Hillary Clinton has done a lot of talk about the value of experience, and her selfless dedication to America during these primaries. But it’s just that—talk, and many of her supporters are beginning to see it. She’s trying to be all things to all people. In order to prove her executive experience, she all but claims to have been co-president with her husband. Then to prove that she’s tough enough to handle the job, she claimed she had to corkscrew into a war zone while dodging sniper fire, because it was too dangerous to send Bill. And earlier on, when she began to fear that Obama might just win the nomination, and critics said she was too hardcore, she went before a gathering of women in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, valiantly fighting back tears, and with a softly cracking voice, she said the following:
“It’s not easy . . . it’s not easy. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t passionately believe it was the right thing to do. This is very personal for me. I have so many ideas for this country, and I just don’t want to see us fall backwards. It’s about our country, it’s about our kids. We do it—each one of us—because we care about our country. But some of us are right, and some of us are wrong; some of us are ready, and some of us are not. Some of us know what we’ll do on day one, and some of us don’t.”
It was a stellar, and now familiar performance (she’s used the same wistful persona on several occasions since, but without the tears), and it went a long way towards helping her to win New Hampshire, and rightly so—that kind of talent shouldn’t go unrewarded. In spite of the fact that she was ostensively choked with “emotion”, her talking point was right on que (“Some of us know what we’ll do on day one, and some of us don’t”).
Thus, one would think that someone as passionate about America as Hillary would fully understand and appreciated the integrity of a man like Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico. Instead of simply taking the easy way out and caving in to cronyism, the governor, one of the most experienced politicians in America today, looked back over his vast experience and came to the conclusion that he had to support Senator Barack Obama over the wife of his long-time friend and former boss. But instead of having the class to say I’m sorry I didn’t earn your support, and I understand how you must have agonized over your decision, Clinton surrogate, James Carville, labeled Gov. Richardson “Judas.” Now I ask you—is this world-class, presidential politics, or kids throwing sand in a nursery school?
That incident alone shows why America should take Hillary’s contention that she’s running to protect our children, and in the best interest of the country with a box of salt. First, the statement is both highly presumptuous and condescending—what makes her think that she’s the only one who can save America? And secondly, it’s a lie-that’s right, yet, another one. Hillary is running for one reason, and one reason only—to quench her own unquenchable thirst for power.
It was Gov. Richardson who acted in the best interest of our kids and country, and not because of who he chose to support, but because of the way he made his decision—like a statesman, as opposed to the petty, red-faced, and power-hungry politicians who are jumping up and down about it.
They claim that Richardson’s not a team player, but the fact is, he’s the ultimate team player, they’re just on the wrong team. The Clintons’ angry response to Richardson’s simple act of integrity says it all—they’re committed to business as usual. Sure, they want change, but only a change in power—from Republican hands, to theirs. Richardson, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he heard the American people loud and clear, then acted on it in spite of what must have been tremendous personal stress.
And according to an article, by Mark Leibovich in the New York Times, Clintons Sort Friends: Past and Present, Gov. Richardson isn’t the only one who’s beginning to see the light. Nancy Larson, a Democratic National Committee member from Minnesota, indicated that after Chelsea Clinton learned that she was switching her allegiance from Hillary to Obama, Chelsea pressed her to know why. “She was really pushing me. She kept asking me why I was doing this. She just kept asking, ‘Why? Why?’ “
The article goes on to point out that “Mrs. Clinton has been losing potential endorsers and superdelegate backing from grass-roots activists like Mrs. Larson as well as elected officials, party luminaries and former Clinton White House aides (the most recent being former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who endorsed Mr. Obama on Friday).” And that “there is no shortage of powerful Democrats who are quick to accuse the Clintons of defining loyalty as a one-way street, with little regard for the sacrifices they have made for a couple whose own political needs seem to their critics always to come first.”
And therein lies the problem—if the Clinton campaign hasn’t shown anything else, it has clearly demonstrated that Hillary’s needs, wants, and desires come first—before friends, before party, before country—and that’s an exceedingly ugly trait, even to us little people.
Previously, Clinton supporters viewed Hillary’s single-mindedness as a sign of focus and determination, but the mean-spirited scratching, clawing, and lying that she’s done during these primaries have betrayed a serious flaw in her character—a desperate, even, pathological need for power, and at any cost.
So, yes, Clinton supporters are beginning to jump ship in unprecedented numbers. Many remember the early years, so they’re leaving with deep regret. But Hillary’s extreme behavior has awakened their sense of responsibility, so they must leave, as a simple matter of conscience.
Eric L. Wattree
Eric L. Wattree, Sr. n can be reached at email@example.com.