Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Question Answered 

The following is the text of an email I sent in response to a long-time reader, regarding my comments on Hillary Clinton. Normally, I wouldn't do this -- but after re-reading what I sent to him, I felt that it was valuable to share in order to explain my comments and my position on the possibility of a Hillary '08 candidacy...

And... Hillary/Kucinich would be nice, but Hillary/Edwards would also be nice. Although if she wants to assassination-proof herself, her running mate should be Ted Kennedy. Or Jane Fonda.

Text of the email, slightly redacted, follows...

Well, first -- a statistic. If you're under 45, then you have never voted in a Presidential election that did not have a Bush or a Clinton on the ballot. 1980 and 1984, Reagan/Bush. 1988, Bush. 1992/1996, Clinton. 2000/2004, Bush II. And a Bush or Clinton has been in office, continuously, for the last 26 years.

I'm reminded of the outcry when FDR was re-elected for a third and fourth time. When he was up for his third term, an anti-FDR campaign slogan read, "Washington Wouldn't, Lincoln Couldn't, Roosevelt Shouldn't." [INSERT NOTE: Ultimately, FDR was President for about 13 years and a month or two -- half the time a Bush or Clinton has been either Prez or VP; or, six years shy of the time a Bush or Clinton has been President.]

Which is my long-hand way of saying that I would really prefer anyone other than Hillary in office in 2009. And anyone other than a Bush. In my ideal universe, we'd wind up with a Kucinich/(neither D nor R) ticket winning it all in November '08. Not that I don't like Hillary, and it's really kind of funny to watch the bitching about her "blowing in the wind." Unlike W., she's a person who listens to what the electorate wants, then moves her position toward popular opinion. Hey, once upon a time, that was called "a populist". Remember -- elected officials are our employees. They should do what we want, not what they want. And I'd much rather have a politician who listens to the people than one who arrogantly seals himself up in his castle and declares, stamping his little foot, "I'm the decider!!!"

Barack Obama would be my first choice out of the mainstream, but he's got a couple of strikes against him. First, I think that the country as a whole would rather elect a woman, a Jew or an openly gay candidate to the Presidency before they'd elect an African-American. (The reactionary "24" demographic and that show's black president notwithstanding.) I also think that that's pretty sad, but it's probably a political truth. Second strike, and a sad comment on the state of discourse in this country: his last name is way too close to "Osama", and that's the kind of thing the wingnuts will hit the inbred NASCAR set over the head with. You know -- the same people who still hate France because they're clueless knee-jerk morans. [INSERT NOTE: the haters, not the French] All it will take is Rush making his weekly "Barack Osama said..." joke, and those dickwits will eat it up.

All that said, I think that election 2008 is going to be one of the most important Presidential elections this country has ever seen. '06 will already find its place in the history books as the moment when the people at large told the current Administration to go piss up a rope. '08 will determine whether the People focused on their collective will. And, granted, it's a long time between then and now. I'm thinking back to the election of '76 -- in which a guy no one had ever heard of came out of the pack to win the office. That'd be Jimmy Carter.

And there's an outside chance that an outsider will suddenly appear, as all of the early front-runners destroy each other with rumor, gossip, innuendo and truth. But, if that doesn't happen, and if Hillary gets the nomination, you can bet your ass I'll support her and hope she wins.

First off -- any D, no matter how far to the center they are, is going to send a huge message to the world and to all the R's. Second, Hillary would have the most capable First... uh... Man? Dude? Gentleman? in the history of the office.

It's the closet we can come to sliding around the 22nd Amendment and putting Bill Clinton back in office. And the more I look at his two terms as President, the more I realize that he was the FDR of my generation. The man who could have saved America, if only he'd gotten into Federal politics eight years later.

So that's it in a nutshell. Hillary would not be my first choice. But if she gets nominated, she'll be my only choice.

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