Friday, May 09, 2008

Say It Ain't So Hillary

Hillary Clinton makes it awfully hard to support her campaign when she makes statements like this:

Now, in her defense, she's merely quoting what an AP report found. But why couldn't she just have said, "The AP says that I'm more popular with working class Americans." Why'd she have to say "white Americans"? Why'd she have to go into demographic detail at all?

By making the argument that she's more popular with white people (uneducated white people, for that matter), Hillary basically goes against dozens of years of Democratic Party logic, which strives to encompass minority groups in securing a victory against the largely racist, xenophobic and homophobic Republican party. Now she's saying... "Screw Obama's support from minorities-- I've got the whites! And we all know they're the real ones that matter."

That may not have been the message Hillary was aiming to send. But that's what people heard. And as a white man, I'm disgusted. I don't think any leader of any political party should think in terms of racial lines. And I certainly don't think any candidate should tout their overwhelming support from uneducated white people. A President of this nation should represent all people equally, no matter their skin color. Instead of proudly proclaiming how popular she was with the redneck set, Hillary should have simply stuck to touting her popularity in large states, and battleground states like Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania, which could be key to this year's elections. That's her strongest argument, I believe.

Just listen to how she stumbles over the word "white," twice. She's clearly not comfortable even saying it. I chalk this up to a horrible advisor, giving her some really bad direction. That troubles me, because Hillary is smart enough to not go for that.

I've been pro-Hillary, but as the media makes out her campaign to be more and more desperate (even though the delegate split is tiny), she seems to be coming a bit unravelled. And it's unfortunate, because we shouldn't choose our Presidential candidate based on the campaign missteps or flubbed lines. It should be about who has the best ideas, and the best track record of implementing, or attempting to implement those ideas. Obama has yet to thrill me with any ideas of substance. And name me one thing he's actually done during his time in the senate, other than campaigning for President?

But at least he hasn't offended me, like Hillary has now.

Another big argument going for her was that she's been in the White House before. And not just as some Laura Bush-style walking-talking-photo-op. She has experience "under fire." Not sniper fire, as she erroneously claimed, but fire from Republicans. She's withstood it well. The Whitewater scandal washed out. Her health care plan was destroyed, but she remained dedicated to finding a solution. She's actually attempted to do things, even when a Republican legislature made those things impossible.

Obama? Well, he likes the word "change" as much as Bush likes the words "hard work." I'm not a fan of words. I'm a fan of actions.

But, as I said, Hillary keeps making it harder to defend her. By scrapping for every vote, she's compromised some of her ideals, making more and more statements that appeal to the segment of the populace that hasn't already decided for Obama. And this just makes her even less attractive to the typical Obama voter, who still actually believes there are politicians that can turn America into a Utopian candyland, full of bunnies and sunshine. Obama, luckily for him, has not had to make such concessions.


When the election versus McCain comes, and he finds himself trailing in the polls, desperate for some of that Hillary-segment of the Democratic party, he will undoubtedly have to make some of the same, pandering statements as she did.

When you're in front, you can be everyone's messiah. But I fear, when the general election comes, Obama's youthful idealism will not be enough to take the election from the battle-tested McCain and the Republican fear-mongering machine.

I believe Hillary can. She has before.

And I, for one, cannot withstand another 4-8 years of Republican rule.

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