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Why Clinton over Obama



Published: Sun, February 24, 2008 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


By Bertram de Souza

Had you been asked two years ago to name a woman qualified to run for president, one of the first that would have come to mind, regardless of your political leanings, would have been Hillary Clinton.

Likewise, were you to name a black man with the credentials to occupy the highest office in the land, Colin Powell’s would have rolled off your tongue before your brain even had a chance to engage.

It is unlikely, however, that Barack Obama would have received honorable mention by anyone other than some Illinois residents.

And yet today, Obama is on the verge of winning the Democratic nomination for president.

There has never been a black or a female presidential nominee of a major political party, which is why the Democratic primary is so intriguing.

And results thus far reveal a stark reality about national politics in this country: Résumés don’t matter.

Obama’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president is the political version of “American Idol.”

To hear him speak is to make you swoon. It’s Big Tent revival, college pep rally and the call of the Pied Piper all in one.

Don’t muddle the message with details. Just feed the masses one-liners and you’ll have them eating out of your hand.

Senate record

Thus it has been, in state after state, that Obama, whose three years in the U.S. Senate have been inconsequential from a national standpoint, has captured the imagination and the votes of the young and not-so-young, of blacks and whites and shades in between.

Never mind, that many in the audience don’t have a clue what he’s talking about when he takes aim at Karl Rove or Scooter Libby. It’s how he says it that counts.

His message of change holds out the promise of a bright tomorrow. How we get there is another matter.

Ask an Obama supporter to name one of piece legislation that he has sponsored in Congress, as TV talk show host Chris Matthews did during an interview with a congressman from Texas, and the answer will be a blank stare.

By contrast, ask a Hillary Clinton supporter to name an issue that has become her signature, and he or she will say without hesitation, affordable health care for all Americans.

Clinton has spent seven years in the Senate and eight years as First Lady battling insurance and drug companies and other special interests determined to maintain the status quo. Never mind that more than 40 million Americans still do not have health insurance coverage.

A comparison of Obama’s and Clinton’s records spotlights the differences between the two candidates, and yet the Illinois senator has the advantage.

Why? Because his basic message is one that resonates with a frustrated electorate.

In 2000, George W. Bush had a similar message when he railed against the partisan politics of Washington. He promised to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans. He failed.

On a local level, the people of the Mahoning Valley heard the Washington-is-the-enemy song many moons ago.

Remember Traficant?

In 1984, then-Mahoning County Sheriff James A. Traficant Jr. succeeded in his bid for Congress by running against Capitol Hill and the White House. He accused federal legislators of being owned by lobbyists and special interests and charged that the administrative was the captive of large campaign contributors.

He promised to go to Washington and fight to give the federal government back to the people. The people are still waiting.

Despite his rantings and ravings on the floor of the House of Representatives, the system did not change. Indeed, it captured him, and thus today, Traficant is serving an eight-year federal prison sentence for using his public office for personal gain.

Obama’s words may be different, but the melody is the same.

If Obama’s qualifications matched those of Sen. Clinton’s, his candidacy would be much more appealing to this writer, who shares his East African roots.

Obama’s father was from Kenya; this writer was born and raised in neighboring Uganda.

Even the candidate’s ties to Kansas — his mother’s home state — resonate with this journalism graduate of Kansas State University.

But such similarities can’t overcome the fact that in a matchup of résumés, Hillary Clinton wins hands down.

The Democratic voters of Ohio should keep that in mind as they go to the polls March 4.


Comments

1FutureVizions(4 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Ask a Clinton supporter to name a piece of legislation sponsored by Senator Clinton, and you receive a harangue about how you must be a sexist if you question anything about Empress Hillary.

As an Obama supporter, all I have to do is point you toward the Daily Kos website, where a user going by the name Grassroots Mom has posted a diary entry entitled "I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype." In it, she examines the legislative records of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as they are presented by the Library of Congress. That article can be found at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/200...

Comparing Barack Obama to Jim Trafficant is just ridiculous. Trafficant took office in an era when Youngstown politics was nothing but corruption. Are you really naive enough to believe he was EVER not corrupt, when the Youngstown status quo always supported him so eagerly? By comparison, Jay Williams seems to be the only prominent individual in politics in Youngstown who is expressing support for Obama over Clinton- which suggests that it is CLINTON who has promised to preserve the old corruption that Mayor Williams has been fighting to overcome in his mission to get Youngstown back on its feet.

Another difference between the two is that Trafficant DID rant and rave- just like Hillary's been doing. Obama DOESN'T throw temper tantrums, he DOESN'T spend his time pointing out what is WRONG with everything. Rather, he points out what is RIGHT- and how we can USE what is right to fix things we find wrong.

FURTHERMORE, Obama is NOT an extremist nor an authoritarian. The policies he's authored and supported in Illinois- especially his welfare reforms- show that Obama wants to put MORE power in the hands of the PEOPLE, and in the hands of community organizers and volunteers. His answer in the debate tonight to the question on what vote he would take back shows that Obama's biggest regret was in not stopping the government from taking power he didn't believe it was entitled to. That's a GIANT leap from the attitude represented by a health care plan that imposes socialist mandates on American adults, and well in line with the traditional Democratic belief that Americans ARE entitled to the freedom of CHOICE when it comes to their health care.

The ESSENTIAL difference between these candidates is ALL in the approach. Hillary expects us to trust that everything she'll do is "for our own good." Barack Obama encourages us to do what's good for ourselves by offering us support- not orders.

I'll take the candidate who has proven throughout his campaign not only that he'll be RIGHT on Day One, but that he will LEAD on Day One, not DICTATE.

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2RacerX(26 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

"Obama’s father was from Kenya; this writer was born and raised in neighboring Uganda."

So what?

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3prolady70(3 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

1) Hillary already had a chance to fix healthcare back in '93- didn't work. What makes us think she'll do it now?

2) Hillary - show me the taxes! Where is all that money ($5 million she lent her campaign) coming from? Why the lack of transparency? Obama has submitted his for 2006 AND 2007.

3) Obama has been in elected office longer than Hillary. He's got more experience. Look it up.

4) Who do I want at 3am? I guess someone who's not going to vote for another BUSH-type war!

5) She is one of the top 10 senators in earmarks. $340 MILLION DOLLARS for 2007. Obama - one of the lowest in earmarks.I've changed my mind. I'm voting for Obama. I am proud to be a woman – I have too much respect for women to vote for this corrupt one.

Did we forget WHITEWATER, TRAVELGATE, FILEGATE, TROOPERGATE, VINCE FOSTER's SUICIDE (Cover-up for the Clintons)?

I Don't know who is worse - Hillary or McCain! They'll both keep us at war and she'll be worried about her self-serving interests.

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4steverino9(7 comments)posted 6 years, 6 months ago

The Clintons gave us NAFTA.

Vote Obama.

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