Hillary Clinton’s Rhode Island Opening

Hillary opens her headquarters in Rhode Island today. Hundreds of people are expected to show, including her elected official supporters, who include Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, and Providence Mayor David Cicilline. Of course, Patrick Kennedy will be nowhere in sight, as he is going with Obama. The only big name that is conspicuously absent is Jack Reed’s. From the Hillary for President Campaign:

The Clinton Campaign will officially open their Rhode Island headquarters, tomorrow, Tuesday, February 19, at 5:00 p.m. Hundreds of supporters from across the Ocean State will be joined by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressman Langevin, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, and other elected officials at 175 Broad Street in Providence.

WHO: U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin, Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts, Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Other Elected Officials, Local Campaign Staff and Hundreds of Volunteers

WHAT: Official Headquarters Opening & Rally

WHERE: Hillary for Rhode Island Campaign Headquarters, 175 Broad Street, Providence, RI

DATE: Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 5:00 p.m.

For more information, call 751-HILL (4455) or visit our website at www.hillaryclinton.com/rhodeisland.

As a feminist and realist, I admit to being partially swayed by arguments that Hillary is the better prospect for President. Obama has a lot of appeal, but his appeal borders on the romantic because it is based largely on people projecting what they want onto him. Obama is more of a blank slate than experience-heavy Clinton. He has captured the imagination of the American people, and this is a beautiful thing, but it may not be very practical when it comes to enacting a legislative agenda. Einstein believed that imagination is more important than knowledge and I tend to agree with him, but I also distrust romance and imagination — I know personally how misleading both can be.

As you can see, I am still in the process of making my final decision about which way to go on March 4. I appreciate the thought-provoking comments from both Obama and Clinton supporters.

16 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton’s Rhode Island Opening

  1. // “… but it may not be very practical when it comes to enacting a legislative agenda.” //

    I disagree. Because of his freshness and ability to communicate, Obama has a better chance of enacting his plans than Clinton — and his plans are no less fully-fleshed out and thought-out than Clinton’s.

    Clinton’s vaunted “experience” is mainly negative experience, baggage that she has to overcome before the conversation even begins. 47% of the American public, and many members of Congress, have a negative impression of her — rightly or wrongly.

    She also has a history of poor judgement on many key issues for our country, endorsing Bush’s disastrous war in Iraq (which Obama opposed from the start). Likewise her support of NAFTA.

    I’ll take brains, dedication and charisma over problematic experience any day.

    If you click my link, you’ll also find an account of my community’s terrible experience dealing with Clinton on a massive environmental threat (a 2 million-ton coal-burning cement plant). She promised help, then did not help, then tried to take credit when we won… after a 7-year bruising battle. So I value her experience (which included sitting on the board of another major cement company for a nice sinecure) even less because of direct interaction with her and her staff…

  2. Kiersten,

    you do mean March 4 (FOURTH), right? Don’t you live in RI?

    If Hillary would apologize for her vote supporting the war and, as importantly, acknowledge it as a mistake, I would reconsider her candidacy.

  3. Andre: I’m also concerned about Ms. Clinton’s vote for war with Iran in 2007.

    The corporate media portray this image of Obama as lacking substance. On the issues section of his campaign web site, there is a Blueprint for Change, a 64 page document that goes into quite a bit of detail at the substantive proposals of Obama. This is a case where it is unwise to trust the corporate media.

  4. I think that it is somewhat frightening whenever the public blindly follows a leader. You never know where he will lead you. Is Obama John Kennedy, or is he the Pied Piper? With Hillary you know what you are getting. You know where she stands. But that is not what America wants right not. Obama gives the people a clean slate and a convenient way to wash away the last 8 years and pretend that they never happened, but it does not mean that he will be effective. What happens if he can’t live up to our imagination? Are people voting for Obama the man, or Obama the concept? I personally, need a candidate that is more than a concept.

  5. Hi Kiersten,

    The fact of the matter is that there are negatives attached to both Obama and Clinton. However, I am not sure why the word experience has gone out of fashion, in terms of campaign rhetoric. If working tirelessly for women’s rights in this country and around the world is a negative, then I don’t know the definition of equality. If devoting her life to realizing true universal health care is a negative, then I don’t know the definition of compassion. If creating an economic plan that includes supporting and honoring research, science, and green collar jobs is a negative, then I don’t know the definition of innovation. And finally, if making a choice that in hind sight proves to be wrong, then choosing to be one of the leaders at the forefront to rectify that choice is a negative, then I don’t know the definition of humility and responsibility. Apologizing for voting for the war won’t change the events that have taken place, but being one of the co-signers of a bill to stop funding for the war will make a difference. When Hillary Clinton says there is a difference between talk and action, she is right. And inspiration and change don’t come in a resounding oratory or a great catch phrase. It comes in the differences that are made in everyday lives. When considering your vote on March 4th, I would ask you to consider what you are truly inspired by, because I suspect you will find a lot in common with Hillary Clinton.

  6. Hudson… Some excellent points. At what point does “experience” become baggage? The men who captained the Exxon Valdez, the Titanic and the 03 Red Sox were all “experienced”, but would anyone want to put them in that position again? I don’t know where you are from Hudson, but you’ve found an audience here in Cranston, RI, where concrete/cement woes have dominated the headlines recently.
    Chris… I don’t think that the public is simply enraptured with the “concept” of Obama. The concept of
    “Hope” may sound audacious (sorry)and smack Pollyanna,
    but for millions of Americans it is striking a chord. The concept of “Change” one of the tenets of Obama’s campaign from day one , is now being championed by Clinton as well and I’m sure in time will also become the mantra for the Republic candidates as they try to distance themselves from W. The “concept” of having the same two families running the most powerful(for now),
    and wealthiest(for now ?) country on the planet for two decades scares me. And would the warm, fuzzy feelings that we had4theClinton I administration exist if the stock market fueled by the dot.com boom hadn’t filled your market based 401K plan with dollars?
    Kathy: While I am supporting Sen. Obama, your post was,
    well…moving. Your passion for your candidate is admirable and your post thoughtful.

  7. Kathy, that was one of the most eloquent comments I’ve read in a long time.

    This is what I mean: reasonable, responsible Democrats can disagree on whom to support in this race.

    Remember, the goal is to put a Democrat in the White Housse in November. We are truly lucky to have two candidates such as Hillary and Obama.

    Since I can’t hope to match Kathy’s passion,I will ask that you support your candidate, offer positive reasons for doing so, and refrain from demonizing either Obama or Hillary. The Republicans will be doing that soon enough. Let’s not do their job for them.

    Remember the nasty anti-Laffey ads run by the Republican Senate Committee? Let’s not follow their warped example.

    Support your candidate now. Support the winner into November.

  8. Good advice. although i am going to vote for Senator Obama, i do not like to hear Senator Clinton disrespected. and when she is disrespected for being a woman then it makes me want to vote for her just in solidarity. I think that whichever candidate wins, we are going to have health care reform. I sincerely hope the winner will do something to end this terrible war and stop the robbing of the poor and middle class.

  9. I would really like someone to explain to me what Senator Clinton’s supposedly massive experience advantage over Senator Obama is.

    Does it not concern her supporters that much of that is being First Lady of the US and Arkansas? Does being First Lady qualify Laura Bush to run for office? The only concrete thing we know about Clinton’s time as First Lady that appears to involve experience is a disastrously managed health care initiative.

    (Just about as disastrously managed as her campaign, it turns out. Does anyone else see a pattern of inability to be a good executive here?)

    Why don’t we know more? Well, she chooses not to release any documentation. This is kind of like a job applicant coming to an interview with pages missing from their resume, and saying, trust me, I did stuff in those years.

    Plus her claiming “35 years of experience.” Since she’s 60, that means she’s counting everything she’s done since she was 25. Since Obama is 46, I guess he can claim 21 years of experience. 21 years of experience is a lot, I don’t know that I’d give someone with an additional 14 years the nod just because of that. And we do know what Obama was doing, there are no missing pages in his resume.

    Plus, Obama brings a huge increase in U.S. credibility to the table in terms of foreign relations by virtue of his background. And we really need that right now to repair the damage done by Bush.

  10. Well I don’t think that the question of whether Senator Clinton has more experience is really up for debate. Just watch last night’s Hardball where Chris Matthews interviewed an Obama supporter from Vermont and asked him to name any accomplishment Obama has had in the Senate, and he couldn’t do it. No one including Obama can name any legislative accomplishment from his time in the US Senate. That could prove to be problematic. However, with Obama you know he is a very intelligent person, very charismatic, and a great politician. He is absolutely no George Bush! I guess it just depends on whether you value tested, practical experience versus someone who you like a lot, but may be sacrificing some development years. For me, I believe that Hillary’s years as a very active first lady both in Arkansas and in the White House and her years as US Senator from New York, certainly give her a much wider range of experience than Obama. In addition to that, I believe her policies to be more more well thought out, expansive, and inclusive. I would encourage you to go to Hillary and Barack’s websites and compare policies and make your choice based on which you agree with. We shouldn’t be basing our choice on all the petty differences and disagreements the media is so fond of focusing on. The important thing to remember is to support the candidate you believe in and which ever candidate wins, the democratic ticket is sure to look much better than the GOP ticket!

  11. “name any accomplishment Obama has had in the Senate,”

    Hillary’s accomplishment in the Senate and before:

    Failed to get health care reform enacted because she tried to steamroller over Republicans and Democrats alike.
    Voted for the Iraq war, after not reading the intelligence report on whether or not the war was necessary.
    Got a lot of pork for New York.
    Measures to name post offices, day in honor of, etc.
    Running disastrously managed campaign.

    Obama’s accomplishments in the Senate and before:

    Opposed the Iraq war from the beginning.
    Member of Veterans Affair Committee, worked to improve veterans’ access to disability pay and improving the VA.
    Worked with Republican Tom Coburn to put US federal spending info online so people can see where their tax money is going.
    In Illinois State Senate, worked across the aisle to get state Earned Income Tax Credit passed for poor families.
    Expanded early childhood education programs.
    Measure to require taping of interrogations and confessions in all capital cases, after DNA testing showed number of innocent people had been convicted.
    Running extremely well-organized campaign.

    I’m well aware of Obama’s policies. This claim Clinton’s supporters make that we are somehow ignorant flies in the face of reason when you consider the polls showing his supporters in general are more educated than Clinton’s.

    Where I have a real information deficit is what else Clinton did in the White House, since she has not realized that paperwork, just as she has not released her income tax returns.

    Don’t you think we have a right to see that information? Obama has released his tax returns. Since Clinton says she will release the tax returns if she is nominated, the Republicans could make mincemeat of that if there is anything in there dubious, and considering Bill’s recent uranium fiasco, one is likely to think there is.

  12. Well if you want to be accurate about it, you can’t really count Obama’s opposition to the war seeing he wasn’t actually in the Senate to vote for or against it. But who’s counting. Also, if you ask anyone on the Obama staff, or even himself, he will tell you that his biggest legislative accomplishment is passing lobby ethics reform. That compared to passing a bill that guarantees health care for millions of children seems a little weak. However, Obama has only been in the Senate for 2 years. That is a very short amount of time, so under normal circumstances he isn’t expected to have a long list of accomplishments. But these aren’t normal circumstances. So I think it is very fair to ask the question what has he actually done to change people’s lives. He may make a great president. But I am not convinced yet. However, being aggressive and negative about the opposing democratic candidate is only going to divide the party. Support your candidate, be passionate for them, but it is counter productive to be angry at the opposition because you will lose sight of the larger goal, which is winning in November.

  13. Just a minor addition: IMHO, Hillary’s experience as First Lady does count–but in her case only. She is clearly the exception to the rule. Laura Bush, Nancy Reagan, Babs Bush, even Roslyn Carter, none of them participated in the government the way Hillary did. She participated to the point that it became an RW talking point.

    Yes, the health care legislation failed in 1993. But this isn’t 1993, and I believe that she learned some valuable lessons from the failure. Sometimes you learn more from failing than from succeeding.

    It’s just this sort of trench warfare that I believe would give Hillary an advantage; however, Obama may be sufficiently charismatic to be able to avoid the down-and-dirty politics that we’ve seen over the past 15 years, the sort of thing at which LBJ was a master. And he got some stuff done.

  14. Chris…In addition to the lobby ethics reform legislation you mentioned in your last post, Sen. Obama
    also was the driving force behind the Senate’s investigation and subsequent emergency action taken to rectify the deplorable conditions at the Walter Reed Medical Center. His first hand accounts of the conditions there not only spurred his fellow members of the Senate to action, but also motivated him to investigate the entire VA Hospital system nationwide. He found the VA Hospital system dated, underfunded and grossly unprepared for the impending flood of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. With over 200,000 injured veterans in need of medical and psychiatric services the VA needs to be bolstered, if not completely revamped. I find it a bit odd that neither Sen. Clinton nor Sen. Mccain paid little, if any, attention to the conditions at W.R., considering that they both supported sending our troops into harm’s way.

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