After seven years of agony during the Bush administration, America has learned that the most important characteristics to look for in a president is good character and common sense. We’ve learned, in a most painful way, that if a president lacks either of these qualities, everything else is meaningless. These past seven years have taught us that putting our hatred, ignorance, and self-service ahead of the best interest of the country can bring us all down. Thus, when the voters turned out the Republicans in the 2006 election, it was over character; and the current rallying cry across this land for change, is actually about electing a president with good character and common sense. Barack Obama’s meteoric rise to national prominence is America’s way of saying we are tired of the old self-serving, cutthroat, win-at-any-price type politics of the past. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us all to watch what takes place in the next two weeks very closely.
Barack Obama has Hillary Clinton on the ropes. He’s blown the heretofore presumptive presidential nominee out of the water by large margins in the last ten states of the primary election. He’s also won among Americans voting outside the country. Even Bill Clinton has acknowledged that if Hillary doesn’t get a win in Texas, she won’t get the presidential nomination. So in the next two weeks her character, and the kind of experience she brings to the table will be on display. If she’s truly committed to change, and what’s in the best interest of the United States, we’ll see a lady engaged in a valiant, yet, clean fight for the nomination. But if the “experience” she so often speaks of is of the old-style, me-first, America-be-damned kind of politics of the past, we’re going to see a lot of lying, desperate mudslinging, and win-at-any-cost kind of tactics. Personally, I’m betting on the latter-in fact, it’s no longer a bet, she’s already started.
While Hillary speaks in wistful tones of how important it is for a Democrat to be elected president in the November election, it seems that it’s only important to her if she happens to be that Democrat. Instead of lifting herself up by telling the people of Texas why she’ll be the better president, she’s engaging in the old Republican-style politics of trying to tear Obama down. She says, for example, that all Obama brings to the table is a lot of inspirational rhetoric, while she has solutions. This begs the question, if she truly believes that it is essential for a Democrat to be elected president in the next election, doesn’t it matter to her that if Obama is the nominee the Republicans will seize upon her words to try to defeat him? If she truly has the solutions to America’s problems, why doesn’t she simply lay them out, instead of attacking a fellow Democrat?
The fact is, she has no solutions. What she’s calling solutions are nothing more than a laundry list of what she thinks Americans want to hear. She says, for example, that she’s going to bring our troops home with honor—but she’s not saying how she intends to accomplish that, she simply says she’s going to do it. She also says she’s going to “work towards” providing universal healthcare. Ok, but how? That’s not a solution, that’s a goal-a goal that she’s already failed miserably at during the eight years that Bill was in office—and that was at a time when she didn’t have to focus on anything but that. If she couldn’t do it then, what makes her think she can do it now, with all the other responsibilities of being president? On the other hand, Obama has demonstrated during his eight years in the Illinois State Senate that he has the ability—or experience, if you will—to work with Republicans to get things done, including a healthcare bill.
Hillary also says that as president she can hit the ground running “on day one,” and America doesn’t need a president who requires on-the-job-training. That statement is both arrogant, presumptuous, and disingenuous. Every president requires on-the-job-training. Even if Bill could return to office, the world has changed tremendously since he was president, so even he would have to take the time to learn to adapt to a new and different world. Even if that wasn’t the case, however, Hillary seems to be implying that she doesn’t require training because she’s been president before. So it seems that she’s either naive, unrealistic, or trying to take credit for her husband’s experience, none of which inspires confidence in her character. In addition, it sets feminism back fifty years.
There’s another thing about Hillary’s “day one” statement—she’s failing to acknowledge the certain gridlock that would result from Republican antipathy towards her. For Republicans, cooperating with a Clinton is one of the worse offenses that can be committed in political life. She’s got to know that—thus, she must also know that she’s lying to the American people about her ability to get things done. On the other hand, while Hillary is straining credulity to the limit, Barack Obama, with his so-called “flowery speeches”, is mending fences, building bridges, and laying the groundwork for an effective presidency. He recognizes that character and experience are great qualities for a president to have, but in order to get his policies through congress, having the ability to inspire the American people is indispensable.
Hillary is right in one respect, however-experience can be impressive, as we saw in the Texas debate-and she certainly has it. But Hillary has the wrong kind of experience—she’s experienced in the old ways of voter manipulation. During the debate we saw a chameleon at work—first we saw the cordial Hillary, but she felt she needed to set herself apart; then she morphed into presidential Hillary, but Obama easily matched her sober, no nonsense veneer; so she went into attack dog Hillary, only to quickly change tactics after being booed; towards the end, she finally settled on Immaculate Hillary, to bestow love upon her opponent—a love offering that it turns out now was both scripted and plagiarized.
Being the “experienced” politician that she is, it took her the entire debate, but she finally stumbled upon just the right tone of manipulation. But now, it turns out, not only was she plagiarizing John Edwards, after making such a big deal of the issue of plagiarism, but her most glowingly poignant moment in the debate was staged, insincere, and just another example of the old politics of voter manipulation. View the evidence for yourself: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51L3guDvUHg&feature=related)
I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of this in the future, so I just wanted to give you a playbook, so you can keep up with which Hillary is on display.
Eric L. Wattree
Eric L. Wattree, Sr. n can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.