Saturday, January 20, 2007

Yawn: Hillary's Running

Hillary Clinton made it official today and joined the fray. Click here to listen to Clinton’s official announcement from her website and here to read the actual text.

Frankly, reading and listening to Hillary’s announcement is like drinking soda without carbonation. It's focus grouped for the political fifty-yard line. Just like Al Gore in 2000, Hillary will campaign from weakness. Too fearful to offend the “middle class” or appear weak on national security will result in a mealy mouthed posture. Strength stems from authenticity but does Clinton even know who she really is anymore?

Clinton is very closed and insular and listens to a tight circle of advisors like Bush. As we’ve seen, such an insular governing style is dangerous. Her husband was far more open, hungry even for a diversity of information as president. Hopefully, he will serve as an information conduit for her as Eleanor Roosevelt did for FDR. My suspicion however is Hillary would be obsessed with leaks as president and drown inside her bubble. Also, she has the imagination of a grapefruit.

Edwards interests me because on domestic issues he’s offering specifics about valuing “work over wealth” whereas Hillary’s a corporatist. I remain troubled about Edwards’ record on Iraq and therefore I’m not quite sold on him yet. Obama to this point is a platitude machine but his candidacy does intrigue me. How will he handle the fishbowl? Is there more to him than “something new”? I’m curious to find out.

An Al Gore candidacy would intrigue me because he’s grown as a person since 2000. I suspect he would campaign on candor instead of being afraid to lose. I'd sign up for his campaign in a heartbeat. Alas, it doesn’t appear he will run.

I used to believe Hillary was authentic with a core but unlike Gore, the former first lady has regressed. I hoped Hillary would emerge as a Robert Kennedy sort of figure in the senate but she has not put her prestige on the line for the working poor or the cause of peace.

Hillary is so afraid of appearing weak that she appears weak. Her pandering on an amendment for flag burning last year has me wondering what else she would surrender to project an image of values and toughness. We don’t need that sort of weakness undermining the progressive cause. Hillary has proven she can take a punch. She also deserves credit for providing effective constituent service as a senator. As a senator, Hillary has been a workhorse more than a show-horse unlike Obama or Edwards when he served. As a New Yorker I respect that.

But her original support of the Iraq war was a callous and cowardly act of political expediency. Her tepid “if I knew now what I knew then” explanation regarding Iraq is neither believable nor acceptable. War and peace requires a different standard of leadership. Not calculating cynicism resulting in needless bloodshed.

I don’t underestimate Hillary. She’s disciplined, smart and tough. And I'd love to support a woman for the White House. We could certainly do worse and this country has. But her candidacy for president does not inspire me and I expect to support somebody else.
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ADDENDUM
: Click here to review the comments from my crossposting of the above topic on Daily Kos. Special thanks to The Nation magazine for linking today's post under "Newsfeeds." Hopefully it will stay there for awhile. Also, a special thanks to Blue Gal for including a link to this post in the blog roundup for Crooks and Liars. If you look under my left side bar you will find a link under "Intrepid Voices" to Blue Gal's terrific blog. I love her style. Her recent post entitled "Death Of A President" is a must read.

2 comments:

Oregonian said...

If the Democrats do nominate Hillary in 2008, they can kiss any chance for the Oval Office goodbye. I've been to many a local caucus or Democratic town meeting in recent years, and the frustration with and dislike against Hillary is intense among the core of the party.

She sold us out on Iraq, but rather than revisit that disastrous decision on the resolution-- as Edwards has humbly and inspiringly done-- she has continued to support this disastrous Iraq War in the intervening years, when her voice could have been one of the few to help us try to disentangle ourselves from the thicket of this disaster. Hillary's still pro-war with Iran, in fact it's Hillary's shilling for the pro-war types that is aiding in our disastrous march to war against Iran today.

Plus Hillary is far too cozy with the corporate types in the US today, so much so that she has consistently been on board with the anti-worker DLC stupidity that's causing so much misery for Americans across all income strata. Yes, a Hillary Clinton nomination in 2008 would indeed be a tremendous boost-- to 3rd Party candidates.

upinVermont said...

I was going to write something...

Between you and the Oregonian, there's not much wind left. I would only add that if anybody thinks Hillary can win, will they PLEASE... PLEASE... PLEASE... bet their life savings against me? I will gracefully accept any currency or denomination.

Small Print:

Do please describe your house and car, square feet, model, make, etc... I need to know what color drapes to buy and how much insurance will cost for the car.

Thanks.