Sunday, February 3, 2008

Endorsing Hillary

Clearly, I was not happy when John Edwards tossed in the towel. It's not that often I have a vaguely viable candidate saying the things I want to hear. Paul Krugman tells me Edwards had a genuine impact on both the Clinton and Obama candidacies. I hope he got that right.

So, like a lot of Edwards supporters, I found myself trying to decide between what looked like the black Bill Clinton and the female Bill Clinton. (While I might have a certain admiration for John McCain as an independent thinker, I don't much care for where his independent thoughts might take us.)

I was really torn! Barack or Hillary? (Most often, those internal conflicts ended with, "Well, really, who gives a shit?") For reasons I couldn't put a finger on at the time, I found myself drifting towards Hillary. But why? (I don't easily let myself get away with emotionally based choices -- at least not without some analysis.)

Well, here's what I came up with: of the two remaining Democratic candidates, the one who reminds me more of Bill Clinton is Barack Obama. Since I really don't want another Clinton Administration of the 1990s variety, I'm supporting Hillary. Am I nuts? Maybe. Nevertheless, I believe that Hillary will be less like Bill than Barack -- less style, and more substance. I also think Hillary has the political skills to achieve genuine progressive goals by reaching out to specific Republicans on a bill by bill basis, not by reaching out to the Republican Party, which is still mired in its ideological tar pit.

Anyway, we boomers deserve at least one more presidency -- look how long we had to wait for the World War II crowd to get out of the way! My sincere hope is that somewhere inside Hillary's technocratic armor beats the heart of a sixties idealist; tempered by time and (yes) experience, but not willing to give up the fight.

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