As a 63-year-old white woman, retired teacher, the pundits said that I would likely support Hillary Clinton, but that has not been the case from the start. As much as I would like to see a woman in the White House, I think the facts are that there is a better candidate, Barack Obama. My original support of Obama was based on his courageous stand against the Iraq War. As a junior Senator, he was one of a very few who stood up to the Bush administration and to his own Democratic colleagues to predict the disastrous outcome of a “rash” war, a preemptive war against a nation that had not attacked us. When did the United States of America start to pursue the reckless and dangerous foreign policy of preemptive war? Hillary Clinton went right along in the rush to war. In attacking Iraq we have made conditions worse for its inhabitants with thousands of Iraqis killed and millions displaced, notwithstanding the loss and wounding of our young soldiers and the astronomical financial costs of the war. Of course, Obama has voted to support the troops once we were in the mess of the Iraq War. I would not have wanted him to do otherwise. And I have confidence that he will be judicious in pulling out of Iraq. In last night’s debate Hillary Clinton finally admits she would like a “do-over” on her war vote.
Clinton and Obama support similar health care reform proposals. The difference is that Clinton had her chance to deal with health care reform in 1993, but due to her failure to work in the open with all parties involved and to make compromises recommended even by veteran Democratic legislators, such as Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, the plan was not accepted. I am not in favor of allowing her a “do-over.”
Hillary keeps saying that Obama’s plan is not universal, when their plans are very similar and we should know that whatever plan is finally passed, it cannot be a free ride for anyone. My husband and I currently pass $800. a month health insurance and feel lucky to get health insurance at that price. I know that one way or another that amount is not going to decrease.
Apparently Hillary also wants to reconsider NAFTA, which was approved during President Clinton’s administration, another “do-over.” When NAFTA was passed, I admit that I did not fully anticipate the effects that it would have on our workers and economy. But no excuses should be accepted for President Clinton and his administration who with the counsel of supposedly astute economists did not anticipate the devastating effects on our middle class and economy. We should not have set ourselves up to compete with countries that have no labor or consumer protections. In our small town of around 20,000 we currently have three plants, two of which are in the process of moving out in their chase for cheap labor. The remaining plant is a pork processing plant, rather hard to move to India or China. When I shop, I try to purchase American-made products, but it is almost impossible to find American-made products. We need a President who will lead the charge to penalize countries that move out of the US chasing cheap labor.
Clinton says she is ready on day one and cites her 35 years of experience. Sixteen years of that experience were as a First Lady of Arkansas or the United States. For me that experience does not count as her experience, particularly since the Clintons will not release her records during the Clinton administration. In addition, they will not release their income tax returns. Leaving the White House they were essentially broke as a result of legal expenses; now they have a net worth of more than 35 million and have paid off a loan of almost two million on one of their homes. How is that possible on a Senator’s salary and the President’s speaking engagements?! I would like to see full disclosure of all of former President Clinton’s “deals” and “behavior” since he left the White House. Obama has released his income tax records.
Obama has promoted ethics reform both in the Illinois Senate and the US Senate. The federal bill Obama supported to curb the influence of lobbyists prohibited sit down dinners. The lobbyists try to get around that prohibition by providing stand up drinks and hors d’oeuvres! Obama has pledged to work to reduce the influence of lobbyists. Reducing lobbyist influence will be a daunting task, but I believe that Obama will certainly try. Hillary has taken a tremendous amount of lobbyist money. She shames Obama, but shame on her for taking so much lobbyist money and shame on McCain for installing lobbyists as leaders in his campaign! Obama will work with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done. He worked with a fiscally conservative Republican to develop a government google search site to reveal pork barrel projects to the public. It is time for a change! Let’s give Obama a chance to lead that change and inspire people to be the best that they can be.
The Clintons have run a divisive and dirty campaign, not a big surprise. Hillary is stridently negative in Texas and Ohio to the degree of appearing irrational. In one of the first debates, she brought up Obama’s connection to Rezco when she and President Clinton have been pictured all smiles on either side of Rezco! The plagiarism charge was ridiculous since all of the inspirational quotes are in the public domain. And all along I have heard her lift Edwards’ words starting with the “This is very personal for me.” Hillary “found her voice,” after New Hampshire if I remember right, but my question is “Whose voice did we hear before New Hampshire and whose voice are we hearing now?” Former President Clinton was apparently under lockdown for a while after his outrageous behavior in South Carolina, but he has broken out now and has said that Obama has accomplished nothing of value during the last ten years. We all know how credible and truthful President Clinton has shown himself to be. What nerve these Clintons have! Hillary Clinton can cry on cue, tell a heartrending story, or become outraged, whatever tactic she thinks will help her win the nomination. Obama has lived up to his commitment to run a positive campaign. Sticking to this vow to run a positive campaign in the face of such assaults takes real strength of character.
Even though Obama has left the Clinton skeletons lie in the closet, I cannot forget that the last two years of the Clinton administration were consumed by the Lewinski mess. Former President Clinton is “the elephant in the room.” What would former President Clinton’s role be in Hillary Clinton’s administration? How embarrassing could he again be to our nation? I don’t think I am alone in suffering extreme Clinton fatigue and disgust, which increase daily. McCain and the Republicans will not run the positive type of campaign that Obama has run. I don’t think Hillary Clinton can win in November. And if she wins the nomination, I cannot support her after this campaign. She has shown her own worst self, which is likely the true self which we have been trying to discern.
Obama has grass roots support, support from citizens like me who are tired of politics as usual. I am ready for a change that involves much less influence by lobbyists and old school politicians, an energy policy that calls for commitments and sacrifices that we can all get behind, health care reform that pulls in the uninsured, a rational and humane immigration policy, penalties for companies that move their plants out of the US to utilize cheap, unregulated labor, and a foreign policy that does not engage in preemptive wars that discredit us around the world.
If it comes down to Super Delegates making the decision of who is the Democratic Presidential candidate, I think it would be devastating to the Democratic Party to override the will of the people. Thank you for reading my views!