Undecideds: Why I’m Doing a 180 and Voting For Hillary

(If you are still undecided today then here’s a thought: If you want ‘change’, and we all do, then you have to have a change agent that knows the system and has the contacts to create that change. Perhaps my thoughts as I did a 180 degree turn to support Hillary Clinton will be helpful.)

So how did I come to a momentous change 180 degree change? Since I am grounded in Practical Politics, my first concern in any election is winning.

Whoever we pick as the Democratic nominee will be attacked as if they have stinking, slimy baggage by the Republican Party, the nominee and, more importantly, the slimy political world that surrounds the GOP. These ‘independent’ organizations have a sole purpose: to attack relentlessly, in the most vicious possible ways, the Democratic nominee. There will never be a ‘clean’ candidate that is exempt from their attacks.

Who, then, I began to think is best equipped to handle the vicious, continuous attacks that the other side will launch? So who could best stand up and fight?

Hillary Clinton has, as she has said, taken this incoming fire for 15 years or more. She’s had her patriotism questioned, her sexuality questioned, been accused of being a murderer, been accused of much more and yet she’s still the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination.

She’s tougher than boot leather while having a human side. Those are assets that our candidate needs. Hillary Clinton has developed thick skin and the ability to remain calm in campaign combat. Yet, she also knows how to listen to the American people.

Qualifications? She’s a successful, liberal US Senator. She’s won a Senate election that was none too clean by fighting back and campaigning in the non-traditional places in NY. She went to conservative, Republican based northern rural areas and won them over with smart policies, substantive talk and the fact she simply listened! In that most unlikely of places, she won with 67% of the vote. And then in 2006 she won re-election.

I like that she sticks to policy and not continuous personal attacks when she talks, but I also like that she also takes the time to listen when she’s campaigning. (I can testify that having a candidate disciplined enough to force herself to listen to others when it would be so much easier to rush to the next event is unusual in itself.)

I am convinced that Hillary is strong where others, including Barack Obama, would be weak and inexperienced. She will fight the filth machine of the other side with vigor and calmness. She knows how to outmaneuver them.

She’s a warrior. It’s a term seldom applied to women. Yet being a warrior is what she’s been from her Watergate committee staffing experience, through several terms as the First Lady of Arkansas, working on multiple corporate boards fighting for equal rights for workers and women and during her years as First Lady of the US traveling the world. She learned first hand in those travels the foreign issues and realities. Hillary Clinton has made the personal contacts that are will be so valuable in the White House. She has consistently fought for the underdog and the American people. She was a warrior without anyone using the term.

Hillary Clinton knows how to form coalitions on Capitial Hill to get the job done! She has, that ‘bad’ word this election cycle, ‘experience’. JFK, perhaps one of the most inspirational speakers in his day, had 8 years US Senate experience and had taken a run at the Vice Presidency in 1956. He knew government from the inside.

JFK was not an outsider condemning the system and all those in it. If you want change in government you first have to learn how to operate from the inside to get the laws and policies changed. We learned this time and time again from JFK to Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton, to use her term and much to my surprise, is ‘my gal’. I will vote for her today and in the general election.

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110 Responses to Undecideds: Why I’m Doing a 180 and Voting For Hillary

  1. Steve

    My pleasure. I will say that where I see Billl Clinton being blamed for not taking a tough enough stance on terrorism is all coming from the right wing. Further, we all know the Clinton admin tried to warn the Bush admin. Only wingnuts deny that happened.

    On a personal level, I’m an only parent with a small business. In ’04 I supported Kerry because I felt he had the best stance on the issues that were important to me and the experience to do the job. I feel in this election that Clinton has the most experience and the best stance on the issues that I feel are important to me as a voter, small business owner and parent.

    Those issues include the economy, the environment, education and higher education, healthcare, jobs, small business and ending the war in Iraq.

    As First Lady, Hillary Clinton was in a position to interact with foreign leaders on a regular basis and she’s traveled to Iraq as a Senator. She also pushed for healthcare for children as First Lady and since being in the Senate she’s proven to have a liberal voting record.

    I feel she’s a stronger speaker and debater than Obama and has a track record of standing up to the noise machine.

  2. OregonVoter says:

    I heard Sen Clinton say yesterday that she had campaigned for Obama,.. had a picture of his family in her office from that time….

    So this would be how he would repay a Senator who came to help him get elected? You take the opportunity of a 60+ yr old woman to be elected, a woman who will probably never run again if she is not elected this year, and say that your knowledge is more than hers.

    I was not a fan of either, I was supporting Joe Biden or Chris Dodd, both of them with a whole lot more experience than either Obama or Clinton, ……but without the money, they are out , even tho either of them could have been an effective president.

    I was Mad… that Obama and Clinton thought they had the Experience when I thought BIden or Dodd should be the candidate.

    Now tho, I wonder how Obama can say he has the experience…. of what… writing a book, getting elected, ..then immediately running for another office….and after CLinton helped him get elected. That says something about integrity.

    I don’t like the idea of illegal immigration, and of the candidates pandering to get the Latino vote. Who are these voters? How about the Italian, German, Vietnamese vote? Why single out any ethnic group? Why not support US citizens ?

    Who do you vote for when you don’t like either of them…

  3. heather says:

    Hillary all the way!!!!!

  4. Steve Cohn says:

    I think we could debate experience all day long but to me it’s about leadership; the ability to motivate and bring people together to achieve results. I don’t want to waste our time about Hillary’s or Barack credentials as niether of us will budge on that. But dismissing that, I’m big on character & creditability…The Clintons are followed by scandals. Hillary even had to say “I promise no scandals” recently. Think about that. Can you image if Mccain or Obama said that? As I’ve been researching, looking at page after page of the people Bill pardoned during his presidency is sickening. (US Dept. of Justice has that list and it’s on line). Obama has the one bonehead real estate deal and it didn’t involve any abuse of his public office. They (politicians) all have baggage; Obama’s is a carry on but the Clinton’s you need a UHaul.

    Even if I thought she had superior experience, the bottom line is people do not want to work with her. The best laid plans will be changed a hundred times and if our president can’t bring people together, nothing will ever get done. I’m sure you’ve interacted with highly qualified busines owners but they never achieve as mush as they can as they can’t keep or motivate staff.

    And let’s think globally for a second- I strongly feel the biggest problem in politics and the reason why the same yutzs get re-elected every term is people don’t care. Barack has gotten people of all ages to care. I’m a perect example of that. The concern I have with Hillary is it’ll be more the same politics, the same Repubs vs Democrats, and people will grow disinterested and we’ll end up with the same people in office we currently have until they retire. I know polls have proven to be inaccurate and no one can ever count the Clinton’s out, but it’s a fact that Barack will match up better against McCain in the general election. Barack is getting the independent and even some republican voters. Hillary is not. I think he’s the Deomcrat’s best chance of winning.

    When it comes to trust- Hillary has taken more PAC/lobbyst money than McCain. Barack has taken a negligoble amount. How is she going to promote change when McCain, who has lobbyed hard for campaign reform, lists all the PAC money she has taken? Plus- what happenes when McCain asks her if she’ll allow Bill to have interns. We certainly don’t want to relive that debacle. That’s one of her problems, she ties her experience to being a first lady but she won’t release her records of being a first lady. Or her tax returns so we can see where her income comes from. She adds to the overal feeling that people feel she isnt’ trustworthy (statisitcs & polls have shown that- it’s not just my gut opinion)

    I really appreciate your thoughts. I’m looking forward to the upcoiming CNN debate. With Hillary launching somewhat “negative” ads (expected but not too nasty yet) and having to really not only shine but discredit Barack, and with him having to prove he’s “tough enough” to hit back, I think it’s going to be a fist fight.

    And Oregon Voter- As I’m from CT I found it nice your high regards for Chris Dodd. I’ve lived in CT all my life. He has a ton of experience but I find it odd that people who have been part of the system we are trying to change always talk about change every election, then don’t bring it up again until it’s time to get re-elected. I am glad you hink highly of the folks from CT (except Joe Liberman…he’s on everyone’s poop list for good now!). . Thanks!

  5. Steve

    Wow – thanks so much for dropping a boat load of right wing memes here about the Clintons. It’s no small wonder Clinton supporters have had it up to the rafters with Obama supporters who continually do this instead of talking about the issues.

    You don’t think the issues are important obviously. You asked for reasons why people support Clinton. You got a response and you drop crap here instead of explaining what you think Obama’s strengths are.

  6. Steve Cohn says:

    Pamela-
    Smacking me around..well deserved and you are right .
    Sorry you found it right-wingish and you are right- I spoke more about what I don’t like than I should have. As a side note as the right-wing comment sent a chill up my spine, I was an “unaffiliated” voter prior to this campaign and, like you, had voted for Kerry last time around.

    If I got off track and you found it offensive, I apologize. It wasn’t intentional.

    Let me clean up my my thoughts as to why Obama instead of Hillary for me…..
    The reason Obama is my choice over Hillary I feel he’s a a “clean slate” for the country and I feel he could bring about a unity amongst the parties that would lead to a more effiicient government. I also like the fact he has not taken money from lobbyists; To be fair to the other folks- I hold respect for McCain for his efforts (in the past) on campaign reform as he has been speaking about and doing something about it for years. I think it’s a huge problem and needs to be addressed by whomever is President.

    You also brought up a good point about “Obama supporters that do that vs. the issues.” As I reflect on that and wonder why I wrote what I wrote, I guess it’s because both candidates are concerened, for the most part, with the same issues. Even though they may have different approaches, no one is truly sure which one is the best or that either has a plan that could or would serve as a viable solution (lost of moving parts, people and unknown factors). So if I can’t point out the war vs. no war, or tax cuts for the rich or not, it does come down to the individual….Hillary vs. Barack…followed by that boat load of dung you mentioned. It then becomes an emotional debate vs a factual debate and even more dung gets piled on.

    That was my initial reason for posting on this site. I was one of the many who felt leary towards to Hillary and wanted to hear from the folks who feel GREAT about her.

    I understand your support for Hillary. She’s strong, confident, intelligent and is a good voice for the Democratic party.

    Pamela- Thanks again for the conversation.

  7. Steve Cohn

    Thank you for the well reasoned response. I must admit to being a bit battle weary of late. It took me a long time to get to a place where I felt I could back a candidate in this race. I was a volunteer writer for the Kerry blog from Aug ’03 through the general election. I had fully expected he would run again and it was quite a let down that he didn’t. That said I held back and watched and listened carefully and came to the conclusion that Clinton has the best platform, etc.

    On the flipside they are both phenomenal candidates and people in my opinion and we will do well, very well with either in the White House.

    My greatest wish in this race is that Obama would step back from his rhetoric about her “baggage” because it’s not good for the party. I understand he wants to win, but at what cost? When she speaks of him it’s always in referencing their minor policy differences. It’s not making personal type statements about him. Her speech last night in Texas is a prime example of that. If you didn’t watch it you might want to give it a whirl – not to change your mind, but to understand maybe why those of us who like her do.

  8. Steve Cohn says:

    Hi Pamela-
    I listened to the speech for a little but had to read it on the NY Times link as my bias gets in the way when I’m watching Hillary (old habits are hard to break). To be honest, if we changed a few of the words I bet most folks couldn’t tell who’s it was; Baracks or Hillary’s.

    For me, I’ve noticed there are more simularities in Hillary’s style and content to Obama as the race has progressed. I’ll take my own grain of salt on that comment as I’ve heard more of his than hers.

    If you have a few sleepless nights to kill, thumb through Barack’s Blueprint for America. It’s a lot to page through but if nothing else, it shows the attempt at a well thoughtout stance on the issues. Barack gets challenged on his lack of substance but this is 60+ pages of content, lots of hope and a bunch of ideas. I wouldn’t call it an iron clad business plan, but it has bullett points on each issue….. http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/ObamaBlueprintForChange.pdf

    On the Obama/baggage thing, I don’t see that. I think it comes more from his supporters, as withnessed by that post of mine, than his campaign. He hammers on the future, she hammers on experience.

    I saw Hillary’s ad today (“debate”) and I thought Barack had a nice “back at ya” ad. Expected as it’s do or die for both of them.

    I’m watching McCain on Larry King/CNN now. I was a fan of his in the past. Too bad he drank Bush-kool aid.

    Good chatting with you. I think next Thursday’s debate is critical for both. The big question is if they split 50/50 or so, what’s going to happen Just when Howard Dean thought he was out of the limelight he’ll be the center of it.

    Take care.

  9. Steve Cohn says:

    Pamela-
    During our posts I was reviewing some of your other posts and just stumbled upon your bio; I did not realize The Democratic Daily was founded by you.

    Nice. Keep up the good work.
    Steve

  10. Steve Cohn

    Thanks – yes I founded the Dem Daily – seems like a lifetime ago!

    If there are similarities as the race goes on between Clinton and Obama, consider that Hillary has in fact spent a few more years in the political arena on the federal level and is also considered to be a major policy wonk.

    That said, Obama is warming up now and he’s been taking ideas from a wealth of sources including John Edwards and no doubt our former nominee, John Kerry.

    If anything Clinton’s speech style – heavy on policy is more like Kerry’s, but Kerry also blended in a bit more idealism than Clinton does. He was the best of both worlds in my opinion.

    In the end, I think I may have said this already, once we have a nominee, their plan will get dissected and that plan will be run through the DNC and the party leaders and we’ll have a party platform that will include we hope the best of the best.