Barack Obama has registered ten straight caucus and primary victories, taking the inevitability out of Hillary Clinton’s campaign to win the White House. Many older female voters are now dismayed at the likely prospect of never seeing a woman president in their lifetime. But, is it Clinton’s gender or her politics that has sparked Obama’s incendiary ascent to front-runner status?
As Sheldon Drobny, co-founder of Nova M radio and Air America Radio, points out in his article, Hillary Is Not Losing: Bill And The DLC Are, it is not necessarily or wholly Hillary, per se, that is causing the hemorrhage of support for her. It is her “DLC message”, using the infamous “triangulation strategy” of her husband and former president, Bill Clinton, during his campaigns of the1990’s. This simply does not resonate with today’s informed 21st century voters. The Al From centrist position and water carrier candidates of the “republican-lite” affiliation, which as one reader dubbed them, “easy-listening candidates”, seem dated if not totally anachronistic to the present political landscape.
Hillary Clinton and the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain, represent an antiquated paradigm of politics. Americans want fresh, visionary leaders who inspire us to believe again, not wrap us up in constant intrigue and incessant fear that is counterproductive to the issues of gravitas we face and must triumph over as a nation if we are to survive as a vibrant and productive society.
As Mr. Drobny poignantly illustrates, much of Hillary’s imminent demise is due to the faulty and fatal centrist campaign strategy she adopted. Yes, Senator Clinton has been maligned unjustly and unrelentingly by ignorant, partisan, and bigoted people who hate her merely for the purpose of hating her. She has also been the victim of baseless machinations over the past 15 years by limitless amoral Republicans and the target of mainstream media misogyny.
However, and I am speaking on a personal level now, at least in the primaries, I cannot in good conscience vote for Hillary Clinton. I have reviewed her positions on the issues and carefully vetted them each assiduously. Prima facie, there is substantive merit to argue she is a progressive and worthy candidate for the presidency. But, Hillary’s vote for the AUMF in 2002 – and subsequent refusal to admit she was utterly wrong – which was only made worse by her dissembling excuse during the last debate, is her very mortal Achilles heal.
Hillary’s contemptible announcement that "lobbyists are people too" reveals just exactly who she curries favors to – corporations over constituents. Not so coincidentally, her semi-cozy relationship with Rupert Murdoch of News Corp and Mark Penn, her chief strategist, who has ties to the odious mercenary firm Blackwater, does little to dispel the tepidness of many would-be Hillary voters.
Americans want a woman president, but she must be the right president. I find myself empathetic toward the plight that many women voters feel who may never see a female president in their lifetime. Nonetheless, we, as Americans, simply cannot vote for Hillary on the matter of gender identity alone, nor can we vote for her on sheer principle because she is simply female to settle a score.
Great leaders can be of virtually any persuasion, but that presumed greatness must be demonstrated by way of sound judgment. Hillary’s Iraq war vote – and it was a vote for war – was a profound mistake that I simple cannot overlook. And I do not buy into her endless practice of obfuscation as to why she voted for a wretched bill with inevitable and hopelessly tragic consequences.
Where I do agree, and I believe this is the seminal issue at hand, is that a McCain presidency must be absolutely avoided. Failure to prevent john McCain from becoming the 44th President of the U.S. is a pledge to delve this country into endless and more wars, ceaseless bloodshed and the abolishment of the middle class. A McCain presidency also guarantees more needless tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, while ensuring ending poverty and providing healthcare for all Americans will be banished from government discourse.
This was the message that John Edwards brought to the debate and into the limelight, making it a touchstone of the new Democratic message: Populism is back. It is a torch that for now is best carried and burns brightest within Obama, not Clinton. For it is not an issue of gender or race, during this 2008 race to the White House, but a matter of clarity in judgment, and the company she keeps, that renders Hillary unfit to be America’s first female President.