". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


As I consider the current state of the Democratic primary race, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand I find it quite satisfying to see the Clintons having to fight for what they obviously think they are entitled to. And when I look at Obama I can see why so much of the country is gravitating towards him. He is young, energetic, intelligent, and attractive; he has a beautiful family that he adores and that adores him; and he has an undeniable gift for oratory. If I were throwing a dinner party I would much rather hang out with the Obamas than with the Clintons. Yet all that I am hearing from Mr. Obama in the way of a message right now are nebulous things like "hope" and "change" and "unity." I know all politicians throw those words around, but with Obama they seem to be the meat rather than the fixings. And when he does put forth a policy statement or opinion, it is easy to see that the word "change" is nothing more than fluff because from what I can tell he embraces the typical entrenched liberal Democrat approach to problem-solving (more government and more money).

So as much as I love seeing Hillary sweat, and as much as I would love nothing more than to see the Clintons get put in their place, I will be pulling for Hillary to get the Democratic nomination. Because even though the thought of Bill back in the White House makes me cringe, I think the country would be safer with Hillary at its helm and Bill at her elbow than with Obama leading it. Bill has been there. He has to know what's at stake. I am reminded of his interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News last year and his adamant, quite passionate assertion that he tried to get Osama bin Laden. I believe him--I think he really tried. I'm not sure Obama would bother.

What I'm also not sure of is which of the two Democratic frontrunners would be easier for a Republican candidate to defeat. But my gut tells me Hillary. I think the Clinton negatives are multiplying exponentially these days and people are being reminded of the less charming and likeable side of Bill. And as she fights for her political life, Hillary is having an even harder time than usual turning on the charm. I am seeing more and more pictures of her lately with clenched teeth and grimly set lips, whereas Obama seems to me to be maintaining quite well. If Obama gets the nomination I fear it would be all too easy for our rather shallow and emotion-driven populace to embrace him as the tabula rasa upon which they could write their own personal narrative about the future without having to grapple with inconvenient things like facts.

On the other hand, once we get past the infatuation stage with Obama and people start taking a closer look, maybe some of the sparkle will start to diminish.

Someone with a smarter political mind than mine has told me that the strongest Republican match-ups would be McCain against Obama and Romney against Hillary. What do you think?

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