The best sound bite to come out of the Democratic debate the other night, was Joe Biden’s comment about how Rudy G. has only one thing to say—a noun, a verb, and 9/11.
Naturally, I’d like a champion to represent me in the White House, and in the race for same, someone who will articulate and represent my own ideas and ideals, and fight to see them realized.
But there ain’t no one out there and never has been who personifies everything I believe in, just aspects of that. So, as I have grown more mature, I accept the imperfections of candidates and look to the one who I most agree with and who most looks like they can get the job done.
I think a lot of other, especially older, folks feel the same way, after seeing Nadar idealists cost Gore the electoral-college-proof victory that should have been his against what we ended up with, or Humphrey lose to Nixon and another catastrophic (for the world not just us) administration.
So the ganging up on Hillary seemed ill-advised and self-defeating. Statements like Biden’s is what those of us who would like to insure that a Republican doesn’t take the White House in 2008 would like to see more of.
Democratic debates that take accurate, succinct, and damaging aim at the Republican frontrunners would work to keep the chances of a Democrat getting into office in ’08 alive. Ganging up on the Democratic frontrunner at this stage of the game, to my mind, just supplies more ammunition (as if they needed it) to the Republicans, and diminishes the stature of all the Democratic frontrunners.
Hillary’s straddling of controversial issues or flexing of her national security bona fides to convince independents and even right-wingers that she isn’t the devil may be misguided (the hypocrisy the latter display in demonizing her is so typical of the right, turning her into the embodiment of everything they fear and despise when she is actually a lot of the things they claim to hold dear, a dedicated and practicing Christian who supports her husband no matter what and stays in one marriage and works hard to make it work etc.).
And it might not be what I want her, or any other candidate representing my interests and beliefs, to be doing, but neither is Obama’s professorial, rambling wordiness (when he appeared in my hometown recently, observers said he sounded like John Kerry, explaining way too much and with only sporadic fire or personality injected into his explanations), or Edwards’ self-righteous sounding proclamations that he’s the only one for real change, etc.
Hillary’s proven she can work with others in the Senate to get things done, even if she has partly achieved that by supporting bills I believe she should have opposed (like the recent one on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard being “terrorists”—though they well might be supporting various violent groups). And she’s certainly as smart, or smarter, than the rest of the boys. And I believe she wants a lot of the same things I want, in terms of health care, the environment, and human rights etc.
She may be a little too beholden to corporations, but on the other hand, her and Bill’s success at turning their experiences into million dollar book deals and other financial gains might make it possible for her as president to not depend on corporate sponsorship. Though if that were the case, why isn’t she more aggressive in the Senate at curtailing the ridiculous tax exemptions and legal exemptions corporations have managed to get even more of from this administration, with the support of the Congress.
The reality I’m concerned with is who can win. And if, as some Democrats and others believe, Hillary is too “polarizing” to win, than why isn’t Obama too wordy to win, or Edwards’ too self-righteous, or Kucenich (sp.?) too marginalized and eccentric to win, etc.
Every Democrat should be taking every opportunity to call out every devious illegal unethical bullying dishonest unconstitutional clandestine self-serving democracy-destroying word and deed this administration and its Senate and Congressional lackeys have carried out over the past seven years.
And if Hillary is ahead in the polls and winning more people to her, they should be happy about that, and do all they can to make it clear why they might be the better choice on the merits, not on—as she correctly pointed out to Tim Russert (how does he get to be the inquisitor of Democratic “liberals” and “progressives” when his record shows an obvious bias against them, and when he’s not even a journalist or impartial observer?!)—on the political game of “gotcha.”
She ain’t perfect, I agree. But she’s closer to what I’m looking for than any Republican running for their nomination. (I’m sure you’ve read that Rudy’s advisor, famous neo-con theorist Norman Podhoretz, is calling for immediate military action against Iran, etc. ad nauseum.)
I know a lot of my friends support Obama or Edwards over Hillary, but take a good look at how they’ve run their campaigns so far—not well. That has to say something about how they would run their administrations, in the face of the constant right-wing Republican attacks and sabotage that they will inevitably face.
The great thing about Bill, was that he could play hardball with those guys and beat them at their own game. He wasn’t perfect either, and I‘m not talking about his personal life, but he and Hillary are seasoned in the struggles against “the vast rightwing conspiracy” that is and has been a reality for many decades, and have confronted and defeated it in various skirmishes and battles along the way, which is more than Edwards or Obama have done (if only the latter had lived up to the promise of his awe-inspiring convention speech, instead of constantly trying to prove his experience and gravitas by seemingly endlessly “holding forth” monotonously on the details of his policy perspectives).
I believe Hillary is best suited to accomplishing more of the things I am fighting for than the other guys, until they show me differently. In the meantime, I think they should lay off her, rekindle the fire in their opposition to the right-wing Republicans and what that group has stood for and done, and find ways to express their beliefs as succinctly and smartly as Biden has done on occasion (on too many other occasions unfortunately he has put his foot in his mouth).
Many of the other Democratic candidates may more perfectly reflect my ideals and goals, but they don’t articulate them under fire any better than Hillary does hers, and often come off seeming less on top of their game than she does. (Though there were obvious missteps on her part in the debate the other night, she still held her own and often seemed smarter and more clear about her ideals and ideas for achieving them than her opponents did.)
Well, as they say, “more will be revealed.”