HILARY’S LOST OPPORTUNITY
With the Democrat Convention beginning tonight there is a hint of justice that hasn’t been much discussed even by political pundits. The Clintons rode into Washington almost 16 years ago. It doesn’t seem like a longtime ago, but it is the equivalent to when Barry Goldwater lost and Ronald Reagan won.
It wasn’t enough for the Clintons to occupy the White House. They also needed to occupy the moral high ground. These children of the 1960s were going to right the wrongs of their parents and grandparents except when they were useful as some sort of prop so that Clinton could refer to himself as a child of WWII or the Depression or whatever real challenge his parents generation lived through, he skipped the hard road. His cabinet would look like America, meaning that he would scrape three deep to get a female Attorney General, going all the way to a Miami prosecutor. If you were a minority and a female, the staff would refer to you as a twofer. Jocelyn Elders was the most famous of the twofers. Now it was Clinton’s right to pick who he wanted and let Congress decide if they were qualified, but it did no honor to those chosen to say they were considered for their looks. Isn’t that just what Gloria Steinem didn’t want?
The Clintons brought a lot of baggage into 2008. They probably didn’t think that their “looks like America” stance would be anything but a positive. After all, they were here to let you nominate the first female president. But what happened? Hilary has always been a smart political ideologue and she saw it as her strength. And she decided to run a campaign based on experience and the issues, two things decidedly not superficial. But along comes the guy who just looks like he should be President according to their standard. He’s warm and she’s cold. He’s new and she’d old. But even more important, he comes from a demographic background more victimized than hers, a background less represented in society.
How many times do you think during the debates that Hilary wanted to blurt out that Democrats were choosing symbols over substance? Yeah, and who taught them that? And when would Democrats ever get another chance after all these years of having the radical likes of Sharpton and Jackson and Maxine Watters spoiling things?
Hilary had her opportunity it 2004 and she skipped it hoping for a wide open race in 2008. She did everything right, even sending her operatives down to Iowa to get the dour Kerry nominated. You could make a case that Hilary’s pragmatic approach to the war could have beat Bush in 2004. She would have easily won the nomination in that crowd, but she ducked it.
The Clintons brought identity politics into the mainstream and finally poetic justice makes them a victim of it.