Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Hillary Wasn't Exactly Running as a Dove or a Marxist"

Cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama.

I need to keep reminding myself that I was not a passionate, absolutely committed Clinton supporter. The tidal waves of misogyny gradually convinced me that electing a woman president was supremely important, that it would be the bigget change of all. But I wavered, because I thought Clinton and Obama were similar, that neither was the progressive crusader I longed for. At my age, I knew better than to be deceived by the illusion that Obama wasn't a pol. I was uneasy that he was an unknown. My most political daughter described him as "high risk, high gain," and most of the campaign I didn't want to take the risk.

Lance Mannion made excellent sense today. His remarks helped me get a grip:

Vote for him or don't vote for him. That's your choice. Criticize him as much as you want. He needs it.But don't expect people to pay a lot of attention when you act shocked that Obama has turned out to be running a campaign that is very much like...the one Hillary was already running.

In case you didn't notice, Clinton was not exactly running as a dove or as a Marxist.

Several times throughout the primaries I said that I didn't really care who won, Clinton or Obama, because there wasn't much difference between them. My reasons for preferring Hillary were matters of emphasis. But, I pointed out, neither one was the second coming of FDR. They were both just politicians on the make. The job of cleaning up after thirty years of Republican vandalism is too big for one President to handle in one or even two terms. We're in this for the long haul. President Hillary Clinton would have started the clean up over here. Obama's going to start it over there. She would have gotten and he will get to only as many rooms as the Congress and other political realities let them. One of the things that annoyed me about many of the Obama bloggers is the ways they found to ignore or deny the obvious fact that Obama was just another politician on the make. I'm supposed to be shocked and outraged now that I was right?

Obama is a smart, skilled, savvy, talented, compromised and compromising man. He's a politician. A good one. He's a Democrat. He's not a Progressive, a word that I've decided at last means in blogland "As morally and politically pure as I am." Hillary has skills and talents and passions and interests that he doesn't have, but she's a Democrat too. He has skills and talents and passions and interests that she doesn't. One of those talents is public speaking. One of those skills is inspiring a crowd. If Al Gore or John Kerry had had either of those, Barack Obama would not be running for President right now.

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