It's Her Record, Stupid!
In Friday's Washington Post, Democratic Party strategist James Carville tried to make the case - in an article written with Mark J. Penn - that Hillary Rodham Clinton would make a good candidate for the nomination for president in 2008.
I don't see much in her record to support the Carville-Penn assertion that Hillary is a leader - and that alone should disqualify her as the 2008 presidential candidate. The country needs a proven leader, and no one on either side of the major political party aisle currently strikes me as fitting the bill. We can all agree that Hillary is a tough cookie, and that she can stand up to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, but those attributes, while important, aren't enough by themselves to generate support for her candidacy.
But there are other issues which make her political viability weaker still. For instance, Should we overlook the fact that, with imperious Rupert Murdoch raising campaign funds for her, that she also stands up WITH the VR-WC?
There are other reasons not to support Hillary that Carville and Penn don't even cover: her votes in support of several major Bu$hCo initiatives, such as the bankruptcy 'reform' bill; her lack of leadership in leading the opposition in those few instances when she hasn't supported Bu$hCo; her pending issue positions, which will have noticeably changed from the time of her announcement of her position on an issue to the time her vote is recorded.
This should be a major issue with the voters Carville and Penn are attempting to reach with this love sonnet for Hillary: women, but the reach falls short. Reliability and trustworthiness are major issues with female voters, and was the basis for female support of Bush over Gore in 2000, and Bush over Kerry in 2004. As Carville and Penn point out in their article:
Fifty-four percent of voters are female. George Bush increased his vote with only two groups between 2000 and 2004: women and Hispanics. Bush got 49 percent of white female voters in 2000 and 55 percent in 2004. Of his 3.5-percentage-point margin over John Kerry, Bush's increase with women accounted for 2.5 percentage points.
Carville and Penn think that they have the convincing argument for women to switch their support to Hillary from the GOP, and put it like this:
We think her 35 years of advocacy for children and families and her tenacious work in the Senate to help ensure our security after Sept. 11 and to help middle-class families will serve her well. We think she represents the kind of change the country is yearning for: a smart, strong leader. She would take the country in a fundamentally different direction: closing deficits, not widening them; expanding health care coverage, not shrinking it. Fighting terrorism without isolating us from the rest of the world.
Let's take 9-11 and our national 'security' out of the equation. Hillary has only been a Bu$hCo rubber stamp on those issues. Some leader!
What else does Hillary have to offer? 35 years of advocacy for children and families? Then why are more children living in poverty today than when George W. Bush stole power?
Nationwide, the Kids Count survey found that there were more than 13 million American children living in poverty in 2004, an increase of nearly a million since 2000, the baseline year for data.
In addition, infant mortality is rising. Where's Hillary's 'advocacy'?
who made it harder for her to provide security for her family?
As for wanting to expand health care coverage, Hillary's 1993 health care proposals alone almost sank the Democrats! That fiasco was a clear example of her lack of leadership skills, and had to have been a factor in the GOP landslide of 1994. No one has had any faith since that the healthcare situation can be improved - especially by Hillary. What would she do with issues that are even tougher to deal with? Some leader!
Address these issues, Mr. Carville, and we may have something to discuss. Otherwise, Hillary should accept the fact that her role in 2008 is that of support for the eventual candidate. She already has a place in American history as the first First Lady to win elective office after leaving the White House, and that may have to be enough - even for her.
Oh - say hi for me to your Republican strategist wife.
Copyrighted [©] source material contained in this article is presented under the provisions of Fair Use.
FAIR USE NOTICE
This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my efforts to advance understanding of democracy, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.