Last week, after the presidential primary had come and gone here in Massachusetts, a colleague inquired whom I had voted for. I replied, “Moe.” This response seemed to perplex my colleague, as her brow furrowed and the hard drive in her head began to whir in a vain effort to recall some fellow named Moe on the ballot. Lest her hard drive crash, I clarified my answer: “Eeny, meeny, miny, MOE!” My colleague then smiled and nodded her head and, for the remainder of the day, studiously avoided idle conversation with me.
Truth be told, I did not cast a vote for Moe. I filled in the bubble next to Barack Obama’s name. Ironically, the junior Senator from Illinois appears to have all the Moe, at present. That’s Moe, as in Momentum. Since his multiple victories on Super Tuesday, Obama has run the table, winning in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, Maine, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Now, while he and his supporters sing “Yes We Can,” the Clinton camp can only mouth the words to “Free Fallin’.” She’s a good girl, loves her Mama; loves Jesus, and America, too.
Of course, it would be premature to count out Hillary just yet, even if she has resorted to shaking things up at campaign headquarters. The junior Senator from New York has plenty of fight left in her and is not apt to throw in the towel anytime soon. She wants the Presidency more than she wants Bill to keep his mouth and trousers zippered. She will not go down without a fight. If I were Barack Obama, I’d watch out for a swat below the belt. Or a strategically-placed knee to the political groin. Mark my words, it’s coming. Politics is nothing if not brutal.
I wish I felt better about Hillary Clinton. I look forward to the day when a woman occupies the Oval Office. It’s about time. But I have to agree with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, who observed in her column today that “Hillary is not the best test case for women.” Ms. Dowd goes on to explain:
While Obama aims to transcend race, Hillary often aims to use gender to her advantage, or to excuse mistakes. In 1994, after her intransigence and secrecy-doomed health care plan, she told The Wall Street Journal that she was â€œa gender Rorschach test.â€?
â€œIf somebody has a female boss for the first time, and theyâ€™ve never experienced that,â€? she said, â€œwell, maybe they canâ€™t take out their hostility against her so they turn it on me.â€?
As a possible first Madame President, Hillary is a flawed science experiment because you canâ€™t take Bill out of the equation. Her story is wrapped up in her marriage, and her marriage is wrapped up in a series of unappetizing compromises, arrangements and dependencies.
Instead of carving out a separate identity for herself, she has become more entwined with Bill. She is running bolstered by his record and his muscle. She touts her experience as first lady, even though her judgment during those years on issue after issue was poor. She says sheâ€™s learned from her mistakes, but thatâ€™s not a compelling pitch.
As a senator, she was not a leading voice on important issues, and her Iraq vote was about her political viability. [full text]
And that, in a nutshell, is why I cannot in good conscience support her. Far too often, she has sacrificed her principles on the altar of “political viability.” While I recognize that such behavior is not uncommon inside the Beltway, I find it most troubling when it is done with such frequency and with such little regard for the vast majority of us who reside outside the Beltway. It leads me to believe that Ms. Clinton wants the power to represent us more than she actually wants to represent us. I suspect that I am not alone in perceiving such, which is perhaps why the tide has turned against her. And why I will continue to support Moe.