Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thoughts on Hillary

Ok, so I've been giving further thought to Hillary and her campaign. Oftentimes I come across little bites of conversation where her name comes up and I hear a similar theme. It isn't expressed, it's implied. "Can we trust her?".

I was getting ready for a breakfast meeting the other day and I was listening to Dean and Rog (FM 93.7 The Arr0w) and they were discussing Hillary Clinton's emotional moment that's been reported all over the news from New Hampshire. They were discussing whether or not it was sincere. Everyone guesses at her sincerity and I believe I can put my thumb on it.

It goes back to the famous 60 Minutes interview back in '92 after Clinton had won the primaries. (the complete dialog of that interview is here) His affair with Jennifer Flowers was the big question. He denied the affair and Hillary stood by him and was rather defiant about it.

It was implied during that interview, that the affair-like behavior was behind him. It was also implied in that interview that he and Hillary loved each other. And I think that Clinton made a mistake when asked if he successfully put the issue behind him he said "That's up to the American people and to some extent up to the press. This will test the character of the press. It is not only my character that has been tested."

In that interview, he and Hillary were trying very hard to come across as not only a loving couple but also as a devoted team. America always wants sincerity from her candidates. We want to know that if trust someone with our vote that they aren't going to sell us down the river. We need and want to believe that they understand our daily lives and struggles and that once they are in that isolated culture on the hill that the won't forget the values of those who helped them get there. We want to believe they say these things to us not just because the want to be President. Whether our wants in this manner are realistic is not the point, it's what we want.

I think America watched this man's affairs unfold and then we watched Hillary. We watched her very closely and when she continued to stand by her man, we questioned why. Hillary wasn't a waif. She is a strong woman and had she not been the President's wife, she would have walked. But she didn't walk. She stayed and Americans believe she stayed not because she loved him but because she had an agenda. She looked at Bill and said I scratched your back, now you scratch mine. And so here she is running for President.

But she is Hillary, with an agenda running for President.

I like her and I've considered voting for her as I have said in previous posts but I can't help but refer back to the gut feeling inside that she wants power. Is she the male version of Bush? I don't know but I wonder. I can't help but think that if she had been a more a personal intimate partner or confidant to her husband he might not have had such a lack of reverence for his position as President. I think that since she was as ambitious as he that he didn't have an outlet, so he turned to women who could keep things fun and light. Notice that these women he pursued were not power mongers but were indeed the opposite of Hillary. He needed a release from the pressure of politics and he couldn't turn to her for that.

I'm very curious about her and would like to believe but I'm not sure and I don't know if we can ever know unless we just give her a chance.


Cathy said...

She definitely has an agenda but, then again, I think most who run for president do.

My problem is, does her agenda mean something better for our country. That is where my issue with her lies.

Does she want to be president because it is something she has aspired to, to fill some narcissistic agenda or does she really care for this country?

Like you I don't think we will ever know until we give her a chance. But, once we do that I fear having to suffer the consequences of giving the office to someone who can't relate at all to the people she is supposed to be serving.

It's a lot to think about.

A Girl From Texas said...

I agree Cathy. I, too, feel like it is a narcissistic agenda.

Anonymous said...

I think most people who run have a narcissistic agenda. Maybe 50 years from now they'll see more noble. Or maybe there's just so much coverage all the time that no president will ever seem noble like the prior ones.

As for the affairs, with the Monica one at least, I think she was completely blindsided. She's smart, and I don't think she would have gone on national television with that "vast right wing conspiracy" thing if she didn't believe him. I think he was like most men - he denied it to her, and she probably thought, "he's a dog, but could he be that awful that he'd have an intern my daughter's age give him a BJ in the oval office? nah." And then when he found out what kind of evidence there was of the affair, he had to come clean. I think she would've stuck up for him still, yes, but not that strongly.

Meghan said...

I think that everyone running in a Presidential race has a narcissistic agenda to a certain degree. I have a lot of respect for Hillary and the trails that she's blazed for women in politics. That being said, I'm still rooting for Obama. At this point, he seems to have more potential and more integrity as a person.

Meredith Lucio said...

I find it hard to believe anyone would put up with the kind of vitriole that Hillary in particular has suffered during her political life due to some narcisstic agenda.

What I find really depressing is that women in particular are the most judgemental about her decision to stay in her marriage. Personally, I don't care whether she stays married or not. It's never been a factor in my voting decisions for any candidate. But the whole point of this feminist movement that the women who came before us started was not that women could then be forced to make a different socially appropriate decision but that they could make their own decisions. I think Hillary did and continues to do just that: when she remained a lawyer while Bill was Governer, when she chose to be a working mother, when she chose to stay with her husband despite his rather obvious and very public frailty. That she did it because she loves her husband and believes in the value of their marriage is just as likely (if not more so) than that she stayed with him because 8+ years later she might be a viable candidate for President. Because none of us can know for sure, I suggest we simply decide if she has the experience and knowledge and vision for the job.

A Girl From Texas said...

Meredith, I've often wondered myself if my opinion of her was more judgemental than it would be than if she were a man.

You've definitely pushed me to explore it within myself further.