She won't stop thinking about tomorrow

This page one story on Hillary Clinton in the Wall Street Journal is more positive than the headline's "rough patch" suggests. Mostly it's a thorough account of how Clinton has sought to balance the imperatives of trying to win the Democratic nomination against those of competing in the general election (and governing, too). An excerpt:

As Sen. Clinton runs for president, her long view from nomination to White House has colored her strategy and her approach to issues from the start.

It helps explain perhaps her most controversial moves to date: Her early refusal to apologize for her 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to use force in Iraq, and her more recent hard-line vote in the Senate on Iran, to designate its elite Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Both stands have been unpopular with Democratic caucus and primary voters. But campaign supporters say such positions serve to persuade voters more generally that a woman has the strength to be commander-in-chief, and isn't afraid to use force.

The long view is reflected, too, in the details of her universal health-care plan. In addressing not just the needs of the uninsured, but also the concerns about health-care quality and cost of middle-class Americans who are insured, she convinced many skeptics that she did learn from the Clintons' failed health-care proposal of the mid-1990s. In contrast, her lack of details on plans for Social Security, global warming and other problems awaiting the next president reflect a wariness of taking stands -- on taxes, for instance -- that could give Republicans ammunition in 2008.

On trade, Sen. Clinton has played to the union voters who are influential in Democratic nomination contests, shifting to a more protectionist line from the free-trade position of her husband's administration. But she has not gone so far as rival John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator.