1. She never explained why she should be my president, aside from the fact that she was an excellent first lady who lived in the White House for 8 years. I remember a born-again peanut farmer from Georgia who explained why he was running in the aftermath of a national disgrace. We have a similar situation and Hillary could have done the same.
2. She spoke of having 35 years of experience. While her career got off to an amazing start, the last decade has not impressed me. Clinton isn't as pro-active or courageous as some of her colleagues in the Senate. When I think about my favorite senators in office, I list names like Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Sheldon Whitehouse, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Hagel (R), Carl Levin, Daniel Inouye, Chris Dodd, and Bob Menendez. Hillary is not one of them. To paraphrase David Mamet, she's white bread.
We have to keep in mind that it is a mix of legal and political experience. She is not saying that she has been preparing to be President for 35 years. In fact, I think the idea of becoming president only occurred to her in 1999 when her husband was impeached. (Barack probably decided to run after Gore conceded in 2000. He had to hope that Kerry would lose so he would get his chance.)
Senator Clinton's career is nothing to scoff at. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. During her time as a doctorate student, she volunteered at a hospital, worked on child abuse cases, advocated for migrant workers, and became involved in a new 'child rights' movement which gave children more power in the courtroom to fight for what's theirs. She even declined Bill Clinton's first marriage proposal. She was liberal, ambitious, and had characteristics I greatly admire. She was the breadwinner in the family from 1977-1992, earning and investing more than Bill did. She was the leader in that family, which might explain her impulse to defend Bill and restore her family name through her own election to the Presidency. All well and good. Her US Senate seat was supposed to springboard her into the white house. But her conservative track record in the Senate has done nothing to impress me. Yes, I think it would be good for the Clinton family to get a shot back at the Bushes. I can root for a little revenge. But do the Clinton's need this victory? Do they need to hit back, Corleone style? Why should I root for a family that went into the White House slightly more affluent than me, and came out as millionaires and heroes?
3. Most important is Senator Clinton's refusal to admit that she made a mistake by voting AYE on Joint Resolution 114, the authorization to invade Iraq. All she has to do is admit she made a mistake, and she has my vote. Really. That's all she has to do. I want a woman in the White House in my lifetime. Hillary is not perfect, but she's a fine choice for that historic role. What a shame she won't admit her mistake.
21 Democratic senators, including the late Paul Wellstone, voted against the Iraq use-of-force resolution. Every Democratic senator I list above as my favorites voted against it, except those who weren't in office at the time (Menendez and Whitehouse). Hillary could have stood with them. She refused. What leadership is that? Would JFK call that a profile in courage? I think not.
Now I know the most Clinton or Obama can ever give me is two or three moderate Supreme Court justices. But I think Clinton gives me an extra special nothing on the side.
As for Obama...I didn't ask or even want him to run. I didn't ask for a movie star smile. I didn't ask for a deep, strong voice. I didn't ask for an athletic, black president of a white, overweight country. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it would make me happy to see Obama take the helm. And after all, if only selfish people run for that office, I want a selfish reason to see them win. I haven't felt good about my country since......since.....President Clinton was acquitted by the Seante? Wow. That was February 12th, 1999. I remembered what Alexander Hamilton said 200 years ago. He said, "Here, Sir, the People govern." On that day, the People won.
What might an Obama victory do? It might make me feel good about the USA for 50 days. So this is what we've come to - incredibly low expectations for our country. I have many other reasons to smile in my life. Life is good! But when it comes to my country, this has been a most depressed decade. We've been losing, people. Losing a lot.
What would Lincoln say? Where's the freedom in a culture now dominated by fear (and celebrity news)?
Sure, I know, I shouldn't think this way. This is irrational. I should shut-up and order that chicken caesar salad and vodka drink with a twist. But I don't want a caesar salad. I don't want another vodka drink right now. I want to try a rye. I want a president with a Muslim name just to make the wingnuts shit themselves for four years (can you imagine what Ann and Pam would do? Kill themselves, I hope). I want to see Barack Hussein Obama be the president to bag Osama bin Laden. It could happen. I want Obama to be the political equivalent of my Red Sox. I want to see him win. Why not him? Why the hell not?
Hillary didn't explain why she should be president. Neither did Obama. But since life is unfair, one of them had to lose my vote. They both have huge egos. They are both insane to want this job. They both refuse to reverse any of the serious changes Bush brought to this country (Homeland Security, the imprisonment of Lindh and Padilla, The Patriot Act, the spread of torture and domestic spying). But Hillary's vote for Joint Res 114 was the tie-breaker. Game over. We have a winner, who won by screwing-up less.