Sunday, August 24, 2008

Biden-- Wish He Was Hillary

This is my basic feeling, which I'll elaborate more below: I still don't understand it, and I think it's kind of a slap in the face for a guy who bills himself on change to reject bringing the first woman VP into the White House with him. At the same time, he's also sinking her chances to eventually run for Pres again. It would have sent a lot better message if Barack had kept her included: that the individual components of the liberal coalition-- for example, working class women and working class racial minorities-- are not divided, and if one part is down, the others can be counted on to reach over to help them up.

In my honest opinion, we should not see Hillary just as an individual because that is not simply what she is, and that is not the context. This is about the history of the whole nation, and what message we send. If Hillary is good enough (and by all measures, she was-- remember, she was the other power-slugger in the primary, as far as popularity and money-raising ability, besides Obama) then she should have been picked. Biden is by comparison a second-stringer. And on top of all that, arguably, the field of candidates running against her shouldn't have even demonstrated so much whole-hearted competition (including from Obama) because Hillary was "next in line" out of all of our people who wanted to be President.

Now Obama is leaving her stuck in the mud more or less apparently just because of some things she said or the media said about her. The stuff about paying her debts doesn't count as sticking up for her (it's a token move, not meaningful political support), and Hillary's trying to trade off the convention to get some money to pay her debts actually just makes her look bad (it doesn't do anything positive for her political career).

The case for Hillary being "next in line," in case it wasn't obvious enough to you, was this: she had comparable popularity to Obama, and she was older and more experienced (especially having been much closer to the White House for eight years, which the media chauvinistically ignored (abetted by the bloggers) simply because she was the First Lady-- but she was an educated, invloved, insider First Lady, not just a celebrity or a mantlepiece). Skipping her for Obama possibly ruins her chance to run and therefore leaves our long-term field of Presidential candidates with less total talent for the future.

Even I don't think that argument necessarily wins. For one thing (which is the most important thing you can say in Obama's favor), Obama has turned out to be significantly more popular than Hillary, including (and most crucially) as compared to John McCain-- at least so far. But I'm worried by what I see as signs that the Republicans wanted us to pick Obama (the corrupt mainstream media just didn't go after him hard like they went after Hillary during the primary). That support for Hillary from Rush Limbaugh? A red herring. You really think that guy is dumb enough to tell us who he actually wants us to pick? Remember, Rush Limbaugh is the guy who has been excoriating Hillary constantly-- until she became a Democratic Presidential candidate.

Magnifying all this is the fact that we should have had other Presidential and Vice President prospects (that were arguably very superior to either Barack or Hillary) available now and for future campaigns, but we lost them due to chance or to weird circumstances. Kennedy's son, who could have been a sure-shot for us to win the Presidency a couple of times (once he grew up a little more and hopefully was persuaded to turn to politics), was killed in a mysterious plane crash. And Eliot Spitzer was exposed in an affair, just when it looked like only Republicans were getting caught doing that (again and again) since after Bill Clinton. But, now we don't have these people, so the loss of Hillary hits harder. If John McCain squeaks by Obama, all we're going to be left with is regret over what our powerhouse ticket (Obama and Hillary) could have been like, and the cold consolation that a bunch of sleazy mainstream media writers or TV talking heads had speculated that the White House wasn't big enough for Hill, Bill, and Obama.

As for all the bad things people say about Hillary: the absolute limit of what you can realistically say bad about Hillary (that is, what you can attribute to her and not to her staff) is that she played a little rough while she was campaigning-- and that is hardly an unprecedented, or even an unusual, practice.

A lot of things we're doing now just seem to fly in the face of what should be basic smarts, basic considerations, and standard methods of doing things for us.

I really feel like we're the geeks in high school who are getting directed to the non-existant pool on the roof by the Republicans.

Incidentally, another thing that's funny about the life of JFK, Jr., is that there are stories out there that make it sound like something happened to his wife that made her go kind of nuts after he married her or sometime before they died. You hear a lot of things about her that make it sound real natural that he was impressed with her class and wanted to marry her. But there was some story about them in Rolling Stone (I think) after they died that claimed that she would get into screaming fights with him in which she would call him a "faggot" and that she would do things like make them late going places because she would change her mind three times about what color she wanted her toenails to be after the beautician had already put the nailpolish on.