In answer to Hal: "So what is it about the prospect of another Clinton in the White House that causes you to write so much so zealously in her service?"

    Pretty simple, Hal - when Clinton came in there was a high crime rate, entrenched poverty and welfare state, just coming off the unsocial/Iran-Contra Reagan-Bush years with a president who thought grocery checkout scanners were the height of tech. When he left, we had high employment, a ballooning internet industry, lots of jobs, black home ownership and jobs way up (including high up visible in his administration, plus Vernon Jordan as one of his most trusted advisors), a balanced budget, and a number of interesting possibilities for the future including trying hard to fix Israel-Palestine. Plus he balanced doing a bit of military action in hot spots - and for the first time got us helping a Muslim people who didn't have oil - rather than getting us heavily involved in foreign wars for crass imperialistic reasons, or doing nothing. We had a strong dollar but were *still* increasing exports, rather than the bullshit weak dollar/cheap goods approach.

    I was very happy in 2000. And then a bunch of liberal purists started saying Gore was just the same as Bush, it didn't matter, they were all corporate slaves, etc., etc. So Bush got in and it all collapsed in a pile of stinking shit. The Dot.Com collapse & poor recovery lasted 3 years because Bush wouldn't put in for jobs. He mismanged Clinton/Gore's welfare reform so that it turned into belt-tightening and cuts for the poor in a no-job environment rather than a firm nudge into a job and providing supportive resources. He started slashing government, kicked the hard-earned surplus back to the %1 instead of using it for needed improvements from infrastructure to job development to poverty. He ignored the security threats leading to 9/11 and then did everything wrong and un-American in overreacting and pushing his cronies' neocon Mideast disruptive vision. And he simply didn't give a shit.

    And the purists then mashed up that catastrophe with Clinton's performance to create the myth of the failed Clinton presidency (not that Bill didn't fritter away momentum, but he was also dealing with Gingrich and the new obstructionist Republicans). With friends like that, well, 16 years later I don't care what the purists think, and while I might like their energy and some of their goals, they're often counterproductive to real results.

    I give Hillary a lot of credit in informing the backdrop for this effort, including her tough work on healthcare in 1993 and later with SCHIP, in keeping a united front in the face of the actual "vast right conspiracy", in making an important appeal for women in Beijing at a time when everyone wanted to suck up to China and focus on the money goldrush, in assisting the Irish peace process. I assume from that time that she shares much of Al Gore's commitment to the environment that he got trashed and mocked for. 

    I appreciate Hillary getting on the Armed Services Committee and studying up on the issues, as Democrats are frequently trashed as unserious about security - a move that got her smacked with the "hawk" label (though she's no more hawkish than most of the men around her). Obama in the end basically used her healthcare plan to implement. She fought hard and then sucked it up and took it for the team, playing a supportive role for other ambitions, even though she's more organized and prepared than most anyone I've seen in politics (Alan Grayson possibly an exception, but he's also usually dealing with fewer issues).

    When Hillary was at Wellesley, they had the girls prepare the skills to be able to put on dinners for hundreds of people - arrange all the catering, deliveries, choose the foods, settings, decorations, what all. This was considered "women's work", and the amount of project skill and organizational ability it instills, the attention to detail, is rather astounding - I know few men who get introduced to this level of organization this early. When Hiillary made her rounds around the world, she kept "lists" - she noted women make lists - and those lists meant people and issues got remembered, from small thank yous to remembering to make introductions to other kinds of effort. She knows how to multitask. While the White House was scattered and leap-frogging from idea to idea, her wing was doing its best to keep them focused, fill in the holes, hold it all together.

    I do think (perhaps sexistly) sometimes women are overall/in general better at the multitasking and men at the big ideas & strategizing, but recognize that a lot of that is due to traditional roles, but still I have a gut feeling that men want the hero bit and women want everything to run smoothly. But I think Hillary's background and attitude in campaigns since McGovern's time and rural poverty initiatives in Arkansas and pushing healthcare and other things as First Lady and Senator and candidate and SoS shows she's comfortable with and interested in the big ideas side of things.

    And despite the Clintons' wealth, I don't feel they're inordinately concerned about personal money - I think they're interested in doing good things, solving the harder problems, and know enough people and how the processes work to get those things done. Someone noted soon after Hillary became Secretary of State there was a US Pavilion at an expo in Shanghai or Beijing that was unfunded, rather embarrassing, and with a bit of digging and a few calls she was able to get a few million donated from some corporation to make it a success. Yes, that kind of access is two-sided, but it's also required for results, and so far I haven't felt she was so far up the butt of anyone to not push for overall progressive goals. She's a bit tone-deaf on security issues, as is much of Washington (and much of the US population), so I hope she "evolves" on that. As Secretary of State she shoved through the same family benefits for gays as for anyone else, not waiting for Obama to issue a general policy (or more likely by agreement to be a an easier trial balloon)..

    So yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking with it. I know things with Hillary aren't perfect, but they're not just good enough - they're quite optimistic. Here's hoping she gets better at expressing that optimism, despite all the crap thrown at her, as Americans do like voting for optimism even as they respond way too much to fear.



    Seems mostly  right

    I differ with you about Hillarycare . I was convinced by Brad DeLong that she mismanaged not its design but the politics of its implementation. But I don't consider that as necessarily an example of a fatal personality flaw. Our subsequent  experience with Obamacare's introduction and (lack of) bi partisan acceptance supports the argument that Hillarycare couldn't have been  negotiated ,it had to be imposed.  

    Finally, for myself  I support Hillary because  she's electable and Bernie isn't. . Unless she the democratic candidate the next president will either be one of the scary assortment of Republicans or - if we're lucky- Bloomberg.

    I admire Bernie , I wish the country was ready to accept his ideas. It isn't.  . . 


    "supports the argument that Hillarycare couldn't have been  negotiated ,it had to be imposed." - Robert Byrd (D) refused to let Bill pass healthcare in a reconciliation bill. Obama tried passing it without... and after 2 years passed it in a reconciliation bill (wasting a year when he could have passed something else major in reconciliation - only get 1 initiative/chance per year). Of course I'm not denying she made some mistakes - as did others around her. Just funny how she gets to wear the anchor alone.

    As I repeatedly note, Sanders is running as the anti-Obama. Obama was a failed, disappointing President. We had Eddie S. Glaude Jr's "Democracy in Black", Tavis Smiley's "The Covenant with Black America - Ten Years Later", Micheal Eric Dyson's "The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America", and now Bill Press and his book "Buyer's Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down". All the author's note how Obama, like Clinton, let them down. Obama failed. They do mention the wingnuts, but the fact that we are not a Progressive Paradise is Obama's fault. 

    Sanders puts Obama hyper-critic Cornel West front and center at his rallies. Ben Jealous, the former head of the NAACP, says Obama is not Progressive enough. This from the guy who led an organization that didn't accept Gay marriage until President Obama led the way. Hilarious.



    I give you a lot of credit PP.  You have put together the strongest case I have seen for a third term for the Clintons.  I think you over-credit Bill and Hillary for positive aspects of US society in 92-00 and you under-blame them for significant problems that we've experienced since he took office.  But you make a good case as far as you go.

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