A New York Times editorial this week endorsing Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary is appalling for what it does say and what it does not say.
I had to re-read one sentence a few times simply to make sure I “heard” it right. “On the major issues, there is no real gulf separating the two.” Did the Times really just say that? Did the Times really just say there is no real gulf separating Clinton and Obama on the major issues? Are they kidding? From day one Obama has consistently been against the war. Clinton, on the other hand, voted for the war and recently angered many by voting for a Bush-backed resolution that pushes my country closer to war with Iran. Obama has been steadfast in his opposition to the war and his opposition to needlessly escalating matters with Iran. No real gulf separating them? Well, I can’t think any gulf wider than supporting a war and opposing a war. But hey, that’s just me.
The Times editorial does not address the increasingly despicable behavior of former President Bill Clinton in Senator Clinton’s campaign, a campaign that is sending a powerful signal that electing Senator Clinton would essentially be electing a married couple to the presidency. Moreover, if Senator Clinton can’t reign in the former president in her campaign, what will happen if they return to the White House?
Some of Clinton’s key supporters and staff can be incredibly sleazy. And while Senator Clinton distances herself from their seedy and divisive proclamations, her inability or unwillingness to stop them raises another question: if you can’t restrain some of your key supporters and staff members, what will happen if you’re in the White House?
Andrew Young is reported to have said “Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack.” Not only is that a despicable thing to say (Young later said he was joking – fat chance), but why on earth should that statement make anyone want to vote for Senator Clinton?
And then, of course, there is the typical Clintonian spin (lying, folks) of being the ones who injected race as in issue into the campaign and now whine that Obama started it.
Obama is right when he says the country is sick of divisiveness. Obama is right when he says the American people are sick of fear being used on them as a kind of political crowd control. Obama is right when he says we need to stop thinking in terms of red states and blue states and get back to thinking in terms of the United States.
There is nothing uniting about the Clintons. And every time I find myself thinking we won’t be dumb enough to fall for their blatant character assassination of Obama and elect them to the White House, I remind myself that we elected George W. Bush – and you can’t get any dumber than that.
The New York Times support for Senator Clinton is support for a dual presidency, which is something the founding fathers would frown on. As for Senator Obama’s lack of experience, consider this for a moment: James Buchanan, considered by scholars to be one of the three worst American presidents, had more than 20 years in congress under his belt along with four years as secretary of state before being elected to the presidency. Abraham Lincoln had only two years in the House of Representatives.
To my mind it is the person’s character, not the length of their employ that makes the difference. And when it comes to character, Obama comes out on top, hands down. He has my vote.