Friday, March 07, 2008


A lifetime of experience?

You know, it’s funny: now that it’s just a fight — and “fight” is, indeed, the appropriate word — between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, it seems that every time the former opens her mouth, she annoys me more. Perhaps it’s the desperation that comes from being behind, but whatever it is, the candidate has turned into some sort of talking doll: every time you pull the string, it says something stupid.

For instance, she started complaining about how the press was treating her, in the middle of a “debate”. That came across not as a demand for fairness, but as petulant pettiness. It didn’t serve her well.

And she’s been complaining about how the Texas Democrats do their voting, and is now threatening to take them to court because it looks like she’ll ultimately not be the winner in Texas. That’s coming across as mindless flailing in an attempt to hold on to whatever she can. We all know how Texas does things. It hasn’t been changed just to undermine Senator Clinton, and it won’t be changed just because she stomps her foot and demands it. These complaints, also, are not serving her well.

Now that it’s likely that neither candidate will go to the convention with a decisive gaggle of delegates in tow, she’s saying that they should count the silly non-elections that happened in Florida and Michigan. Of course, since they weren’t supposed to produce delegates, no one took them seriously, and she was the only candidate on some of the ballots. It was a very stupid thing for the Democratic party to do in the first place, indeed, but now that it’s done it’d be colossally stupid to turn around now and say, “Hey, no, we’re gonna count them after all.” This is just coming off as an attempt at outright unfairness, and it definitely doesn’t serve her well.

But if anything, she’s outdone herself with her characterizations of her experience and Senator Obama’s lack of it, especially with this comment that she’s made, which I heard re-aired on NPR yesterday afternoon:

I think you’ll be able to imagine many things Senator McCain will be able to say. He’s never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.


Senator McCain has a “lifetime” of experience. Senator Clinton has a “lifetime” of experience — I guess she was practicing for the presidency in high school. Senator Obama, on the other hand, was just kicking back and watching the grass grow until he made a speech in 2002 — a speech that he’s mentioned often when he points out that he was against the war in Iraq.

Of course, Senator Clinton is trying to hypnotize people into forgetting that she voted for the war, by repeating the drone that it was the right thing to do with the information we had at the time. But more than that, she’s trying to tell us that the anti-war speech is all Senator Obama has going for him.

What’s worse, though, is that she’s actually telling us that if Senator Obama winds up with the Democratic nomination, we’d be better off voting for Senator McCain. Sure, look at what she’s said: Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience behind him, and all Senator Obama has to offer us is one lousy anti-war speech. We’d have to be crazy to go for that over more than 70 years of experience!

Is that really the message she wants to leave us with, should she happen to lose her bid for the nomination?

This is all just getting tedious. Senator Clinton, go back to the issues. And this applies to all the candidates. Tell us what you’ll do if we elect you. Tell us why your ideas are better, not with vague claims of “a lifetime of experience”, but with roadmaps and details. If I like what you say, I will vote for you.

But not if you just piss me off with your sniping.


Julietta said...

Okay, I am just tapping my fingers waiting for Lidija to get home and have something to say about THIS post! And she will, and it'll be brilliantly articulate and she will almost win me back to the Clinton camp. (She's a Hillary fan and I'm not, even though I agonized over not supporting a woman because I am a feminist.)

Gotta say, your spin on Hillary logic---voting for McCain because he has the MOST experience-- is hilarious. :-) And almost convincing.

Frisky070802 said...

I've been all over the road on this as I see the liberal blogosphere attacking Hillary over this.

In general, I support her, because I do believe she has much more experience, and "change" only helps if it comes from someone appropriately qualified. I have been a lifelong Democrat yet I am tempted to vote for McCain over Obama on this issue.

But at the same time, I don't think Hillary has in general been saying Obama is unqualified. Or maybe she did, relatively so, in the quote here (he gave one speech), but the thing is that the bloggers are complaining that the 3am ad was saying that he was unqualified. And there I have to disagree. She was claiming to be more qualified, but that doesn't mean she was saying Obama is unqualified. Even so, I think McCain is actually better qualified on the experience front than either, and so it backfires in many ways.

Experience is one metric. General policies, the sort of people a president will appoint to the courts, and so on are other issues. Based on the totality of the issues, I would take either Obama or Clinton over McCain, though in the case of Obama it is much closer. Based just on the experience question, McCain wins hands down, and Obama is just a footnote.

So in all, I wish Obama had waited until 2016, and given the circumstances, I hope he will serve as VP for 8 years and then as president for 8 more.

lidija said...

Oy, I'm tired! Soooo, not much to say. It's a matter of personal taste. I thought the McCain invocation was done clumsily at best, but I took it not as Barry did, but as bringing up the electability point.

As far as the experience goes, yes, Sen. Clinton has been in the public life and active some 15 years longer than Sen. Obama has, and has almost twice the senate tenure than he has. Sen. Clinton has very specific policies laid out on her campaign website, such as the health care proposal, which is different in ways that matter to me, from that of Sen. Obama. I think domestic issues are more pressing in this country, and I find him slightly more to the right from her. Neither addresses the economy well enough (but McCain doesn't either) and I think it will be difficult to legislate away greed, which is the underlying problem to some current economic woes. Hillary has done well by the underprivileged as well as the businesses as the New York senator.

OK, New Yorkers, you already know Hillary's record :-) I gotta find some Pennsylvania Dems to talk to ;-)