Preparing for 2008: Hillary Clinton

She's a smart politician. There's no way she would hold the position or lay claim to the popularity she has if she weren't. You may not agree with her politics, rhetoric or her husband. I don't. Yet she stands as a very real force to be reckoned with in the next presidential election.

If you're like me, you support candidates who respect the constitution (as it was written, not the 'living,' changing version), who work to protect the dwindling individual and states' rights, who believe in the sanctity of human life and of marriage between a man and a woman and who affirm America's right to defend itself against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Up until this point, Senator Clinton has not fallen into the category of candidates my values allow me to support. And, apparently, I am one of millions of Red County Americans who feel the same way. (Incidentally, if you didn't get a chance to see the USA Today County-by-County breakdown from the last election, you must.) The vast majority of counties in these United States, even out here on the Left Coast, are Red (i.e. Bush supporters).

While I anticipate many a discussion about the viability of a Hillary Clinton candidacy, we must speak very honestly and openly about whatever transformation is taking place in the Clinton camp. The Hillary who has taken such a vehement stand for "abortion rights" has begun singing a slightly different tune. On Wednesday, former President Clinton defended her recent statements.

I don't begrudge any politician the right to change their views on any subject, so long as it is a genuine change of mind and heart. My concern is over the possibility of mere political machinations, maneuvering and manipulation of the American people. What exactly did she mean when she said that abortion was a "sad, even tragic choiceā€¯? Is tragic that any circumstances would lead a woman to the place of having to make choice? Is it tragic that any woman would feel like her only viable option is to terminate the life of her unborn child? Or, is it tragic that millions of babies are being killed every year?

This is a very smart woman in action. I don't believe that she lied or even contradicted herself. Technically, she didn't say anything that either offended her base or supported a pro-life stance. However, her language and her tone created the very impression she wanted her audience, in that moment, to get. That's what a shrewd politician does.

The only problem is that what we are desperate for in our leaders is not political savvy as much as public service. Why should we play this kind of game? We should not have to attempt to decipher the values and intentions of a candidate this way. Candidates shouldn't be about camouflaging what they believe about the issues Americans care about. I may not agree with a politician who claims the gruesome practice of partial birth abortion as a 'right.' But, I can respect the integrity of one who remains true to their core values.

What seems to be taking place in the metamorphosis of Senator Hillary Clinton is not just bad for her. It's bad for politics, bad for the country and bad for women.


At 7/14/2005 10:36:00 PM, Anonymous Clayton Bell said...

See, this is why I'm not a fan of the fact that we only have two legitimate parties in American Politics. If there were a plethora of parties, I think (and by the way, I not the smallest bit of expertise, just a large does of opinion) that there would be a greater freedom to express your true beliefs without having to conform to a party line. It seems that so many people are forced to hem and haw around their true positions to gain the support of other people who are also compromising parts of the their actual belief system. I don't know, just thinking out loud...

And no offense, but I don't think that American is anywhere near ready for a female president, especially someone as polorizing a HRC. But, with the new Genna Davis show on ABC this fall, it could bring to people's mind the legitimacy of a female president. For all of Puffy's threats to "Vote or Die", it appears as if the Millenials and the late Gen X'er died instead of coming out to vote in the 2004 election. This is the generation, the Millenials, that might actually accept a woman president, doesn't vote enough to influence an election. But, this show might actually do that. I don't think it will get HRC elected, but with the unfortunate sway that popular culture has over people, it could legitimize it in their subconcious. I love The West Wing (not for politics but for writing and character development), but along with entertaining me it also brought a new romanticism for the political process. I wonder how many others have been seduced into politics by the ideal notions and situations presented in that show? And could this ABC show do something like that, or at least make a crack in the door to make things interesting in 2012...

At 7/15/2005 02:06:00 AM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Clayton, you make a good point about the possibility of a woman president. While I think the day may come when a woman may be the better candidate and when the people can handle that reality, I'm not necessarily a fan of the idea. I did recently visit Latvia, where they have a female president. And, she seems to have widespread support.

While I think a woman is more than capable of doing the job, I'm not convinced that it would be the best use of any woman's time, energy and emotions. My guess is that Senator Clinton will give us many opportunities to discuss this in the next couple of years.

At 7/18/2005 09:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to disagree that we have two legitimate political parties in American politics today.

To be legitimate, a party has to keep America's best interest foremost in their mind. They will obviously differ on method, but the advancement of the nation should be their primary goal.

I believe that both parties are somewhat suspect given the influence of "groups", but find the Democrats totally lacking in their every action. The only thing that is important to the Democrat party their own power. If they have to destroy everything that is America in the process, but are ultimately successful in regaining power over the remnants, they will be completely happy. That is fundamentally wrong, and makes that entire party completely illegitimate as an entity.


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