Thursday, August 30, 2007

I'm not voting for Hillary just because she is a woman, but...

Whenever someone starts with "I'm not just..." and follows that clause with "but," you know they are lying.

Today, my colleague, RA, uttered the blog post title during a conversation with me today. She's politically aware and says she supports Hillary. I asked her why and she wasn't able to articulate Hillary's position on anything (other than she's married to Bill Clinton and he's the smartest and best advisor a president could ask for - to which I agree).

So I kept pushing her and trying to see where she agreed with Hillary because this woman is rabidly anti-war and Hillary isn't.

At a moment of frustration that ended the conversation, my colleague blurted out, "I'm not voting for Hillary just because she is a woman, but it's just that I look out over the political landscape and there is no other woman on the horizon. If she isn't elected, it will be a generation before another woman gets a chance." With that, she broke eye contact, turned on her heels and walked out of the lunch room.

The weird part is that I understand if she did JUST support Hillary because she was a woman. I don't think it would be a stretch for a woman to believe that men have made a mess of politics and a woman's touch is exactly what is needed.

However, her answer was beyond absurd. First, I bet Kathleen Sebelius (D-KS) and Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) would be shocked to hear that they couldn't possibly be a presidential contender, even though they are successful executives at the state level. Are not Barbara Boxer (D-CA) or Patty Murray (D-WA) successful and more accomplished senators than even Mrs. Clinton herself?

Second, RA doesn't share the same policy positions as Hillary. RA is for ending the war immediately. She's for universal health care. She's in favor of impeaching Bush and Cheney. Hillary is not for any of those.

Third, to think that Hillary would be a good candidate for the Democrats is both naive and foolish. Sure, Bill Clinton is the smartest man in whatever room he's in, but he also has a bit of a zipper problem. Any Democrat that thinks there won't be a "bimbo eruption" during the general election is fooling themselves. They are especially fooling themselves if they don't think that will effect the outcome of the election. However, in her own right, Hillary's a known quantity. He unfavorable ratings are in the mid-40s. That means the Republicans only have to convince 5% or so of the voting population that she isn't the right person for the presidency and America is stuck with another Republican administration. In addition to the popular vote, does anyone see how the electoral map changes from 2004?

Hillary would be an excellent president. She's very intelligent. She's smart enough to surround herself with intelligent people with divergent opinions. She'd be competent and an infinite improvement over the current administration. It's just a shame she'll never work in the Oval Office.

Maybe I'm being cynical and just need a shot of this: