indecisionwins: (Default)
[personal profile] indecisionwins
So despite my general opinion that both Clinton and Obama have real strengths, and that, despite Obama being really inspiring, Clinton's "experience" really is valuable...with the way this campaign is turning after the March 4 primary, it's really making me nauseous to listen to/read any political news.

Why in the hell is it really necessary for Hillary to turn to Karl Rove-like tactics to try to beat down Obama, even though her chances of winning at this point still aren't great?? Well...I guess the answer mostly confirms the worst stereotypes about her--she wants to win, and she doesn't care who she brings down, or what damage she does, in trying to do that. (After all...if you haven't heard, she apparently said yesterday that, basically, she knows that John McCain is prepared to be commander in chief, and she is as well, but "you'll have to ask Obama about whether he is".) And even though I don't think McCain would actually be THAT horrible as President (well, at least, he'd be better than Bush, unless he decides that he has to keep up his pandering to the right wing)...that's still pretty bad form...

Date: 2008-03-07 05:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is she *trying* to push independents toward McCain instead of Obama? That would be a poor long-term stragegy.

Date: 2008-03-08 06:42 pm (UTC)
ext_248645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah...I don't know--one interpretation that I have is that maybe she's trying to fight back against the idea that Obama's supporters probably won't actively support her if she's the nominee, where most of her supporters probably would actively support Obama if he's the nominee? So the idea with this would be that no, actually, some of her supporters might vote for McCain if Obama's the nominee? As you said, though...not exactly the best long-term strategy for the party...and, I think, whatever the reason, it seems to say that she doesn't really mind sabotaging Obama if it could give her an inch more of a chance to win the nomination herself...


Date: 2008-03-07 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you do better than Penn and Ickes, and name one specific instance where Hillary had to deal with a foreign policy crisis and thus gained experience?

I hear the "she has experience" meme a lot, but it's never quantified at all.

Re: Experience

Date: 2008-03-08 06:53 pm (UTC)
ext_248645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Well...obviously, she's never been THE person to deal with a foreign policy crisis. But I'm pretty sure that she would be been involved when Bill dealt with stuff, both hearing how the decisions were made, and, most likely, also helping to make some decisions... And also, having Bill around as her husband means that he could give her advice to a degree that more typical advisors probably wouldn't be able to. That's not to say that every First Lady has the qualifications to be President, of course...but in her case, I think it does help... That would seem to be especially true now, with all of the messes that the next president is going to have to clean up.

On the other hand...Obama's message of hope, and moving away from nasty, cutthroat politics is still appealing, and maybe I have been becoming more convinced that he has more to offer as president than she does. But I do still think the "experience" card is valid in her favor...

Re: Experience

Date: 2008-03-08 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So the reason to vote for her boils down to things you're "pretty sure" that "most likely" happened. And that a former President whose foreign policy achievements were hardly something to write home about will be in the White House too.

Bill Clinton is not the only, or even the best, foreign policy adviser the Democrats have. Hillary's never been on the spot in a foreign policy crisis.

I'm not saying there's no reason to vote for her, I'm saying that the "experience" card is a total canard. If you want experience, vote McCain. He's got it.

Re: Experience

Date: 2008-03-09 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Spouses always help their spouses "deal with" things that happen in their spouses' lives. This does not automatically qualify them to do their spouses' jobs. It doesn't even come close to it. I would never hire someone to be the school principal because they were married to a school principal for 20 years. Hell, I wouldn't hire someone to fix my leaky sink because they were married to a plumber, or design a Web page for me because they're married to a graphic designer.

Why is it that we seem to think the skills to be President of the United States are *more* easily absorbable by osmosis than the skills necessary to be manager of a bank or to be a successful lawyer? Can you imagine me walking into a law firm and saying "I know I just finished law school a few years ago, but my *wife* is one of the most accomplished lawyers in the country, so I was wondering if you'd start me out as a senior partner?" When that kind of thing actually *does* happen, don't we call it nepotism and corruption?

Whatever. Even if I grant that Hillary Clinton was so oppressed by a sexist patriarchal political system that the only way for her to gain credible foreign-policy experience was to be married to the President and that that makes her Bill's "unofficial chief of staff", that's still a great deal less total political experience than McCain has. There is no argument that you can claim Hillary Clinton is even close to the most experienced candidate in this overall race. (Hell, most of the crappy low-tier Democratic candidates who dropped out before the primaries really started have more *experience* than she does. If we wanted the most *experienced* candidate we'd've elected Mike Gravel.)

Re: Experience

Date: 2008-03-09 03:37 am (UTC)
ext_248645: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Eh--I'm definitely not claiming that she's been "oppressed by a sexist patriarchical political system", and that that's why being married to Bill counts as experience. Really, I'm not considering her gender as being that big of a deal either way....and I definitely don't buy into (and haven't even seen all that much of) the argument that "anyone who attacks Hillary is sexist". I am aware of that argument, but just from random links to ultrafeminist groups that I've seen on my LJ friends page (ie. your journal, and maybe a couple of other people pointing out how ridiculous they are). Of course, I'm pretty sure that you read a lot more random political blogs than I do, but still...I just don't see that as being as big of an issue as you seem to.

As for the bigger issue of whether that counts as experience... Well, as far as I'm aware, she WAS pretty actively involved in policy stuff when Bill was president, although probably less after 1994 than she was at first. She wasn't just filling the traditional First Lady role... So no, Laura Bush probably can't claim "experience" that would make her qualified to be President, but that doesn't mean Hillary can't. I also think it's pretty clear that Hillary is fairly ambitious, intelligent, and capable in her own right.

(Really, I think it could be said that given how ambitious she clearly is, she wouldn't be satisfied not holding office on her own if Bill WASN'T letting her be actively involved in policy decisions. But since Bill would have an easier time winning political office--OK, partly because he's a man, but also because he's incredibly charismatic, and she's not--it seems that she was willing to settle for a more behind-the-scenes role, at least for a while. Note that this is partly speculation based on something I've heard that the "bargain" in their marriage was that he would share power with her, and she would accept the affairs with other women that she knew were inevitable. But still, I think it seems reasonable.)

On the other hand, sure, there are/were other candidates who have more experience in government than Hillary, including John McCain. (Although...if we are actually going to give her credit for a lot of Bill's experience, then maybe she does actually have the more relevant knowledge than long-time senators about how running the White House works. After all, being vice president is a pretty common stepping stone to running for President, and I'd be comfortable saying that she had a more active role in Clinton's presidency than any recent Vice President except possibly Cheney...)

But, sure, there are other things that you'd want a president to have beyond experience. That's part of why, say, Joe Biden didn't get very far. But at least in theory, Hillary has more of those other things than Joe Biden does. Now, I wouldn't necessarily argue with Obama having more of those "other things" than Hillary--that's why maybe I am starting to lean more in his direction, even though I do think Hillary has a lot more relevant experience than Obama. But still...all I'm saying is that there is a fair amount of real value to the time that she spent in the White House that would help in cleaning up Bush's messes. Well, and that it's also pretty clear that she was doing a lot more as First Lady than, say, baking cookies and saying "Yes, honey" to Bill's problems...

Date: 2008-03-07 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm upset at the degree to which the backlash against the pro-Obama media bias has made it more or less impossible to call Clinton on her shit without becoming part of the "wave of misogyny" that Clinton supporters claim on her behalf. (It's really kind of disgusting if you pick it apart -- the implication seems to be that Obama is horribly underqualified and the only reason we support him is that we just plain hate women so much that we won't let Hillary in even though she clearly deserves it. Blagh.)

I really, really want to see someone popular and charismatic like Elizabeth Dole run for president. Better yet, make it Condi Rice. I want to see a certain subset of kneejerk Swarthmore progressives caught between voting for a Republican or becoming part of a "wave of misogyny". I really do.

Date: 2008-03-08 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Rove-like tactics is a huge overstatement, I think. She's been going after Obama, but I'd say her criticisms lately have been standard-issue political attacks. I'm not a fan of sandbox politics but I don't think anything Clinton's done recently has been particularly egregious or beyond the pale.

Date: 2008-03-08 06:03 am (UTC)
ccommack: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ccommack
It's not quite Atwaterian/Rovian, but it's the kind of hardball preached by Dick Morris, which is only marginally better than A/R.

I think Clinton violated the cardinal sin of primary politics in praising the opposition party candidate over the primary opponent (especially a primary opponent with a good chance of winning). Asking for the blessing of a party while potentially sabotaging it against its rivals is simply inexcusably bad behavior.

Date: 2008-05-23 09:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I look forward...


indecisionwins: (Default)

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