As explained by Dem pollster Celinda Lake, the underlying calculation behind showcasing her gender is that a woman represents a credible voice on how to make the economy work for American families. In this context, Democrats will strive to portray women’s health care as an economic issue, just as Obama did last time around. A female candidate embracing the health services the group provides for women even as her (virtually all) male Republican rivals vow to defund the group is probably a general-election contrast that the Clinton camp relishes.

Regardless of the gender of the eventual Democratic candidate, it seems to me that this is a winner. A tip-of-the-hat to House Republicans. We don't even have to work to capture you on video. You're already way out there. You are handing us the Presidency.

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