Moe for President

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 “a gender Rorschach test.�

“If somebody has a female boss for the first time, and they’ve never experienced that,� she said, “well, maybe they can’t take out their hostility against her so they turn it on me.�

As a possible first Madame President, Hillary is a flawed science experiment because you can’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 she’s learned from her mistakes, but that’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.

3 thoughts on “Moe for President

  1. David, I saw that Maureen Dowd column, and for once she was making sense. I heard Hilary Clinton being interviewed on NPR when she was asked whether waterboarding is torture. ‘Hell yes!’ I wanted her to say, but instead she talked around it for about 90 seconds before saying that she though it was. How self-defeating can you get? she’ll be hated for being soft on terrorism, but inspire no one with her lukewarm talking around the issue.
    I saw that Professor Lani Gunier is supporting Obama.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/02/us/politics/02race.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp
    Myself, I have a major crush on him.

  2. I think it is a little premature to deem Hillary as hypocritical on big issues and easily bought off by lobbyists when Barack Obama has not done anything at all (good or bad). You can’t compare Hillary to Obama, when Obama doesn’t have a record to speak of. He has done nothing to make waves in the State or U.S. Senate. You may not like some of the things Hillary has done, but at least you know where she stands. It is one thing to dislike her policies, but to just go along with all the blind hype behind Obama is more harmful. Hillary was advocating for change long before Obama made it a buzz word.

  3. I think that Hillary will be just fine. It is unfair to say that the will sacrifice her principles for political viability. Hillary Clinton has been in the political spotlight for the last 16 years and all of her policies have been scrutinized to the Nth degree during that time. Under that kind of a microscope you can spin her record any way you want. I haven’t seen her do anything that would suggest that has any less integrity with regard to her principles than Barack Obama. If Barack had to endure 16 years in the public spotlight, you would be saying the same thing about him.

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