Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

Clinton v. Palin for President, 2012

“If this idea doesn’t get you to vote for John McCain, nothing will.”
Saturday, September 6, 2008

Attention Hillary Clinton supporters (of which I was one). If this idea doesn’t get you to vote for John McCain, nothing will.

As someone who believes that Barack Obama is not ready or right, even if he was ready, for the position for which he is running, I’ve been looking for an excuse to vote for McCain. The addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket, and his bold criticism and repudiation of his own party at its convention, no less, are beginning to persuade me. I’m not quite there yet, but now it’s occurred to me…

As it turns out, I’ve been considering voting for John McCain for some time simply because I believe he’ll be a one term President, and not a bad one at that. Let’s assume I’m right, that his age pretty much assures us that he’ll be a one term President. Now flash forward four years.

Senator Obama won’t run again. He may want to, but the Democratic Party won’t let him. He had his chance, and now needs to give someone else his, or her turn. The Republicans run former Governor, now 49 year old Vice President Sarah Palin, and the Democrats finally get around to doing what they should have four years earlier. They nominate 65 year old Senator Hillary Clinton.

Clinton v. Palin for President, 2012. How ‘bout that?

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“No way. No how. No kidding.”

“…unfortunately neither Senator Clinton nor Harriet Tubman
is running for President.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In deference to Senator Clinton, her actual words in last night’s rousing speech before the Democratic Convention were, “No way. No how. No McCain.” It may have been good political theater, but unfortunately neither Senator Clinton nor Harriet Tubman is running for President.

Nor will political theater pay anyone’s bills or solve our nation’s many other problems. But I get it. The Democrats are psyching themselves up for the victory they want and anticipate in November. Good for them, and good for the Republicans who are up next.

So why do I feel so uninspired, so disappointed? I’ve thought about it, and the answer is that I’ve had it with form over substance, with the audacity of the presumption that I will be impressed, in any meaningful way, by all this hoopla and rhetoric.

On Thursday, Senator Obama is going to make his acceptance speech at the Denver stadium in front of 76,000+ supporters. His objective is to define his campaign as a bona fide movement, the scope of which transcends what any ordinary convention center can adequately accomodate. The arrogance of it all is unbelievable.

Does Senator Obama really think that hearing the roar and chanting of a stadium full of supporters will make his pitch any more substantive, any more convincing, that it will somehow make him better than his resume? Of course he does. He has to. Like all great magic, the trick is in distracting the audience from what’s really going on. This is the new politics, the “Change You Can Believe In” he’s promised.

As President, will Senator Obama be addressing the nation from The Oval Office, or from FedExFied, the new Redskins stadium? I’m just wondering if any of us can afford the price of season tickets.

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Hillary Doesn’t Approve

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No kidding. Hillary Clinton doesn’t approve of the ad the McCain campaign is running featuring her decidedly negative remarks about Senator Obama made when she was running against him for the nomination. She doesn’t approve, but then she doesn’t retract them either.

Her problem is that she was either purposing overstating Senator Obama’s lack of qualifications to be President, a/k/a “lying,” for those of us who don’t like to mince words, when she made those comments, mistaken, or telling the truth. Pick one.

The first choice strips away her integrity as a candidate and renders her endorsements of Senator Obama and criticisms of Senator McCain less than credible. The second choice suggests incompetence on the part of a very savvy, highly intelligent politician. The third, that she was right, is my personal favorite because it’s factually correct and is consistent with one of the core themes of her campaign, and Senator McCain’s as well.

The fact is, Senator Obama isn’t ready to be President. His resume for that position is all about “Career Objectives,” with pathetically little in the “Experience” section. Everyone knows this, that he’s inexperienced, even his most fervent supporters who believe that what the Senator promises so eloquently, the hope that he sells so effectively transcends the disadvantage of his having never tried and delivered on similar promises in the past.

For those supporting Senator Obama’s candidacy, hope trumps proven judgment and effectiveness. It’s a belief based on the notion that never having done something may actually make you better at doing it if only given the chance. It’s a premise that is occasionally true of newcomers who are not constrained by traditional notions of how things are supposed to be done, but does it work for the person we’re hiring to be President of the United States?

Senator Biden has the same problem with respect to his comments about Senator Obama when he (Biden) was running for President.

Will these people say anything to get themselves elected, or to serve their selfish political interests by supporting a candidate they clearly find deficient? (That was rhetorical.)

It may not be politically correct, but I’d prefer the truth: “Senator Obama is not particularly qualified to be President, but I believe an Obama/Democratic Presidency would be better for the country (and me) than another Republican administration. And here are my reasons why…” Wow, that feels so much better.

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Quote of the Day: The Debate Barack Obama Can’t Handle

Sunday, April 27, 2008

“Of the two Democrats running, turns out it’s the woman who’s the only one with the balls to be President.  After all these primaries, debates, ads, soundbites and episodes of “Hardball,” I’ve finally realized what it is that I like most about Hillary Clinton.”  – wf

Our government needs work.  No question about it, but it’s beginning to look like the change Senator Obama keeps promising serves a more personal objective, to remake the political process into something with which he, personally, feels more comfortable.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the time, nor is the Barack Obama model for government necessarily a good thing.  We need a President who can be effective in the context of our current government, and a general election candidate who can beat John McCain in the war of confrontational politics he and his Republican party are going to wage. 

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Popularity Contest: “Barack Obama for Student Council President”

Saturday, April 5, 2008

“If, on the other hand, we thought of the campaign as if we stockholders hiring someone to be our national CEO, Senator Clinton would win hands down.”

Just when I was beginning to enjoy being an adult, this campaign for President has made me feel like I’m back in high school.  It was a place where people were elected to Student Council based almost exclusively on their popularity, with little regard for capability.  There were no real issues, and the Council had no authority, so it didn’t matter.  Running for President of the United States should be different.

Just because we call it a “popular vote” doesn’t necessarily suggest that we don’t care about the ability of the candidate to actually do something.  I say that knowing full well that our current President was elected based entirely upon his popularity, having not the slightest idea what he was doing.  So how’s that worked out for us?

Barack Obama is popular.  Hillary Clinton is not.  If this were high school, he’d be elected.  If, on the other hand, we thought of the campaign as if we stockholders hiring someone to be our national CEO, Senator Clinton would win hands down.

Last month, the Obama campaign raised a whopping $40 million through hundreds of thousands of individual contributions averaging less than $100.  (The Clinton campaign raised $20 million, which is impressive, but chump change by Obama standards.)  Everybody feels very good about this because it suggests that a President elected without the need for special interest money will be free from its influence.  He or she will still have to deal with those special interests to get anything done, but won’t literally owe them anything.  In the world of compromise that is Washington, I’m not sure it makes any difference, but doing away with large contributions, personal or corporate, was the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the effect of removing large contributions from the process has been to give a substantial advantage to the most popular candidate.  Make no mistake about it.  The fact that Barack Obama can outspend Hillary Clinton 2:1 in the remaining primaries will make a difference in the outcome of those elections.  It’s a difference that has nothing to do with anything more than sheer exposure.  Obama supporters may think they are part of a new age of politics, but they’re buying the election – probably of the wrong candidate – nonetheless.  Electing a President shouldn’t be on a par with letting advertising convince you to use one brand of deodorant over another.

It’s too late for this election, but there are some things we can do over the next four years before we nominate and elect another President to make popularity for popularity’s sake less of a factor.

For one thing, we need a national primary, no more than 30 days prior to the nominating conventions.  Popularity tends to dominate the early stages of any campaign.  It’s natural, like dating.  Superficial attributes are the first thing you notice.  Getting to know someone takes time.  People who voted, and delegates who were elected in the early primaries may have changed their minds by the time the last primaries and conventions are held months later.

Second, do away with caucuses.  Caucuses discourage the participation of voters who prefer, and have every right to a secret ballot, who may not feel comfortable asserting themselves or being exposed to intimidation by more ardent advocates in a public, sometimes rowdy venue, and who simply may not be available during the relatively brief time during which the caucus is held.  I’m sorry to demean the style of many fellow Americans – not that sorry, actually – but caucuses in this day and age are a joke, a poor, not stellar or classic interpretation of democratic process.

And we need to replace all personal or corporate contributions, large or small, direct or through political action committees, with public campaign funding.  Based on some reasonable qualification process, give the serious candidates the money they need to run a campaign sufficient to acquaint the voting public with their programs, experience and personality – but let them allocate those funds as they see fit.

Let’s put the candidates on equal footing in so far as campaign financing is concerned, and leave it to them to win or lose the election based on more substantive issues.  Whatever the source of their money, you don’t want someone buying an election by overwhelming his opponent with media exposure.  As for the miracle of Internet campaign funding, people should be voting with their voices and at the polls, not with their wallets.

We want a popular vote, not a popularity contest.  In politics, it is not true that you get what you pay for.

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Quote of the Day: Chelsea Clinton

Sunday, March 30, 2008

From a campaign rally yesterday in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina:

I didn’t really get how much sexism there was in our country until I was at a rally with my mom in New Hampshire, and someone came up to me and said, “I just can’t see a woman being Command-in-Chief.”

See “Hillary Clinton:  Does anyone really care about electing a woman President?” posted earlier today on WordFeeder.

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Hillary Clinton: Does anyone really care about electing a woman President?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

“Why aren’t more women supporting the Clinton candidacy with something approaching the levels of black support for Senator Obama?”

In the midst of the most recent news about Pastor Jeremiah Wright, his preaching, publications and relationship to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton managed somehow to divert the attention of the media, and the electorate with it, by her confusion over conditions when she visited Bosnia as First Lady.  This had to be a moment of legitimate confusion.  To consider it purposeful misrepresentation, in light of how easily the facts could be checked, is ludicrous.  Not surprisingly, fraudulent campaigning is how the Obama campaign would have us see it, and the way the media tended to report it.

I get the feeling sometimes that many ordinary voters, professional politicians, and pundits are looking for any excuse to find fault with Senator Clinton’s campaign.  Barack Obama has the temerity to defend his 20 year affiliation with the likes of Pastor Wright and walks away, figuratively speaking, unscathed.  If Hillary Clinton so much as burps in public, it’s breaking news.  She’s down two points in the polls.  Her campaign, so she’s told, is a losing cause.  Why not give it up for the good of the Party, and to make Howard Dean happy?  Democratic process is apparently only a good thing if it nominates Senator Obama without the mess of an open convention.

Whether or not he’s in the lead, Senator Obama’s affiliation, by close proximity if nothing else, to the opinions of Pastor Wright, his spiritual advisor until he became too much of a political liability, should have crushed him in the polls.  That he would claim to have been generally unaware of these offensive beliefs during 20 years of attendance is a ridiculous notion that laughs at the gullibility of his supporters, and mocks the lectures he continues to give us on the new politics of Obamism.  And yet the effect of all this on his standing in the polls was minimal, and only temporary.

What’s going on?  Is it Hillary or, heaven forbid, that she’s a woman?

It’s one thing to wonder whether there are men out there who, consciously or subconsciously, might feel uncomfortable having a woman President.  It’s another to ask the same question about American women in general.  My mother, sadly no longer with us, was a big Bill Clinton fan but would have never bought into the notion that his wife – however accomplished in her own right – or any woman should ever be President.  It was an idea that was, at best, on the periphery of her vision, limited as it was by the times of her upbringing.  I’ve got to wonder if there aren’t still remnants of the same mentality in women of my generation and younger.

Barack Obama has gone out of his way to remind us, at every opportunity, that he’s black.  He’s using his race in a way similar to how JFK used his Catholicism in 1960, to shame some voters, and galvanize others into voting for him.  (See my own “Channeling JFK” posted March 14.)  He wants people to vote for him because he’s black – black people because he is of the same color and shared experience, and white people because, to do otherwise, would be evidence of prejudice.

Don’t believe he’s using the issue of race?  Consider Senator Obama’s recent speech about race.  If I may borrow an observation from Professor Walter Williams’ recent column in The Examiner, the question to which the speech was supposed to be responding had nothing to do with race, per se, but with his long term affiliation with Reverend Wright.  (See “Quote of the Day:  “Is Obama ready for America?” posted March 27.)  Instead, what Senator Obama chose to talk about race, race, and more race.  Okay, I get it.  He’s an American of mixed ethnicity who identifies with the black experience while, at the same time understands all things white.  (I’m exhausted by his omniscience.)

So why isn’t Senator Clinton opting for the same strategy based on gender?  She’s also an American of mixed parentage – one man, one woman – who identifies with the female experience.  It’s perfect.  And haven’t women suffered their own struggle for equality?  Women are half the population.  Black Americans, only 13%.  Even considering that black Americans are almost universally Democrats, there are still more white women Democrats.  You’d think there would be no way she could lose.

Why aren’t more women supporting the Clinton candidacy with something approaching the levels of black support for Senator Obama?  Possible explanations include:  They’d love to support a woman, but not Hillary.  They believe it’s more important to nominate the right candidate than a one of their own gender.  The latter would be nice, but they perceive the differences between the two candidates to be too great in Senator Obama’s favor to vote their gender.  They’ve arrived, so to speak, and don’t feel like they have anything, in particular, to gain or prove by electing a woman President.  Or, yikes, a significant number of them are not all that keen on having a woman – any woman, not just Hillary Clinton – in The White House.

Maybe electing a woman President just isn’t that big of a deal after all.

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