It surprises me that press commentators, even unfriendly ones, have been willing to accept Hillary Clinton’s self evaluation of her alleged competence, hard work and attention to detail at face value. I don’t know about you, but every time I hear her in this vein I am reminded of another president who promised a similar package yet has delivered very little.
The art of the possible in politics depends not only on diligence and command of policy, but on managing your friends and enemies. That is where Gloria, with her inability to confront powerful interest groups (notably the military) and her inconstancy, has conspicuously failed. I have a feeling that Hillary’s latent vindictiveness would also prevent her from forming the coalitions she will need to be a good president.
Here is Greg Craig, a personal friend of both Clintons, who is now with the Obama camp:
“You’re getting to that five per cent of Hillary that I don’t like—which is to see in every corner a conspiracy or an opponent that must be crushed. Look at her comment ‘Now the fun part starts’ ”—Clinton’s announcement in Iowa that she would begin attacking Obama’s record. “There is a quality of playing the embattled, beleaguered victim that I find unappealing and depressing.”
The quotation comes from a New Yorker article delineating the differences between the two leading Democratic candidates. Here is another example of this side of her personality:
Clinton’s instinct to fight back was honed in the rough world of Arkansas politics. Once, when the two couples were talking about policy matters, Danner proposed a way to offer retail discounts to Arkansas’s substantial elderly population. To the astonishment of Danner and Pietrafesa, Hillary responded, “The last thing we need to do right now is something for folks who didn’t vote for Bill.” She had, Danner remembered, “this binary view of the world, a little like Bush’s comment ‘You’re with us or you’re against us.’ ” In Pietrafesa’s opinion, “Hillary needs enemies.”
Hillary's need for enemies reminds me of another former president.
In order to understand Nixon's growing paranoia and criminal activities we need to look closely at who was on his enemies list:
… Joe Namath, Jane Fonda, Dick Gregory, Gregory Peck, Steve McQueen
Edward Kennedy, Edmund Muskie, Harold Hughes, Walter Mondale, William Proxmire, Birch Bayh
The Presidents of Yale, Harvard Law School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the Rand Corporation, the National Education Association, Philip Morris, and the National Cleaning Contractors
The American Civil Liberties Union, the National Organization for Women, Americans for Democratic Action, and the Urban League.
For this and for many other reasons I'm for Obama all the way on Tuesday.