The Berkshire Eagle
The following article is reproduced here on the 
WAMC Northeast Pirate Network Web Site 
Article originally published by The Berkshire Eagle on Saturday, February 26, 2005 -
'Kiss-of-Death' Chartock
I, Publius
Hillary will do what it takes
By Alan Chartock 
Special to The Eagle

Saturday, February 26, 2005 - It would appear that Hillary Clinton is taking a page out of husband Bill's play book. She is turning into a middle-American semiconservative before our very eyes. On issues like the war in Iraq, abortion and many others, she is becoming a Democrat whom Republicans can vote for.

Bill Clinton did precisely the same thing his first time out, embracing issues like welfare and education reform. It worked like a charm. Of course, Bill Clinton had a way of communicating that Hillary does not. But I have interviewed Mrs. Clinton and she is incredibly smart and facile and can do what she needs to do. She was anything but somber. I'm telling you that this election will be all about returning Team Clinton to the White House.

Even though Hillary seems to be morphing into a Republican, I believe that the Clintons have basic liberal instincts. We saw that demonstrated by the Clinton administration in the White House. 

Right now, Bill is traveling the globe with his old nemesis Papa Bush. There have got to be a lot of conservative Republicans who are furious about that. All it does is scream to the American people that "Those Clintons are good people." There will, of course, be those voters to the left of center who will want to punish Mrs. Clinton for her political move to the right, but I am not among them. I know all about Karl Rove and his manipulation of ideas. You really can't let one side write the rules for the other, which is exactly what Rove has been doing with all his little tricks. As a matter of faith, I believe that Hillary will do for this country what Bill did. I believe that she will balance the budget and bring some sanity back into our foreign policy. So I'm all for her and will vote for her when I get the opportunity.

In the meantime, the national Democrats have moved in the opposite direction by electing Howard Dean as the new national chairman. While Hillary is becoming more conservative, Dean will show both his conservative side and his anti-war side. Assuming that the news from Iraq keeps getting worse, the two of them could be a formidable team. Clinton remains the choice of most Democrats to be the candidate in the next election and Dean is now known as the man who told the truth the last time out. I like the combination.


We in Massachusetts have school choice, meaning you can move from one district to another. Any decent parent wants their kid to get the best education they can. If the Lee schools are better than the Pittsfield schools, Mrs. Jones drives Sally to Lee. Pittsfield loses the revenue and Lee gets it.

The latest theory in the politics of education is that competition will force schools to get better. But whoa, it isn't that easy. Some districts, like Pittsfield, have real inner-city educational problems. By allowing the best and often the brightest to run to another district, you create a self-fulfilling death spiral. It isn't only the kids who run from a challenged district. It's also administrators, superintendents and everyone else who would prefer to work in an easier, rather than a harder, place. Is anyone really surprised to see Pittsfield Superintendent William Travis leaving town to go to the Mount Greylock district?


Scott Ritter, the former Marine and United Nations weapons inspector is flatly saying that the United States will invade Iran in the near future. President Bush says that the idea is ridiculous, but continues to say everything is on the table.

I recently spoke with a very influential and bright congressman, John B. Larson from the 1st District of Connecticut. Larson is sure that the Pentagon had prepared plans for an Iran invasion. He also suggested that U.S. resources would be stretched very thin both in terms of personnel and money if we were to attempt such an invasion. He did say that no one should underestimate the power of the United States to wage this kind of campaign. To me, it all seems pretty far-fetched. We don't have enough soldiers for Iraq and Afghanistan and our European allies would be all over us if we tried to take on Iran.

Judging from the way the Iranian regime has behaved in the past toward the "Great Satan," I don't think that they'll be in a terribly compliant mood toward this country. But do I think the neocons have the stomach to kill more of our young people and more civilians? We know they do. 

Alan Chartock, a Great Barrington resident, is president and CEO of WAMC Northeast Public Radio and a professor of communications at SUNY-Albany. His web site is

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