I Want To Love Hillary.

I remember when the rumor started a few years ago that Hillary Clinton might run for President.  I was skeptical; too many people don’t like her, I said.  She won’t be able to win the nomination.  And besides, even if everyone loved her, she’s a woman, and  Americans are not going to elect a woman.   I remember that I put the thought away, filed it under “Not In This Lifetime,” and forgot all about it.  But now here we are, with Hillary looking like a real possibility.  I’ve taken that old thought out and dusted it off, and put it up there on a shelf, front and center.  A woman president.  Imagine that.  Only problem is, I’m not sure how I feel about the woman.

 


The conflict I’m having is this: I want to love Hillary.  I want to feel about her the way I felt about her husband in 1990, when I was a freshman in college, voting in my first presidential election.  He was, to me, the end all be all.  The hair, the smile, the genius, the charm, the Fleetwood Mac song…I would have knocked on doors all over the world for Bill Clinton, and even after all of his mistakes and all of his scandals, I still would.  But I just don’t feel that way about Hillary.  I know she’s smart, I know she’s capable, I know she’s strong.  But she just doesn’t inspire that same kind of passion; she doesn’t move me to volunteer for her campaign, or even, frankly, to vote for her.  And yet, when I think about not voting for her, my heart just sinks.  Somehow, I feel as if I’m biologically required to be on her side.  I mean, really, how could I not vote for the first woman to run for President?  Isn’t it my duty as a woman?  Don’t I want to be able to tell my daughter that one day she, too, could be President of the United States?  Don’t I want to play a part in making that history happen?  I do, I do, I do.  But I really like Barack Obama.  I just can’t help it.  I mean, is it me, or does anyone else find it ironic that Hillary Clinton is running against a guy who – in terms of personality – is the closest thing we’ve had to Bill Clinton since, well, Bill Clinton?  And let’s not forget, voting for Obama would be to play a part in a different kind of history, one that is just as important, if not more so.  And yet…I feel like a traitor just for thinking about it.

 

So I don’t what I’m going to do on February 5th, when California has its primary.   But if you happen to be in line behind me at the voting booth, please be patient, because I might take a while.

elle
03.04.08

To the OP. I don't think that we are supposed to vote for a president because with think that he is cute! Yes, Obama is adorable, smart, and charming. But do you really know what he stands for beyond his rhetoric?
He talks about not having voted to send our troops to Iraq. For me, this was such a turn-off, since Obama had not yet been elected to the Senate, and therefore, could not have voted.
What, I ask myself, indicates that Obama would have, in fact, voted against the war if he could have? Nothing. In checking his voting record, he voted along with all of the other senators on issues relating to our troops, and did so along with Hillary, Kennedy, Kerry, etc...all of whom voted to allow Bush to go to war if he felt the situation warranted it.
Nope. Obama's disingenuousness on this topic really annoys me, even if it comes from an otherwise impressive man.
I will vote for Hillary!

monkeywoman
01.29.08

OMG -I could have written this! You took the words out of my mouth. I want to be EXCITED about putting a woman in the White House, but unfortunately every time I think I've convinced myself to vote for her, I realize I'm just hoping it will be Bill's 3rd term(and I'm having to convince myself to vote for her). I can't help it -I LOVE Barack Obama! I think it's him I have to cast my vote for(although I, too, feel somewhat traitorous -my enthusiasm for him overrides it). When he spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention I leapt off the sofa and yelled "There's your 1st African-American President ladies and gentlemen!"(I was at a party). I'm as white as flour and a feminist to the core, but Barack excites me and makes a hope well up within me that I haven't had since Bill was in office. I can't wait to see a woman in the Oval Office, and I think I will in my lifetime, but this time around I think it's Mr. Obama's turn.

cbiswas
01.23.08

America has just spent 8 years with the face and demeanor of Dubbya representing it - at home and abroad. Take a moment to visualize which face can and voice can regain some of the lost credibility for this country in the next 4 if not the next 8. Obama's naive, dreamy, ideological handsomeness or Hillary's weathered, wise, no-nonsense, been-there-seen-that-can-do-what-it-takes practicality? I will vote for Hillary because she can navigate the waters at home and abroad. Of course she's not all nice and sparkly and perfect - but she does know how to deal with imperfection.

I've just spent 8 years under a Prez who appears to be more fascinated by all kinds of shiny, sparkly objects at warfields abroad more than pressing issues like domestic economy, healthcare, environment and education! Its time for someone who reminds us of a mother and puts us back in our place at the top, gently and safely.

MichiganMom (not verified)
01.23.08

Michigan has had it's primary. I voted for Hillary. I only vote when I've done the research about what I'm voting for. I wish all people would do that and not vote for who's got more charm and good looks. While I typically get where your coming from Risa, on this topic we differ greatly. If you really research your candidates and base your vote on just those facts, you will be voting with your head, regardless of who it is. Get past the looks and gender and get down to the facts.

JenBet
01.18.08

I think your posting could have been taken more seriously if you could base your decision on something more than personality. I think this intelligent forum warrants that. I'm not surfing on myspace for pete's sake. It sounds as though you had a "crush" on Bill Clinton in college and you are just not wowed by Hillary's personality. What about what these candidates stand for, their accomplishments, their vision? Have you looked deep enough into those important issues to make your decision? I'm only assuming you have and would have loved to see you add some substance to this discussion. I'd hate to see other intelligent women follow your lead on choosing Obama over Hillary because this is a personality contest.

elle
01.18.08

It is very informative to learn about Obama's voting record. Could you possible provide a link to the Illinois State Senate for the readership? Or perhaps to some relevant newspaper articles that expound upon this? I am assuming that you got your information from one of these sources, and I would love to read some more about this topic. I think this would be most valuable to the readership.

Samantha
01.18.08

I am leaning toward voting for Obama in the primary, but if Hillary is the candidate I will stand behind her. Regardless of who the nominee is, I am thrilled about the fact that we have two fantastic, qualified lead contenders, one of whom is an African-American candidate with an amazingly strong wife and the other of whom is female candidate as the main contenders for the nomination. It has been said that if we end up with a Republican president, it will simply be because America is not ready to elect a female or black president. If that is the case -- that is perhaps not surprising but nonetheless, deeply disturbing.

SFORDMom
01.18.08

Though this is a tough choice, I must vote for the woman who has been working hard on so many issues positively impacting women (and men, for that matter!) for 35 years. Though she might be a bit exhausting to watch for 4 years, how dedicated she is to a women's right to choose and has voted accordingly. She also has more experience than her worthy contender and will get the job done. In the end, though the "change" presented by Obama is so attractive, Clinton's 35 year working history and experience gives her my vote. She has made "change" and undoubtedly will make more as the next President.

hiccup
01.17.08

As a State Senator, Senator Obama voted "present" - instead of "yes" or "no" - seven times on issues related to protecting a women's right to choose. Illinois NOW cited Obama's "present" votes on tough choice issues in the Illinois State Legislature when explaining why they would not endorse him. The difference between Hillary's repeatedly standing up strong on choice and Obama's unwillingness to vote "yes" or "no" is a clear contrast. I can't vote for someone who did not stand up for my rights when he was given the chance to, even if he is a great orator. I need results and practical leadership, and that is why I'm voting for clinton.

mtvschultz
01.17.08

The fact of the matter is we all know a change is needed whether it is Clinton or Obama. Wouldn't it have been grand to have one as President and one as Vice before they started casting stones at one another. Let's be real the U.S. is in its weakest position it has ever been in. I know it is a competition but make it about the issues and leave the attacks out of it, the voters want the facts. The New Hampshire debate was great, way to go ABC, but do we need all of this media saturation. Let them all get on television and sell themselves based on the issues and their experience without a bunch of commercials that don't tell us where they stand. We are about to head into a recession and they are spending millions on advertising and throwing stones. What is the benefit? I hope one day my daughter says thanks Mom for VOTING for the best candidate, man or woman white or black.