North by Northeast

Broad-based Appeal for the Democratic Nominee
10 January, 2008, 5:40 pm
Filed under: politics, Politics 2008

I feel that it is of critical importance that liberals, progressives, registered Democrats and (like me) independents (in states that allow their voting, like here in Massachusetts) need to seriously take something into account. They need to make sure that the Democratic party nominates someone with broad cross-aisle appeal. Hillary Clinton is not that person. She would be a competent President. But the problem is that should would not draw enough independent and Republican voters to get elected. Too many people (rightly or wrongly) really, really dislike her.

She makes the opposite case: that she is the only viable Democrat who could get elected, due to her “35 years of experience.” She criticizes Edwards’s and Obama’s resumes for being only a one-term Senator. Yet, she is only a two-termer. From the way she speaks about it, you’d think she’s spent 35 years in government. In my book, while a plus, simply being First Lady doesn’t qualify someone to be President. She did more to set back the cause of Universal Care in this country more than any Democrat I can name. The Republicans call it Hillary Care! That isn’t a compliment! Being First Lady of Arkansas doesn’t count as a qualification, either.

So when you break it down, her experience is more-or-less the same (commendable) as John Edwards: a lawyer who fought for (in her case) children. Then she moved to Washington and was a lawyer on a team for the House Judiciary Committee, assigned to look into impeachment for Richard Nixon. Then she was a lawyer for a federal nonprofit program that funds legal assistance for the poor. All of this is public service, yes. But none of it is significantly different from John Edwards’s attorney background, or that Barak Obama’s background of being an inner-city community organizer prior to deciding to get into politics. This lead him to Harvard Law School, then to practice as a civil rights lawyer and teach constitutional law in Chicago prior to running for, and serving eight years in the Illinois State Senate, then in 2004, gaining election to the U.S. Senate.

If you look at the top three Democrats, based on time served to elected office, Barack Obama actually has the most years served as an elected official.

So then if they’re backgrounds are all similar, then how should we differentiate? I propose we choose the person who is most inspirational to the largest number of people, regardless of political background. We need healing now more than policies. I’ll speak in more specifics to this topic in a future post.


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