The Presidentials Land at YearlyKos - Hillary Clinton Edition

| Sat Aug. 4, 2007 12:48 PM EDT

The secret service cars are out front and the mainstream media has shown up in force, so you know it's time for the big boys. Hillary Clinton, who is up first, provides the most compelling story lines here at YearlyKos. As Kos himself admitted in a press conference a few moments ago, "Her negatives in this community are fairly high." She isn't seen as a true progressive, nor as someone willing to stand strong for her principles when it is politically inexpedient. But as Kos admitted, Clinton has moved strongly in the last year to engage the netroots and bring down those negatives.

Will she get hit for being the most moderate of all the candidates, or will she get kudos for trending in the right direction? Or, as has the case been throughout this convention, will the crowd be polite, respectful, and almost bland? Stay tuned…

Update: Half an hour into HRC's speech. The senator is continuing the netroots lovefest started yesterday by the mainstream media. "Let me start by saying something unexpected," she said. "Thank you. You have built the modern progressive movement in America. What you have done in a real short amount of time is fight back against the right wing noise machine."

"We have suffered from a real imbalance in the political world," said the senator, and that doesn't just mean the right has more organizations, think tanks, and media outlets than the left. The right actually runs what they have better. "The fact is, they were better organized, more mission-driven, and better prepared," she said. The netroots are remedying the problem and giving the left a chance.

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But the bloggers, says Clinton, don't just right the balance of power, they also benefit the candidates on the left that they occasionally, or sometimes frequently, criticize. "I think it makes those of us who run for and hold office a little sharper," said Clinton. "It's nice to have some accountability and new ideas coming in."

But Hillary's not ready to embrace the blogosphere fully, not yet. "I actually read blogs," she said, "but don't tell anybody. Don't let anybody know that." The question, of course, is, why not?

Hillary Clinton just got an excellent question: it identified four pieces of legislation passed by the Bill Clinton administration as part of its triangulation efforts and asked her if she would support repealing them, as she has supported repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Welfare reform, NAFTA, and the Defense of Marriage Act were on the list.

Clinton had a tough balancing act to perform. She couldn't abandon the work of her husband, which she was often intimately involved with. But she couldn't embrace the legislation without looking overly non-progressive and out of touch/date. She acquitted herself well. She mentioned the parts of each law that worked and the parts that didn't. She was knowledgeable on the details, and tied the laws to new issues that are in everyone's shared comfort zone.

Oh, she just said she is in favor of universal broadband access — that's red meat for this crowd. She's quite good at this, isn't she? This has been a friendly little session...