Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yes, I Voted For Hillary -- No, I Don't Regret It But ...

(A bit of a rant while waiting for the 3 a.m. phone call.)

While you might not like the way the Clintons campaign (and you may be right) and you might be horrified by the way they might govern in the 21st century (and you may be right), the reason Hillary is still upright and standing is not because of some supposed rhymes-with-witches' brew.

It is because she was and is the only candidate -- including Edwards (self-serving parting comments notwithstanding), including Kucinich (I'm in this for the free meals and to show off my young wife) -- who even pretends to know or care about the half of the country that does not have the leisure time to sit around and chit-chat on blogs all day.


Obama's empathy is completely intellectual, and not at all emotional.

I don't expect Obama to go back up to a diner in New Hampshire and start crying anytime soon.

However, if Obama wants to get rid of Hillary, and stay on the high road that he needs to stay on, Obama needs to talk a little more about what he learned about the community when he was a community organizer (which would be an appeal to poorer people), and a little less about what he learned about the organizing (which is an appeal to elites).


I think it is completely fair for Hillary to throw the kitchen sink at Obama. I think the notion that Hillary is thinking up things to say about Obama that McCain hasn't already thought of is nonsense. The Senator is a bright and ruthless man. His staff is brighter still (although none of them have Senator McCain's personal flair for giving you a knee in the balls during choir practice, and then complaining to the congregation that you're suddenly singing off-key)

The converse is also true. It is completely fair for Obama to say those things about Hillary that McCain will say.

There are thought to be two exceptions to that rule --

1. McCain will assume that everything the Clintons say is a lie. Democratic voters won't buy that because we all think that the Clintons were set up in the 1990s, and

[RANT WITHIN RANT -- McCain may have a problem making that argument to "undecided" voters in the general election as well. McCain spent 8 years blindly supporting George Bush and Dick Cheney off any and every cliff. You can't do that and say you really care about integrity and honesty in government -- or any other human virtue for that matter. For every Marc Rich, there is a Lewis Libby. For every Lincoln Bedroom and Vincent Foster, there is a Blackwater, a KBR, a Halliburton, a Carlyle Group, a Dick Cheney hunting expedition. President Bush has already conceded (i) that he is taking donations for his Presidential library from non-Americans and (ii) he does not expect to disclose any of their names.]

2. McCain will say that Hillary's experience in the White House does not make her qualified to be commander-in-chief, or much of anything else for that matter. After all, you wouldn't let your brain surgeon's spouse perform the operation.

There is a consensus that Obama can not make that argument to Democrats. In fact, in the last debate, Obama expressly conceded Hillary's right to say she was part of Bill's administration. In Oprah's world, the couple does everything together all the time.

I think Obama has to reconsider that concession. In the real world, we vote for a President, and not for the royal family. George W- never made any claims that he was part of his father's Administration, although in fact, he was as much of a witness (and as little a participant) to that administration as Hillary was to her husband's administration.

Hillary is completely unqualified to be Commander-In-Chief. And McCain and Obama are similarly unqualified.

In fact the only people "qualified" to be Commander-In-Chief at the moment are the people who have already had the job.

If we need someone with 3 a.m. experience as badly as Hillary says we do, maybe Jimmy Carter or Bush 41 would like to take another crack at winning a second term.


Again and again, we get to the heart of the Obama problem. The same issues that Al Gore faced --

y -- Does he want to be President badly enough?

z -- If he doesn't want to roll around in the mud with the Clintons and the McCains of the world, what is his compensating strategy?

Doesn't 55 million buy anything anymore?

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