It’s Not Easy Being Hillary

Hillary and the Old Farts.JPG

This morning I watched the images of Hillary in New Hampsire, emotional and teary-eyed, explaining that it wasn’t easy being Hillary Clinton and that she couldn’t do it if she didn’t “passionately believe it was the right thing to do”. The reason why she is running for president is because, in her own words, “I see so many opportunities for this country, I just don’t want to see us fall backwards . . . You know, this is very personal for me. It’s not just political. It’s not just public. I see what’s happening, and we have to reverse it.”

Yes, Hillary is smarter than the rest of us all, and she sees what is happening in the country, and only Hillary can reverse it. Obama cannot because he doesn’t know what he will do on the first day in office. Furthermore, Bill is even smarter than the people of Iowa or New Hampsire who voted or are going to vote for Obama and not for Hillary. You see, Americans aren’t that smart. They don’t realize that there is a vast right wing conspiracy in the press that is against Hillary and is actively pushing for Obama to be the Democrat’s presidential candidate. According to Bill, the press is just not being fair with Hillary and that is why she can’t run a clean debate.

I think we can change it as long as you have access to information by people who are committed to judging everybody by the same set of rules . . . According to the most recent media analysis, that’s not what’s happened so far, but yeah, I think it should be done . . . Nobody would be happier to see all this go away than us. But you can’t ask somebody who is at a breathtaking disadvantage in the information coming to the voters to ignore that disadvantage and basically agree to put bullets in their brains.

Hillary is at a disadvantage — Hillary, the one with all of the experience and experienced horses and former president’s soldiers, the poor thing, is at a “breathtaking” disadvantage.

This is most likely the same vast right wing conspiracy that was to blame for every single criticism of Bill (and Hillary) during the 90s. I suppose that Hillary’s “unpopulars” are so much higher than anyone else on either side of the fence because Americans are being fooled by the pro-Obama press. (Hmm, I wonder if Hillary would be more likeable if the press wouldn’t be so pro-Obama). Now Hillary has suddenly done an “about-face” and changed her campaign’s pitch to “Countdown to Change”.

According to Hillary,

You know, some of us put ourselves out there and do this against some pretty difficult odds, and we do it, each one of us, because we care about our country. But some of us are right and some of us are wrong, some of us are ready and some of us are not, some of us know what we will do on Day One and some of us haven’t thought that through enough.

She’s working hard, and she’s done everything right since her and Bill left their White House. She got residence in New York and got into the Senate. Then she got onto all of the right committees and even voted as a war monger on George W’s side over and over again, because that was what she thought would make her look presidential in the upcoming elections.

Don’t be fooled: Hillary is not ready for the 21st century. Americans want change, and Obama is, at least, getting people out to vote in the primaries. All Hillary is offering is a “where are they now” family picture from the 90s Clinton Administration. It’s 15 years later and everyone is older and grayer.

Yes, Bill was a heck of a lot better than George W., but as Bill was “the man from Hope [s]he is the woman from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” (see below). With the 90’s family portrait, and Bill complaing about a vast media conspiracy against the poor Clintons, I am afraid that Hillary is still stuck in the Clintonian 90s, and is not ready for the century’s change, already 8 years old.

Here’s a nice op-ed in the Washington Post that does a good job of explaining why Hillary promotes dynasties and Obama promotes a new version of the U.S., at least from the perspective of someone living abroad.

The Color Of an Advantage

By Anne Applebaum
Tuesday, January 8, 2008; A19

WARSAW — “Will Americans vote for a black man for president?”

If I had a 10-euro bill for every time some incredulous foreigner asked me that question in the past week, I’d be a very rich person, particularly given the current exchange rate.

I never had a proper answer prepared — I don’t have a crystal ball, after all, and the polls change every day. But it hardly mattered, since any mildly positive reply wasn’t believed. Surely, I told one British acquaintance, the Iowa caucus vote is evidence that at least some Americans will vote for a black man for president. He disagreed, citing the atypicality of Iowa. After all, “there are plenty of states where you hardly see any black faces at all.” Alas, he seemed to have forgotten — or perhaps never knew — that Iowa is one of them.

One can laugh off these British prejudices, of course — but they got me wondering how many of them we Americans share. All of us have grown accustomed to the idea that darker skin is a crippling liability in a national election. But right now, at this admittedly odd historical moment, isn’t it actually an enormous advantage?

To see what I mean, back up and focus (again) on who is in the White House, how he got there and who wants to replace him. In case you’d forgotten that George W. Bush is the scion of an American political dynasty, or that Hillary Clinton is married to a former U.S. president, let me remind you. And let me remind you also that at many points in the past, these sorts of connections would have been advantages.

Though we like to remember our first president gallantly turning down the chance to be crowned king, Americans love dynasties. Think of the multiple Gores, Landrieus, Browns, Longs, Dingells, Rockefellers and Udalls in politics, not to mention the Adamses, Kennedys and Roosevelts.

And no wonder: Even aside from the money and connections, growing up surrounded by politics is probably a good way to develop political opinions. Marriage to a politician is probably even better. Besides, from the voters’ point of view, surnames function as a form of branding, particularly in very large, inattentive electorates such as those of India, Argentina and the United States. In theory, you know what you’ll get, more or less, if you elect a Gandhi in India or a Clinton in America: You can save yourself the time it would take to read about them.

Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, she is running for election at a moment when the flaws of oligarchy and dynasty are on display as never before. One of the least talented members of one of our most prominent families — the wrong brother, as some would have it — is in the White House. And at least in this narrow sense, she has more in common with him than she does with her husband. Bill Clinton was “the man from Hope.” She is the “woman from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

No wonder the clich¿d word “change” works like magic for Obama. And no wonder it is beginning to seem, possibly for the first time in history, that it is better to be black. To put it bluntly, for a large, frequently inattentive electorate, there could be no more potent symbol of his differentness, his non-Clinton-non-Bushness, than Obama’s dark skin. His race also functions as a form of branding, telling you that he is the anti-oligarch in this contest, “the man from Hawaii by way of Jakarta, Chicago and Harvard.” It’s even more effective than a famous surname. You don’t have to hear him speak to know he isn’t related to this president or any other: Just look at his photograph.

Naturally, I can’t speak for all Americans, and I have no idea if primary voters, let alone the national electorate, will line up behind him. But I’ll bet that if they don’t, it won’t be because of his skin color. And many of those who do vote for Obama will be motivated by his skin color, just to spite the oligarchs. As for the expats whom I know: I can promise that most of them, even the Republicans, would vote for Obama in New Hampshire or South Carolina if they could, precisely because he is black. At least that would show all of our snotty foreign friends that we really aren’t governed by dynasties. At least that would make us feel once again that we come from a country where any child really can grow up to be president.



Filed under Essays, Obama 08

10 responses to “It’s Not Easy Being Hillary

  1. ReWrite

    I wouldn’t Hillary out just yet, I think Bill lost both Iowa and NH his first go round.

    The title of your post made me think of the song by Emily King, “Walk in my Shoes” (the best version is w/ Lupe Fiasco).

  2. eric

    I wouldn’t rule out the Clintons. They still have lots of time to cry “vast right wing conspiracy” and to trash Obama. I trust they will play dirty and regain ground, they always do. My question is how they are going to pull it off.

  3. I think they both get knocked out of the running when they publish the photo of “Hillary’s revenge” by going down on Obama….oh! Bam! EPE!

  4. eric

    Hillary is now the “comeback kid” after winning a state she was predicted to win by a landslide for the past 3 months. And after campaigning for the past year, she finally found her voice.

  5. ReWrite

    yeah i love how the call it an “upset.”

  6. eric

    It’s absurd. She drops in the state and only wins by 3 points and it’s called a comeback. Now who is playing with the press?

    I think the next step for the Clintons will be to cut an under-the-table deal with African American leaders in the Southt to get their support and play Obama as unelectable.

  7. Absolutely amazing … and not one person, even in the media is talking about it …

    Americans aren’t smart, it’s a nation of morons that make the case for eugenics.

    “Will Americans vote for a black man”

    “Iowa is an overly white state”

    “Dynasties of the white man”

    “darker skin is a crippling liability”

    “White scion in the White House”

    “Wife of a former President”

    “the woman from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue”

    What’s pathetic, beyond any scope of reason, is the fact that this Presidential election will have nothing to do with who is more logically/pragmatically/knowledgeably balanced to be the next President …

    It’s about the desires of addressing the petty egoes of a nation of fools who are utterly incapable of looking past their own infantile, ego validating agendas to get a perspective on reality …

    America, no longer a world leader or a world leading competitor … nothing more in the 21st century than a collective of the most petty and mindless hominids on the planet.

    Prepare to watch Rome burn, history will not be denied. De asini vmbra disceptare.

  8. eric

    Yeah, but let’s hope that Hillary doesn’t win. At least let’s change the last names.

  9. Agency of political power, it’s an untenable position.

    Regardless the name, the outcome is nonetheless the same.

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