In 2008 I wrote a long blog post articulating the reasons why I was supporting Barack Obama and opposing Hillary Clinton. One of my main reasons was that Hillary kept portraying herself as a fighter. Obama came across as a gentleman who could lead with reasoned argument and persuasion. He won me over with his non-combative message of hope and change.
Well, Obama indeed was a thoughtful, accommodating president. And I believe he tried with all of his abilities to find honest common ground in Washington. His heart was always in the right place. And we all know what happened.
The Republicans in Congress and in statehouses and legislatures across the nation banded together to obstruct Obama's perceived liberal agenda for eight long years. Over and over Obama said he could and would work with Republicans to compromise. He played nice. For the most part, he fell far short of what he had hoped to change. You can not play nice with those who are committed to your political downfall no matter the consequences to the nation.
A common criticism of President Obama from his Left is that he didn't fight hard enough. Especially against leaders of a radical Right who were forcing showdowns over entrenched positions at the far extremes of American mainstream thought.
Hillary is a fighter. Throughout her public career she has been falsely accused and cynically reviled. No criminal charges have ever been filed against her. No allegations have ever been corroborated. She has been the victim of a sustained, organized campaign of character-assassination. She has been investigated and castigated, but never subjugated. What did she do? She fought back. She endured.
Hillary Clinton has been named as the most admired woman of the world in Gallup polls a record 20 times. She was been twice elected to the Senate of the United States. She has represented the nation as Secretary of State, helping to heal a world reputation tarnished by the misadventures of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. She has fought for improved health care coverage for Americans her entire life, as a lawyer for the Children's Defense Fund, as a First Lady, as a Senator and now, again, as a presidential candidate. Having been deep in the trenches, she knows what battles can and can not be won to reform our broken system. She knows the combatants. She understands the tactics and strategies. Her fight for better health care for all Americans has not been abandoned. It is a battle she intends to keep waging.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. Again, throughout her public life, she has directly confronted the deprivation of women around the world, declaring women's rights as human rights. And she made those declarations in the presence of some of the world's worst abusers. Hillary Clinton does not shrink in the face of uncomfortable confrontation. She has spoken truth to power.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. In a dangerous world, traveling extensively as Secretary of State, she sat mano a mano with some of our most dangerous adversaries. And, as a representative of President Obama, she had the courage to seek diplomacy before bluster. She had the knowledge and foresight to make peace-inducing agreements instead of terrorist-creating invasions. But, she is not hesitant to use military force if that is the only solution to protecting our national interests.
I rejected Hillary Clinton in 2008 because I thought she was too combative. Now, I think, Right-Wing anger, fear and ignorance is leading us towards a dangerous demagoguery. We are becoming an arrogant, intolerant nation.
We have also become a plutocracy. As Bernie Sanders continues to decry, the influence of money has corrupted our electoral, political, financial, educational, judicial and corporate systems.
We need a seasoned fighter, who understands all the fields of battle, who knows the motivations of the combatants and has the emotional and political skills to fight the just fights.
I am looking for a righteous fighter for justice, equality, tolerance, reform, peace and prosperity.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. I believe her when she says she will fight for equal rights, affordable health care, fair wages, criminal justice reform, financial regulation, diplomatic solutions, environmental protection, energy innovation, reasonable immigration policies and a workable system of government.
I think the next president will most likely inherit a Congress controlled by Republicans. I think only Hillary Clinton, of the current roster of presidential candidates, would be an effective parter with the new Congress.
I believe that Hillary Clinton is a liberal at heart. But she is likely to govern as a so-called moderate, from the center. She knows how the presidency works. She knows how Congress works. She knows how to use political capital to get things done.
She clearly has support from many powerful establishment players in Washington and on Wall Street. That is not, in and of itself, nefarious. Every interest is a special interest - yours and mine. If she holds true to what she claims she wants to accomplish for the American people, then those relationships will be beneficial in negotiations.
We have a representative democracy. In modern times, the President outlines an agenda and submits a budget. That budget is a declaration of priorities, a call to action. The Founding Fathers sought to have the three branches of government work together, moderating the extremes of each, but never obstructing the progress of any.
Congress is supposed to deliberate and legislate, listening to the concerns of all interests. They hold hearings to understand the viewpoints of the citizenry - industry, labor, educators, researchers, activists, social scientists - We, the People.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. She is also a negotiator and a listener. I think that the progressive wing of the Democratic party, stronger because of the candidacy of Bernie Sanders and the advocacy of Elizabeth Warren, will have an influence on her agenda and governing abilities. Their voices would be heard and heeded in a Clinton administration. Ignoring them would be folly. Hillary Clinton is nothing if she is not a savvy politician.
Now, there are lots of people in the electorate who simply hate Hillary Clinton. I honestly believe they have been conditioned to see her as untrustworthy from years of trumped-up charges of wrong-doing. None of those charges have ever been justified or verified. So, Hillary will never be able to change the minds of those who have already closed them for good, regardless of the truth. But, any Democrat who does not vote for her if she is the nominee of the party is doing the nation a disservice.
What Hillary Clinton could have in this presidential campaign is a growing coalition of support. If her candidacy is portrayed honestly, she could gather strong voter support from women, African-Americans, Hispanics and liberal moderates. She is seeking to represent all of America.
Clinton's agenda is liberal and progressive, based on protecting and strengthening human rights and improving the lives of those suffering from the ills of society, the clashes of cultures, the exploitation of the the greedy and the ravages of the world.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. As president, I believe, she has the best chance of all the current candidates of putting together a functioning White House administration that could and would work effectively with Congress, Wall Street, corporate America, labor unions, trade groups. social reformers and community activists for the betterment of our nation.
Bernie Sanders is an honest, reform-minded progressive calling for a political revolution that would move the country into his form of so-called Democratic Socialism. I agree with Bernie Sanders' goals on almost every issue. I support providing universal health care, breaking up the too-big-to-fail financial institutions, reforming our campaign financing system, investing in our infrastructure, increasing scientific research and educational opportunities. Wealth inequality is indeed a driving force in the decline of this nation, tarnishing our country's mantle as a land of equal opportunity and justice.
Bernie Sanders has noble goals. But, I believe, they can only be reached if and when we have a Congress controlled by progressive liberals. I don't see any chance of that happening in the near or even not-so-near future. This only happens if every Democrat in the land comes out and votes. I hope they do.
So, most of Sanders' policy proposals as president would be dead-on-arrival with a likely Republican controlled Congress.
Likewise, any policies of a President Ted Cruz would be dismissed as too radical by a congressional establishment that loathes the Senator.
Since Donald Trump needs to be liked, and is perceived by establishment Washington as someone who could make deals, he could be an effective, ready-to-compromise president, albeit, for a Right-leaning agenda.
Hillary Clinton is a fighter. This nation can not endure another eight years of partisan gridlock in Washington. We have to have a president and members of Congress who want to work together to steady the ship of state.
We need a President Hillary Rodham Clinton working well with a majority Democrat Congress. Together they can find the legislative sweet spot on the progressive-liberal-moderate agenda scale.