Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've been putting it off as long as possible, but I've finally come to the point where I can no longer skirt the issue. The big H word. Hillary.

Remember back when she was on the Senate floor, and her critics (of which there are so many) asked how she could dare to wear an ensemble that revealed her cleavage? Even The Washington Post's venerable fashion critic Robin Givhan took the bait and wrote a feature on the cataclysmic event entitled "Hillary Clinton's Tentative Dip Into New Neckline Territory."

Forget that Hill was talking about the burdensome costs of higher education. Forget all the other issues because whatever Hillary accomplishes in her political career, she'll go down in history as only one thing: the most divisive woman in American politics.

Every night when I watch the news, especially if its a primary election night, I'm always stumped by the the thinly veiled animus directed at her, and this coming from journalists who are supposed to be unbiased (or at least, that's how I thought journalists were supposed to be.) Tim Russert & Keith Oberman so clearly dislike the woman, I'm surprised they don't just whip out their Obama pins on air and wear them proudly on their pinstriped suits.

Remember that week when she was criticized for laughing too much? Too many times, too loudly, too easily. And now, in the latest headlines, she's being charged with damaging the Democratic party by continuing on in the race. This ultimately, it seems to me, sets her up as a scapegoat for the Democratic party's possible defeat again McCain, who is probably one of the most center right Republicans the GOP has ever put on its ticket.

But that's because the Grand Ole Party if anything, is a tightly oiled political machine. Even they know that in these precarious times, we I dare borrow the word?...change. So, they've finally backed someone they would have never let past the starting gates, a man who's been booed on the Senate floor by his own party mates, a man who has reached across the divide and fostered inter-party politics. The only Republican capable of defeating the Democrats.

I wish the race was just about the issues. But it never is, is it? Especially when we have 3 candidates who are so similar on paper, with the exception of the war in Iraq (and I concede, that is a big exception).

If you've ever discussed politics with friends, you know that it's no use trying to convince someone over from the dark side. I think voting is often dictated by the personal. Often times, it's not about the issues, it's about who you like personally, which candidate strikes a chord.

But I guess that's what scares me most. The last president this country elected was known best for his laid back ranchero friendliness, and look where we are now.The world is a decidely different place today. I do think we need new leadership. So I hope that person who eventually does lead us will be someone chosen based on their abilities to run this country, not based on whether we'd like to go grab a beer with them.

1 comment:

Admiral said...

Oh, snooze. The guy who we'd rather grab a beer with may not be a good President, but he's not as bad as the alternatives. During his presidency, millions have been saved in Africa due to his massive increase of aid to the continent (far and away more than Clinton ever did; even Obama admits this), put tax cuts in place that gave people a lot more money to invest and spend (as opposed to wasteful bureaucracy; the economy was so good for so long during his presidency in part because of them, not despite them; the deficit is quickly going down as well), and ... uh ... well, that's about it. I guess he did appoint two outstanding Supreme Court justices...

That leaves just about everything else botched and botched badly. Nevertheless, there was significant promise to the Presidency until 9/11 -- and I am not sure any President could have avoided the lure to solve the problems that caused it.

Okay so I've whined over nothing since we agree: competence in an administration would be a welcome, welcome change.