Remembering what I disliked, and there were many things, in the Clinton presidency, has led me to a very awkward place already in terms of the general election.
I can’t stand that the Clintons are willfully misunderstanding and misconstruing Barak Obama’s words. That should be beneath anyone with their level of intelligence, except that it’s part of their scorched earth campaign strategy.
I’m disheartened to see ex-President Clinton tarnish his already damaged legacy by scolding students, the media or frankly anyone in the vicinity when confronted with statements (which happen to be true) that he doesn’t like. To say he comes off as less than presidential is an understatement.
I particularly object to the Clintons’ injection of race and gender into a campaign that should be about neither. In theory, Hillary is not running for the President of All Women any more than Obama is running for President of Black America. You just wouldn’t know it to listen to the Clinton camp.
In fact one of things I find most appealing about Obama is that he’s gone to great pains to de-emphasize his African-American heritage. During the anniversary of the Selma march, someone near him said, “This was a great moment in Black history” and he immediately corrected the person. “No,” he said, “This was a great moment in American history.” It’s the kind of worldview that Hillary simply does not have.
There are other factors as well, of course. The Clinton campaign’s reflexive lying is appalling on one level and not at all unexpected on another. I do not trust anything she says, and before anyone complains that such a statement could be made about any politician, I would note that I implicitly trust the comments of Barak Obama, John McCain, and a number of others.
But having said all this and having contributed to the Obama campaign, I expect Hillary Clinton to be the Democrat nominee, a prospect that makes me physically ill. She is absolutely not what America needs.
Given the Republican choices, she may however be lesser of evils. The calculations I’m having to work through now are which Republicans are a better alternative. Certainly not Guiliani or Huckabee, the former because he’s a power-mad dictator type and the latter because he’s a (albeit charming) dim-bulb creationist.
At present, I would vote for John McCain over Clinton simply because McCain, despite his many faults, is a man of character and honor. I think he’s about as wrong as one can be on the Iraq war, obviously, but I’m not convinced that he’d be any worse on Middle East policy in general than Clinton.
Mitt Romney is a strange case. He’s a Republican version of Clinton in that you can’t trust a word he says. It’s like the old joke: How can you tell when he’s lying? When his lips are moving. Still, I would give him very careful consideration in a run against Clinton, if only because when everyone is untrustworthy, my fallback is a look at experience. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney has been successful at everything he’s done. Clinton, who makes the incredulous claim of being ready on day one, can’t hold a candle to the experience that Romney can claim.
I don’t know if that’s enough to make me hold my nose and vote Republican, but if the other option is Hillary Clinton, it just may be.