Carrie Wooten

Hillary Clinton 2008

Filed By Carrie Wooten | February 09, 2007 12:57 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
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It is interesting to me, the apathy that I have witnessed towards Hillary running for President. A highly qualified, highly intelligent, highly respected woman who is being met with curious opposition from her own side in favor of less qualified male candidates. How interesting. If Hillary was a man, would we be advocating as a party for a Senator from Chicago with only two years experience in Washington with such gusto? Seeing as how her views on equal marriage rights are in line with Barack's (they both support civil unions, but not marriage), I am surprised at the lack of support she is receiving in favor of him. Especially considering that her being in office would completely change the face of our political world - open up so many possibilities for positive change, open up a woman's place in determining the course of this country. Are we really so afraid to have a voice for women in the most powerful position in the world? Is there really a better woman candidate on the horizon that we promise we will vote for in the future? Or are we saying that just her being in the race is enough? That she's had her time but now we better get back to the serious contenders?

I am angry. Angry at the ways in which sexism in this country is undermining the most formidable Democratic contender for the 2008 Presidential elections. Angry at how those who are against her hide behind "she's too strong" or "she's not motherly enough" or "she has too much baggage." Bullshit. It's time for change. It's time for someone not mired in their own male privilege and sexism to steer this country on a new path. It's time for women's voices to be heard from the most powerful podium in the world.

"There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country." - Hillary Clinton


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Sorry, but here's one feminist who disagrees with your analysis. I'd work my fingers to the bone if it were Nancy Pelosi running for President, but I think it is a travesty of feminism to support someone simply because of her gender. While Hillary is a highly competent Senator, she has displayed an ongoing willingness to pander, to dissemble, and to say what she thinks will get her elected. Her unwillingness to disavow her vote for the war in Iraq is just one example.

The bottom line for me is that gender, religion, sexual orientation and other markers of identity ought not motivate our votes for OR against any candidate.

Potential 2008 DNC Delegate | February 9, 2007 2:53 PM

Carrie, your post is wonderful.

Here's my problem with Hillary: Bill.

I am certain she is bright enough, strong enough and forthrigiht enough to be president. I'll likely end up supporting her. She's been an excellent US Senator.

But this nagging question remains: she lives (mostly)apart from Bill. He molested an intern in the Oval Office. And yet, she stays with him. I can only conclude she's doing it in an opportunistic move...and it troubles me.

Not enough to support someone else.

But it is troubling. I usually don't think it's fair to condemn someone for actions of their bedmate. But this one is different to me, for some reason...and it's just creepy. It causes me, to some degree, to question her judgment.

Yeah... I can't see why everyone isn't backing up Hillary Clinton. It might have to do with the facts that:
1. She hasn't taken a stand against the war. She's said Bush bungled it, but what if he didn't? what if he were really effective at killing Iraqis? There still wouldn't be democracy there, but more Middle Easterners would be dead, so would she consider that a victory?
2. Her most famous legislative idea is still her bad health care plan. Far from universal health care, it basically would have made it illegal to not have insurance, amounting to one of the most regressive taxes in the history of the country. She also wrote it behind closed doors... and I'd really like to see some open democracy right about now.

Eh, those are the two biggest problems that I have with her. While she's in line with most Democrats on marriage equality, there are many other issues as well. I don't think that she has worked to tap into the populist wing of the Democratic party at all. Yeah, you're absolutely right to say that there's a lot of sexist coverage of her, but I'm also looking to other options because of her rampant centrism and the pro-establishment style that she's developed.

But I also think that you're absolutely right that sexism has prevented there being many talented people not mired in gender privilege who can be in the running for the white house.

What about other women for the highest office? I say Pelosi for President in '07!

I never said that we should support Hillary simply because she's a woman (though I'm not sure at this point in our history that we can afford not to). I said that she is the most qualified candidate hands-down, and that it is suspicious that we are looking towards less qualified male candidates. Arguments against her are knit-picky, and most preface those with "she's a fantastic senator, but..." Give me a break.

It seems that Hillary is being held to a higher standard than previous and current candidates. We all called John Kerry a "flip-flopper" because he changed his mind on Iraq, yet Hillary is standing her ground and we say we can't vote for her because of it. She has clearly stated that she regrets the way Bush handled the authority given to him. And when 70% of us also said that we supported the war in Iraq back in 2002, I think it's utterly hypocritical to condemn her for her decision. She understands that context is all important, and she was given bad information in 2002 by Bush & Co., and that at the time her vote seemed necessary.

The comment about Bill "molesting" his intern is completely outrageous, and holding her accountable for his discretions is unacceptable. We know countless women who stay with their adulterous husbands because of political, social, and economic reasons... and we don't bash them because of what their husbands do. Are we also really to ignore the very fact that countless male politicians are cheating on their wives at this very second? Do we question these women's ability to do their job because of their personal decision to stay with their husbands? These very arguments are indicative of the deeply biased (and asinine) prejudices that are being held against Hillary.

The debate about her should be about the issues, not her personal history or who she's married to. And most acknowledge that she's doing a damn good job in New York. The question is not who her husband slept with, what her reasons for not getting divorced have been, or why she refuses to back down from decisions she made in a completely different context. The question is which of our candidates is the most qualified person to lead this country and which candidate can make the most difference. That candidate is Hillary.

Sheila,

You say that Hillary is doing everything she can to get elected, and you don't respect her for it - but that seems to be a very naive interpretation or stance on how the political world works. You also ignore the fact that Hillary has historically been extremely faithful to the feminist fight of reproductive rights for women. She is so far left on the issue, that some think it could hurt her chances of election, yet she is unwilling to move on it because of her conviction. It seems that if you are a feminist, you would back her 100% because she is clearly faithful to the needs of women.

Potential 2008 DNC Delegate | February 9, 2007 8:01 PM

The Bill comments were ridiculous? How so?

Do you honestly think she'd be anywhere in politics, if she weren't married to him? She's smart, and right on most of the issues...but let's face it, Carrie, NO ONE but Hillary could pull off carpet-bagging her ass to a state where she's never lived, run for Senate, and get elected. So, to cling to the man for a Senate seat, or use his reflective popularity, brings her acceptance of his actions into complete question. She was an unknown, and she used his NY reputation to get elected. Kinda poetic, but she used him, nonetheless. Cold, calculating, and perfect. Nothing sexist about those observations. Just keepin' it real.

And Bill did use an intern as a sex object in the Oval Office. It was shameful, and tarnished his reputation and legacy forever. He was a better president comatose than Bush is alert, but he did a huge wrong. He was a good president, and we all have to take his indiscretions into account when we evaluate his presidency. That is how America is going to look at Hillary, to some degree, too. Hillary's failure to distance herself from Bill's nonsense, and in fact using him to get elected to the Senate, calls her judgment into question. In the final analysis, I'm OK with it, because the Senate got a brilliant senator and we may get her in the White House as a result. But don't kid yourself--Americans are puzzled by her selective indignation. She's an enigma and a user.

And I'm a Democrat, likely to be a delegate next year, who'll likely turn my head and support her.

As for her Iraq war stance, every single god-damned member of Congress who supported that war, based on the lies they were fed, gets a 100% pass from me, and should from every American. What the hell were they supposed to do? The books were cooked, it was still close to 9/11, and the nation was hurting. Sure, hindsight is 20-20. Remember how the White House made them troop over to a secure room to read the cables and CIA traffic? One big charade, a circus orchestrated by Chaney and Hallburton.

I didn't fall for it, but hey, I didn't see the documents and evidence. They did.

100% total and complete pass. No questions asked.

I'm going to wade into this... (Good post, Carrie! Way to get folks talking!) Jerame and I argue this back and forth quite often. He's a big Hillary fan and I'm not. I'll leave Jerame to explain why he likes Hillary, but I'll give you why I don't.

But first - I don't dislike Hillary because she's a woman. But I don't like her for it either. I think it's irrelevant. I think we need the best person for the job - whether that person is male, female, intersex, white, black, hispanic, asian, gay, straight, bisexual, athiest, evangelical Christian, Quaker - whatever. I don't care. I just want the best person who represents what I find to be most valuable in a candidate. And I don't think that's Hillary.

I think that person is Bill Richardson, actually. This candidate (whom everyone overlooks in their lists of "could-be-firsts" - Richardson is Hispanic) has quite an impressive resume: Secretary of Energy (a plus when dealing with mounting problems in the Middle East), UN Ambassador (so he knows all about dealing with other countries and building consensus), a Congressman, a Governor of a western state (problems with immigration lately?), a special envoy appointed by President Clinton to trouble-spots around the globe, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize FOUR TIMES for negotiating the freedom of political prisoners and American servicemen. He negotiated the 60 day cease-fire in Darfur. He's done a HELL of a lot - and all for the public good. I'd say he's the most qualified candidate - by far.

I agree that I rather feel that Hillary's New York Senatorial race was carpetbagging since the Clintons were from Arkansas. Other Presidents went back to their home state and did their thing. The Clintons packed up, found the easiest state to pick off and called themselves New Yorkers. But while this blatant example of opportunism is annoying, it's just that - annoying. Not a deal breaker. The vote in favor of the Iraq war is a much bigger problem for me; I wasn't in that 70% Carrie mentions.

My bigger problem is one that she shares with GW. She's too close to a past president. If Hillary wins the election in 08 that will mean that for at least 24 - and possibly 28 - years, our country will have been controlled by two families: The Clintons and the Bushes. When GW climbed his way through the Supreme Court, it left me with such a distaste in my mouth. His father was President 8 years before him, was still alive and could - quite possibly - be using his idiot spawn to regain power. Either by coming directly to the White House, calling on the phone, or videophone, lunches, whatever - Bush Sr had access most don't. He could easily influence his son on foreign policy, etc - and, hell, half of Bush I's team came back for Bush II's reign. And that's almost how I've thought of it - the reign of Bush II.

Bill and Hillary are husband and wife. As the "first husband" he would have official duties at the White House just like she did. Will he still be gone for long times? Sure. But will he have influence? You bet your ass he will - and lots of it. There's always the phone, videophone, statements in the press, between staff, and a zillion other ways to send messages. One of the best being the marital bed - pillowtalk. It's too much influence for a former president - just as it was with the elder Bush and his naer-do-well.

Now, don't get me wrong - I think Clinton was a great president, but I think we all saw that he can be corrupted; he has his weaknesses, as we all do. And I know that power corrupts - and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I've distrusted every moment of GW's reign for that very reason - wondering who was really in charge. I don't want to do that for another 4-8 years - especially with my own party. I want someone who hasn't had control of our country for years to take the reins. I think America has had enough of corruption and greed and opportunism and ego during the current presidency.

I think the best person to take charge with a fresh slate and the experience to back him up is Bill Richardson - at least out of the current crop.

(And besides, I don't want to go through 8 years of Clinton only to have to endure 8 years of Jeb Bush's reign. *laughs*)

Look, your comments have exemplified my point.... I will answer a few of your points below, but I will answer the greater issue in a new post.

The Bill comment is ridiculous because it gives no agency to Monica - you are treating her like she was a helpless, innocent victim, not sexual and not independent, which has some very sexist undertones. Accusing someone of molestation is pretty serious, and you should be careful of throwing that around.

JFK slept around as we all know, and I don't see how that has tarnished his legacy forever... why are we so focused on using that as ammo against Hillary?

I love how the focus of these conversations continues to be on Bill and his Presidency (and the Bush legacy) instead of on Hillary and her politics. Interesting.

Potential, you act as though Hillary fell out of the sky and married Bill without any political experience at all... sure he was an advantage, but she had a stellar history of her own. Give her some credit for her credentials - she wasn't a helpless or unknown woman at any point in her career.

In our women victimization driven society, women would love to see a woman being our president. This is sexist in itself but women would never think it is sexist when it is in their favors or would help their cause. Women consider themselves victim of male dominance and with that mindset, whatever women do to promote themselves and as a gender would be view as empowering even it was based on telling lies with statistics and degrading the other gender.