Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Problem With Hillary



The problem with Hillary is that she seems to think she's smarter than the rest of us. The next time you hear her speaking at a political rally, listen to her closely, then ask yourself, does she sound like a person who's speaking to political allies, or more like a schoolmarm talking down to children and instructing them in the inherent value of being obedient and listening to the wisdom of their elders. She seems to have absolutely no respect for the intelligence of the American people. She comes off as though she views the American voter as an unfortunate nuisance to be manipulated to reach her goal. For example, when she was quoted as saying, "He's [John McCain's] never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002." That statement was clearly calculated to leave the impression in the voters' feeble little minds that while John McCain has never been president, she has. And to hear the dismissive tone that she takes towards Barack Obama, one would never know that while Obama was both the president of the Harvard Law Review and a professor of Constitutional law, she failed the bar exam.

The one good thing about this extended primary season, however, is that it gives us the opportunity to see past the candidates' political veneer--we're afforded the opportunity to see how the candidates actually handle crisis and frustration. It also allows us to see their decision making capabilities, and it gives us a snapshot of the kind of personal character that they'll bring to the White House--and recent history demonstrates just how important it is that we avail ourselves of that opportunity. If we'd done so with Bush we could have saved close to a million lives, billions of dollars, and an immeasurable amount of heartache. Thus, anyone who is truly curious about what a Hillary Clinton presidency would bring--and that should include all of us--should tune out all of the promises, all of the "day one" nonsense, and simply open their eyes, because Hillary is on display as we speak.

We've already seen one example of Hillary's character--or, lack thereof--in her willingness to endorse the Republican candidate over her fellow Democrat. Now we're getting another look with her recent statement that by not allowing a second vote, or finding a way to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates we're being "un-American." I have one question in that regard--if not seating the delegates is indeed un-American, wasn't it just as un-American when she agreed to it before she needed them to try to catch Obama? It seems that her desperate need to promote her agenda is rendering her oblivious to her raging hypocrisy.

If the foregoing isn't sufficient to raise a red flag about Hillary, we're being given yet another opportunity to observe her character as it applies to her feminist credentials. Hillary has represented herself as a strong and independent woman throughout her entire career. Much of her support comes from feminists who think they're supporting one of their own. Yet, now, just as she turned on the Democrats to accommodate her ambition, she seems also willing to turn her back on her feminine independence--the very foundation of the feminist creed--to embrace her husband's resume as her own. She's actually trying to convince America that she served as co-president with her husband during what she would have us believe was a Billary administration. If her claim was true, there'd be no problem, but she wants us to simply take her at her word, without any evidence to substantiate her contention. She claims to be an expert in foreign affairs, for example. Ok, then she should be prepared to tell us what foreign initiatives she's fostered? What foreign leaders has she been in negotiations with, and what was the outcome? If I know Hillary--and I'm beginning to know her better every day--if she had any evidence whatsoever of foreign affairs experience, or anything else to show she was more qualified than Obama, it would have long since been brought to the forward. So we must assume that her honesty is suspect. In addition, since she's being so slow to reveal her tax return, she's probably being less than candid about the Clinton family's financial dealings as well. .

Now let us turn to competence. I would love to grant that Hillary is at least as competent as George Bush, but the only evidence that we have to measure that is the way she's run her campaign--and in that regard, she seems to be making some the very same mistakes that Bush made in Iraq. Just like Bush in his Iraqi campaign, Hillary assumed that this primary season was going to be a walk in the park. She thought she'd have the nomination rapped up by Super Tuesday, so again, just like Bush, she had no plan B. As a result, in spite of the fact that she raised more money than any other presidential candidate in history, other than Barack Obama, she ended up with budgetary problems that led to her having to loan her campaign money out of her own pocket.

And beyond that, she's also shown us that she tends to get flustered under fire. When Obama began to take over the lead, she didn't know whether to cry, get angry, embrace her opponent ("I'm so honored to be here with Barack Obama"), or go on the attack ("Shame on you, Barack Obama "), so she ended up doing all three, making herself look ridiculously indecisive. She's also demonstrated that her pledged commitments tend to be rather shallow. While she claimed a commitment to moving away from old-style politics, when she came under pressure her first instinct was to reverted right back to the old slash and burn tactics that she learned from Carl Rove and the Republicans.

So while Hillary is telling us that she has what it takes to be president on day one, what we see is a Democratic candidate who claims to want to protect the American people from having to live through another Republican administration, yet now that she's hopelessly behind in the delegate count, she lacks the integrity to stand by an agreement made by all of the candidates prior to the primaries. We also see a candidate that is so desperate to protect the American people from the Republican Party that she's slinging mud all over the Democratic effort, and also endorsed the Republican nominee over her Democratic opponent. In addition, we see a candidate who has built her entire career on the proposition that she's a strong, independent woman, yet now, seems all too willing to throw the principles that's guided her throughout her life out the window to use her husband's resume to reach her goals. And finally, we see a candidate who claims she's uniquely prepared to be president, yet used such poor judgement, and mis-managed her finances so badly, that it caused a budgetary crisis within her campaign.

The American people need to ask themselves three questions: First, in light of what we've already gone through with George Bush, is this the kind of character that we can depend on to repair our country? Secondly, since their only criticism of Obama is the claim that he's young and inexperienced, how is it that he's handling both Bill and Hillary with such ease? And finally, why is it that it's the two "seasoned politicians" who's finding it necessary to play dirty politics? America needs to give these questions some thought.

Eric L. Wattree


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