Saturday, February 23, 2008

What Hillary Didn't Say In Her Tantrum Today

Crossposted at the Obama website.

Lost in all the anger today from our side about Sen. Clinton's tirade against Sen. Obama is what she didn't say while she was comparing our candidate, the man of hope and change, to Satan, excuse me, Karl Rove.

Nothing in those flyers was wrong.

She supported NAFTA for years, in fact, her husband pushed for and signed the bill as President. There are penalties in her health-care plan under certain circumstances. She supported most-favored-nation status for China. All of the things our side has said are true, and she treated us as if we were the plague this morning, instead of explaining her positions.

Why would she do that? The answer is that her positions are indefensible. The answer is that she is now clearly losing this campaign, and instead of accepting her defeat, she is trying to blow the whole thing up in a moment of faked outrage. At this point, her actions serve to do nothing but destroy all of the hard work we have all put in to unite people. She is playing the 1990's political game in a 21st century campaign, and people aren't buying. Democrats have been turning out huge in "red states" for caucuses and primaries, voting for Sen. Obama, and she dismisses those states as meaningless because we supposedly have no shot in them in November. Tell me, Sen. Clinton, how does this build our party?

How do we become the party of the people if one of our top candidates is saying you don't count? How do we win elections when we automatically dismiss large swaths of our nation as unwinnable? How are you helping Democrats in any way with this vitriolic assault on a candidate that you told us all two days ago you were proud to share the stage with, right before you gave him the shiv and calling him the man who Xeroxed his change?

I told myself all along that, God forbid, if Sen. Obama lost, I would vote for Sen. Clinton in hopes of saving America from four more years of Republican leadership. After today's assault, I have a hard time seeing the difference between Sen. Clinton and Sen. McCain. I cannot accurately describe my anger, which is why I've left it out of this post, but I will answer my own questions.

The answer is we will NOT win with Sen. Clinton's style of campaigning. It strikes me as absurd that her husband did such a great job in his campaigns of bringing us hope that things would be better, that he won "red" states in both 1992 and 1996, and yet she gave up on them before this primary season started, absurdly so, given that Democratic primary turnout has destroyed Republican turnout, even in those supposedly unwinnable "red" states. That turnout has been driven by Barack Obama, by the message of hope, the message of change, the message of unity, the idea that we are united by greater things than political party, race, creed, gender. The Obama message resonates with us in 2008 the same way that Bobby Kennedy's message resonated forty years ago, a message that his assassination silenced for a time.

Today that message is back, and from Bobby Kennedy to Barack Obama, it is the same message. We are Americans, a diverse people, diverse in our creeds, our ethnicities, our races, united by our freedom, our desire for peace, our drive to make the world a better place and leave our children a future that is worth living. That is more powerful than fear, more powerful than a political party, more powerful than any military, more powerful than hate. It is a message that has brought to Sen. Obama's campaign people from all walks of life, Democrats, Republicans, independents, blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, Catholics, evangelicals, Jews, Muslims, everyone who is inspired by hope, inspired by real change, inspired by someone who possesses the ability to unite us and make a difference.

Sen. Clinton has spent her campaign saying she agrees with change, but her own actions show a complete inability to change her ways. She is not a bad person, or a bad Senator. Her final answer on Thursday showed that she has a good side to her personality, and I'd like to believe that is the real Hillary Clinton. Sadly, she has shown she's not good at losing, that she believed too much that she was the inevitable nominee, and she is trying to tear down the entire Democratic Party in her rage.

The best thing we can do is to win Texas and Ohio, and show her that it's time to drop out, and then she can go back to the Senate, where she has the ability, if properly focused, to be a leader for our agenda and to help drive it in the Senate, and a Majority Leader Clinton with a President Obama can do a lot of good. I hope she sees this, and I hope she realizes that "Yes We Can!" is what people want to hear this year, not "Yes We Can (but only in safe blue states)."


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