January 20, 2007

Forgive me, I’ve written about this before. But now that she’s more clearly announced her intention to run for president, I have to bring up the mystery of Hillary again.

I just don’t understand why she is so hated by the right! What’s she ever done? She’s a savvy political opportunist? Maybe. But so is just about everyone in Washington. She’ not my favorite politician, either, but I just don’t get it. Surely it’s not the 94 health care thing.

In fact, I’m not entirely certain I understood the hatred against Bill, either. (With the understanding that it started pretty much immediately after he took office and has nothing with any scandal.) Is it that their generation’s attitude doesn’t mesh well with a major branch of today’s conservatism? Is it so hard to like someone who has played rock ‘n roll, been to a feminist rally and smoked pot? (Perhaps even simultaneously?)

I am not suggesting that there is no reason for this hate. I only state that I do not know what it is. Please enlighten me if you can.

Oh, and here’s another issue: can she win? I hear many of my fellow Democrats say no. But I don’t agree. Just because she is hated by some 30% of the American electorate doesn’t mean she can’t win. Of course she can. Despite what you may hear, she has tremendous appeal among Democrats. Putting aside the fact that we do not know how well-executed her campaign may be, nor do we yet know the relative strengths and weaknesses of her opponent, nor do we know what will be dominating headlines as the election draws near – yes, she can theoretically win.

What saddens me is that she is now, and even if elected would remain, a highly divisive figure. I do not think our country needs that right now.

No comments yet

  1. I think she can’t be elected because too many people do claim to hate her, even if they aren’t sure why. Not to mention that plenty of people do know exactly why they hate her. And I’m not sure Obama can get elected either. There are all too many people who talk a good game about welcoming a person of color or a woman to the White House, then in the privacy of their polling place, other forces take over and they can’t do it. Here in Mass., I’m still positively high on our election of Deval Patrick, a black man, for governor. I can’t recall the last time I felt so optimistic about things here.

  2. A few things about Hillary . . .

    First, she has the personality of a pit bull. While that might be good in many instances and probably needed to get to where she has, it doesn’t play well. She, like Pelosi, has an over bearing personality. It goes beyond arrogance and confidence. Now, most in politics have this same characteristic. Probably speaks to the kind of people who seek these positions, but not everyone is as visable as are those who seek the attention or run for higher offices.

    You also got the sense, right away, she was going to be a part of running the country. Not quite like the tyical first ladies . . . more visable.

    Plus, she really started all the scandals with the travel agency stuff. And was responsible for not disclosing records that were requested . . . for years!

    Bottom line, you get the feeling she’s a real bitch. I don’t have a lot of respect for her after the whole Lewinski affair. Not only did she throw out accusations about the whole incident, she also never came clean about her knowledge (once she found out) and never took a stand as a woman about Bill’s behavior. I find it odd women still admire her as she acted like a woman dominated . . . as opposed to a dominating woman. I understand it wasn’t in her best interest politically to do much about Bill . . . but that goes to support the belief that she’s in it for the gain.

    Finally, she can’t win because of the baggage that is Bill.

    Curious, though . . . you say you don’t like that she’s divisive. I thought you were all for a partisan government.

  3. she can’t be elected because too many people do claim to hate her

    These are Republicans anyway. They’re not going to vote for a Democrat no matter who it is. No loss here.

    plenty of people do know exactly why they hate her.

    I wish they’d tell me! So far the explanations I’m getting don’t make much sense.

    There are all too many people who talk a good game about welcoming a person of color or a woman to the White House

    Again, I suspect these skew heavily Republican. But it could be a factor, yes.

    First, she has the personality of a pit bull.

    I find this comment and the whole subsequent pargraph to roughly mean “I like men to be take-charge kind of people, but women who do it are ‘bitches.'” Really. And much of what you write below also smacks of this. People have different expectations for how a woman is supposed to act. Unfortunately that doesn’t mesh well with how we know a political leader needs to act. That I think is the problem you’re having with her. She’s not a bitch. She’s acting like a man would do in her position. But when a man does it you find it perfectly non-noteworthy.

    she really started all the scandals with the travel agency stuff. And was responsible for not disclosing records that were requested . . . for years!

    I can see that. But I think its way out of proportion to the intensity of the hate.

    she was going to be a part of running the country. Not quite like the tyical first ladies

    Women are supposed to act one way, but in order to be leaders they have to act another. As I noted above. But this is why the rightmost 20% hates her with the fire of a thousand suns??

    I don’t have a lot of respect for her after the whole Lewinski affair.

    Yes, I can see that. But to assume that she stayed with him for political gain only kind of presupposes that you don’t like her. I mean, there are lots of women who don’t get divorced after learning of their husbands’ affairs. And vice versa. The statistics on extramarital affairs are staggering, in fact. Not all those people are getting divorced because of them.

    she can’t win because of the baggage that is Bill.

    Ha! If Bill Clinton could run again he’d beat anyone alive in the Republican party. Period. Wouldn’t even be close. “Baggage that is Bill” my butt. 🙂

    you don’t like that she’s divisive. I thought you were all for a partisan government.

    I am for partisan government. But there’s a point at which partisanship on the part of the electorate becomes toxic. I don’t want sizable portions of our country to literally hate their president, or be ashamed of what their government is doing at every turn – as is the case today.

  4. Well, I never said I accepted men that use politics for ego, power, and personal gain. So, I stand by my comments about Hillary. But, I will admit to a double standard of sorts when it comes to the men vs woman thing. I want a woman to act differently. While it might not serve a woman well in the long run of a political life, there’s a part of me that believes a woman’s perspective would be beneficial. Especially now, Hillary comes off more of a man than does Bill!

    Yes, but those “lots of women” didn’t have a president husband and have a captive audience for which to not only make a point, but truly gain from the whole event. I’m not saying she should have gotten divorced, that would have been politically stupid, but as an icon of sorts, she had a real opportunity to come out with a message and really score points. She didn’t.

    As for Bill, while my hopes for any real republican candidate are low, he carries a lot of bad memories and blood. While no one came out directly against him, there was plenty of distancing. Look at Gore, he didn’t want anything to do with him. And not just because he needed to secure his own personality. The public has a short memory, but I don’t think he’d have a chance at a nomination in his own party.

  5. I never said I accepted men that use politics for ego, power, and personal gain.

    No, you didn’t say that. But what I’m saying is that I reject the notion that the transparency of her opportunism is anywhere near the same proportion as the hatred I’m seeing. That is to say, the crime don’t fit the punishment. Lots of politicians act like politicians, doing and saying things less out of personal conviction and more out of campaign triangulation.

    I stand by my assessment of Bill. If he were running in 08 he’d win the white house again in a walk. The bitter 20% of the electorate who hates him (largely irrationally, I might ad) wouldn’t vote for a Democrat no matter who it was, so no loss. I think easily 60% of the country would like to return to the good old days of peace, prosperity and surpluses that we experienced under the Clinton administration. (Whether he could deliver it in today’s world is another issue.)

  6. Irrational or not, it exists. I will say that the war has easily soured the public to some views of the republican party. Would that be enough to get them to forget what an embarassment the Clinton years were? Tough to say. I do think you, and others, under estimate the conservative base. But we’ll just have to differ on that thought.

    It will be interesting to see how the infighting develops among the dems. Hillary has already come out swinging against Obama. I’m anxious to see how she positions herself if she’s to have any chance at all.

  7. Scott, I realize this isn’t a scientific poll, but many of my Democrat friends don’t like Hillary because they can’t stand her style, her voice and don’t trust her (all their words, so don’t ask me to explain). I also think some of Bill’s stink is staying with her. Since we are arguing opinion and not facts, I believe Bill Clinton, because of his lying under oath (“I did not have sex with that woman”), would not carry an election as strongly as you believe. Slick Willie has to many known skeletons in his closet to win.

  8. With some people you just get a “creepy” feeling about them. There is something in their mannerisms, tone of voice, eye contact, etc. that just seems like they have a hidden agenda. It makes their spoken words seem like something entirely different from what is actually going through their minds as they speak.

    Hillary is one of those people.

    Listening to her makes me feel like I am listening to a sales pitch in a used car lot. It “seems” like a good deal; the person “acts” like they want to be my friend; but I know – I just KNOW – I’m somehow getting screwed.

    Political differences aside, that’s how I have always felt about Hillary. Whether she is being forthright & truthful, or not, she comes across like she’s hiding something – like the “real” her is being shielded.

  9. what an embarassment the Clinton years were?

    I honestly believe most Americans don’t remember the Clinton years that way. Especially not after a few years of Bush. I’m not just partisan sniping here, I sincerely believe it.

    Hillary has already come out swinging against Obama.

    I keep hearing this, but I am not sure what you’re referring to. Surely not this.

    they can’t stand her style, her voice and don’t trust her

    I’d chalk it up to the fact that many people do not like women who act the way big-shot politicians are supposed to act. What really is getting under my skin, though, is the fact that the media is trying to sell the idea that she’s not popular – but the actual polling data says she is.

  10. Jimi and Bill, I appreciate your honesty about your feelings towards Hillary Clinton. It IS helpful. But I have to say, it does come off as sexism, at least to this reader. Do you have the same feelings towards Tom Delay? or Bob Ney? These are politicians who actually swindled the public. I don’t hear anyone talking about how phoney and pit bullish and untrustworthy THEY are.

    As for Bill Clinton’s popularity, I’m with Scott. I’ll never forget watching the 2004 democratic convention with a group of friends. Clinton spoke and we just shook our heads, knowing that if only he could run, we would have won, hands down.

  11. Nina, Delay and Ney have had their slams . . . from both sides. I agree they are untrustworthy. But there’s a couple of points about this. First, and as I mentioned, it’s different when one is running for president. There’s just going to be more scrutiny than with any other position held . . . no matter who you are. Second, Hillary already has a history. And, for some, not a good one. Much is already known about her. We often don’t hear about other politicians until after they’ve been elected.

    Sexism? I can honestly say I don’t like Hillary because she’s Hillary . . . not because she’s a woman. As has already been mentioned, there’s a lot not to like about her. I go back to my lack of respect for her during the whole Lewinski ordeal. But I’ll give her credit, she weathered that storm and could become the next president. Certainly as a voting republican there’s a lot . . . a lot, I don’t agree with her on. But, that alone doesn’t cause me not to like her.

    Scott, play the word association game with a bunch of people. Throw in Bill Clinton. I’m sure results will vary depending on who you’re with, but I’ll bet many will say Monica, cigar, “is”, liar, adultery . . . you get the point. I’ll admit, it’s too bad. He did do some good. But he’ll be looooong remembered for his sex scandal. And it might be the only thing, as well.

  12. Hi Scott, Let me try to fill you in from the perspective of a recovered liberal….

    I voted for Bill Clinton two times. I remember watching the election returns in 1992 as a naive and hopeful 22-year-old young woman and being so excited about the wonderful things that the fresh, young, and “hip” Clinton/Gore administration promised me. Over the next 8 years I became more and more disappointed in the emptiness of both the promises and the convictions of those I had entrusted. What I learned through my business education is that Clinton’s “prosperity” was a combination of the normal economic cycle and the dot.com boom. If you recall, toward the end of the Clinton years, we were again facing a slowing economy, the dot.com bust, and people were again whispering the “recession” word. Add in the lack of dealing with any terrorism and the parade of women he used and then destroyed in the public arena, lets just say I had a bad case of buyers remorse by 2000.

    However, the meat of what turned me away from the Clintons – both of them – was their complete lack of stated conviction for anything. They only stood for whatever the latest poll told them was popular that day – the “issue du jour” so to speak. It becomes very difficult to have any trust or respect for somebody who claims to be a leader, when all they do is follow the wind direction. Sometimes a leader needs to do things that aren’t popular. Not every decision can be made by consensus, imagine running your family or your company that way.

    One of the earlier postings touched on the used-car-sales pitch. I get the same feeling. Hillary will not ever actually take a position in public that she feels may hurt her later. I don’t think I would call her a bitch or a pit bull, but she is cold and calculating, and there is just something in her eyes, the way she enunciates, her mannerisms that is just a bit too contrived and really gives the gut a bad vibe of innate incincerity.

    I get that vibe from Obama too, by the way (and no, it is not because of race) The best the Dems have in the game right now is Richardson – a hispanic.

  13. Nina – I agree with Jimi, Delay and Ney are not trustworthy, but they are not running for President . If they were, I would be equally or even more concerned. Hillary is running for President. If she remains a Senator from New York, then I really don’t care and she will be New York’s problem with some influence on national issues.

    Scott – I have no problem with a woman as President, just as long as it’s the right woman. By the way, whatever happened with the first 100 hours of promises from Pelosi or was it just more emtpy campaign rhetoric? Any major results from the party that wants more accountability and truth in government?

  14. Bill, speaker Pelosi and the Democrats passed their 13-bill 100-hour agenda with 13 hours to spare.

  15. Two words… New Hampshire

  16. She’s gonna lose. So what?

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