On the One Hand...
In the wake of last week’s Democratic debate at Dartmouth College, I have given some thought to Hillary Clinton’s dogged refusal to be pinned down by Tim Russert on troop withdrawal from Iraq, Social Security reform, and her pick for a Yankees/Cubs World Series. While the Clinton-Russert exchanges on these issues were quite vivid, she is certainly not the first presidential frontrunner to avoid taking specific issue positions in the primaries for which she might later be pilloried by an opponent in the general election.
So, when I am asked whether Clinton can sustain this sort of strategic position-taking over the long haul, my answer really depends on whether another Democratic candidate is willing to frame this behavior as a reflection of broader concerns about whether Clinton possesses a core set of political beliefs, from which her policy positions logically and consistently emanate. Absent this sort of direct challenge by another candidate, I do not think that media coverage alone will be sufficient to undercut this strategy.

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