The term was first used by President of the United States Bill Clinton’s chief political advisor Dick Morris as a way to describe his strategy for getting Clinton reelected in the 1996 presidential election. Morris advocated a set of policies that were different from the traditional policies of the Democratic Party. The idea Clinton used behind some of these policies was to be “more Republican than the Republicans.” These policies included welfare reform, tax cuts for the middle class and balanced budgets. One of the most widely cited capstones of Clinton’s triangulation strategy was when, in his 1996 State of the Union Address, Clinton declared that the “Era of Big Government is over.”
In a memo from the Obama campaign, spokesman Bill Burton said Clinton â€œoffered more of the same Washington political calculation and evasion that wonâ€™t bring the change America needs.â€
â€œThe â€˜politics of hopeâ€™ doesnâ€™t mean hoping you donâ€™t have to answer tough questions,â€ Burton wrote.
Burton wrote that Clinton dodged questions on Social Security, Iran and the National Archives issue. And on one of the more talked-about moments from the end of the debate, Clintonâ€™s position on a move by New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) to grant driverâ€™s licenses to illegal aliens, Burton said, â€œTwelve hours after the debate ended, the American people are still waiting for an answer on Sen. Clintonâ€™s position â€¦ She didnâ€™t answer the question in the debate and her campaign couldnâ€™t answer it afterwards.â€
Is this an opening for Obama and Edwards? Perhaps.
But, most definitely an opening for Rudy Giuliani and the GOP.
Fred Thompson : “I never thought I’d see Hillary Clinton get pinned down and have to answer a controversial question,” Thompson said to laughter and applause. “She finally came around and said that in fact it was a good idea to give illegals driver’s licenses. If you can imagine thatâ€¦We might as well, uh, give driver’s licenses, which along with a motor voter law that we have now that says when you register to vote you get an opportunity to uh, I mean when you get your driver’s license you get an opportunity to register to vote. So, you know what that’s going to lead to.
“But I must say, she scrambled around during the debate and then she came out with a statement the next day, and it took her 12 hours to get the wrong answer for America this time. She usually doesn’t take that long to come up with the wrong answer for America, so maybe things are improving a little bit.”