Hillary's Nixon-esque Final Days

June 02, 2008 by susan
Nixon, v-sign from door of heliocopter

Yesterday I flew home from Michigan, spending time in two airports. In each one, the ubiquitous TV's were tuned to Fox "news" and Hillay's jubilant victory speech in Puerto Rico. There was no sound, but from the captioning you'd think that Hillary was Fox's kind of gal, and that Barack Hussein Obama (yes, they really do call him that on Fox) was the anti-christ. "In every category, every demographic, even those concerned about the war, people overwhelmingly favored Hillary Clinton to Barack Hussein Obama, proving her point that she is indeed the more populist and likable candidate to take on front-runner John McCain . . . "
And, from Hillary's demeanor and words, you'd think she'd just won the presidency, if not supreme commander of the universe. (I've won more votes than anyone in history . . .) What she won was a love-fest in Puerto Rico, where they still adore Bill. And it's a perfect fantasy island sort of victory, because Puerto Rico may be Hillary's state of denial, but it's not a state.
Nixon parallel coming up.

This morning, reading various accounts of her strategy and her state of mind, with even the NYTimes calling her behavior of late a bit "goofy" (Okay, the woman's got to be running on fumes. She's entitled to some goofy moments.) I had a flashback to Richard Nixon's last days in the White House, with advisors like Henry Kissinger trying to figure out how to get him to accept that it was over, that the chopper was waiting on the lawn, while a clearly deranged Nixon carried on "conversations" with portraits of former presidents out in the hall.
I never for one moment felt sorry for Richard Nixon. But Hillary's no Richard Nixon, and as her advisor Don Fowler said, "She doesn't deserve this." He was referring to the decision of the Rules Committee on Michigan and Florida, but he didn't make that entirely clear, and I thought he also was hinting that she doesn't deserve this prolonged and painful exit. And despite her unconscionable behavior in the last months of this campaign, I agree.
Would someone -- maybe Chelsea -- please tell her that the chopper is waiting on the lawn? And while they're at it, tell her supporters -- the rabid few who chanted "McCain '08" during the meeting of the Rules Committee -- that there's room in it for them as well.
And let's have a healing victory party in St. Paul tomorrow night and get on with it. Booyah, as Barb would say.

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Comments

barbara says (not verified) | June 2, 2008 - 3:24pm

You know what? I am so, so, so tired of this election. The non-stop poo-flinging, blame-putting, shiv-thrusting, shrill, shriller, shrillest internecine feuding has really gotten on everyone’s nerves. And yeah, for a while, some of us let ourselves get sucked into the snark-studded vortex. Bad form.

Wouldn’t it be funny if, when the Bushlicans scream and shout and rant, we simply ignore them? Pretend they don’t exist? Start up a whole new conversation?

If only. (sigh)

Planning to queue up with the rabble tomorrow when Barack Obama comes to our town. To the Xcel Center, where in September the Bushlicans will hold their national convention. The symbolism could not be more delicious.

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susan | June 2, 2008 - 6:15pm

I'm predicting a big announcement at the Xcel center. The primaries are over, the DNC Rules Committee has made its solomon-like decision, and we need to declare a winner of this contest. There's nothing left but a credentials fight in Denver, and no one but Terry McAufliffe, Harold Ickes and Beefhead Bill want that. Who knows what Hillary wants? She seems to not know herself anymore.
So my gut tells me that there is a huge swirl right under the surface of the Democratic bog today, and all the crocs are lunging and tail slapping and vying for the best log in the sun. By tomorrow night it will all settle down, and enough superdelegates will have endorsed Barack Obama to declare him the winner. We're going to be doing victory laps around the Xcel center at about 9:45 central time, 10:45 eastern. Okay, not certain about the timing, but I have to think we're going to have some sort of finale tomorrow night.
And if enough of us work at it, maybe we can leave behind some powerful ju-ju that will make the teleprompters falter and the balloons fail to fall when the scoundrels convene there in September to endorse John McCain. Or maybe they'll rethink everything and sniff the air and come to their senses. Do we really want Bush cubed? Bush on steroids? Bush on Viagra? Sniff sniff, what's that? Ahh, the fresh air of Barack Obama. And they'll endorse him instead, the first time in history that both parties endorse the same nominee. Yes we can! Well, we can, they won't.

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Anon 1 (not verified) | June 2, 2008 - 6:49pm

Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Harry "S" Truman
Dwight David Eisenhower
John Fitzgerald kennedy
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Richard Milhous Nixon
Gerald Rudolph Ford ( Ok I will give you that one)
Jimmy "Peanuts" Carter ( Who Cares)
Ronald Wilson Reagan
George Herbert Walker Bush
William Jefferson Clinton

Now! Why on earth would Fox News ever mention Barackie's middle name? Barackie Hussein Obama. I am beginning to wonder who really has the problem with it. Could it be you?

Question:

What does Barackie Hussein Obama have in common with the above named?

Answer:

Nothing. Past or future.

I have an inkling that you already know that

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Anonymous (not verified) | June 2, 2008 - 9:39pm

I love your blog, but for my life I can not understand your antipathy towards Hillary. Tonight she is still slogging it out meeting individuals on the primary campaign while Barack is on to the "big picture". What does this tell you about her and maybe women in general? And please remember, she has received nearly 50% of the popular vote. And I was one of them. I am not chopped liver!!!

To her credit, for better or worse, every state primary was given a vote. What is so bad about this? What is the rush to the "general election"? For goodness sake, why do you guys even have a national convention if you know it all ahead of time? I really want the convention to decide critical issues " What's the platform!!!!"

Can we see some analysis from you guys instead of emotion?? That is why I tune in.

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susan | June 3, 2008 - 12:59am

Well, fair enough, more emotion than analysis of late, I agree.
But early on I was defending Hillary, here and elsewhere, and taking heat for it. My degeneration into emotion seems to me to have mirrored hers. When she began to play to voters' emotions and not to their intellect -- the Nascar stuff, the gas tax holiday, the gun-toting grandfather who taught her to shoot -- I began to react emotionally. At first I'd feel anger, then sadness that she was straying so far from the woman I once thought she was.
You may recall that I met her during Bill's first campaign and found her delightful. We had a handful of other encounters over the next 8 years, and again during her senate race and even two years ago during Amy Klobuchar's senate race. I always found her bright, engaging, good humored, genuine. I had looked forward to supporting her.
So what turned me off so hard? You tell me. Was it just that the media and the old boys club beat up on her? Some say yes. And I agree that misogyny is alive and well and feasted on her during this campaign.
But did she not resort to, as Molly Ivins put it, "triangulation, calculation and equivocation."? As Molly wrote in 2006, "Sen. Clinton is apparently incapable of taking a clear stand on the war in Iraq, and that alone is enough to disqualify her. Her failure to speak out on Terri Schiavo, not to mention that gross pandering on flag-burning, are just contemptible little dodges."
You may not agree with what Molly wrote, but is that emotion or analysis? Seems to me it's both. An analysis of Clinton's positions, then an emotional response. I'll try to do more of the former and less of the latter.
You're not chopped liver, but neither am I, nor most of us who fulminate about Hillary's tragic down turn. During my time in Michigan one person after another told me how they supported Hillary until . . . until South Carolina, until Pennsylvania and guns, until the gas tax. She did this to herself.
Obama had gaffes of his own, "bitter and cling", and some dithering on Rev. Wright, but somehow, even as he lost some of his rock star veneer, he seemed to keep his integrity. Hillary kept her pluck and determination, and I admire that too, but she seemed to shed her integrity along the way.
But obviously you and many others don't feel that way. And so I hope that we can somehow find the common ground to pull together to defeat McCain in November. Tell me, what is it you as a Hillary supporter would like to hear from us? From Barack Obama?

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Anonymous (not verified) | June 3, 2008 - 2:11pm

Well, for one thing, I would like to see Hillary's heath care plan incorporated into the Democratic platform instead of Barack's. I pay for my own heath insurance and at 57, I am up to $455 a month with a $2000 deductable,no drug coverage, and 80% coverage of hospital etc. RIDICULOUS! I pay all that each month and I still avoid going to the doctor because I can not afford the deductable. Physicals are covered but the last time I called, the appointment was out 7 MONTHS. Then guess what, made the appointment and then the day of, a series of work crisis happened and now I am out 5 months. Not good for a 57 year old woman.

My ex pays $1000 a month for him, his wife and three kids. The only way he got this "reasonable rate" is that his deductable is $10,000 a year!!!
We have the least efficient system in terms of delivery cost for developed countries and Republicans are still spouting nonsense about "having the government getting in the way between you and your doctor." Right now there is an insurance CEO trying to make another million or so between you and decent health care.

I wish our politicians had the guts to really change the entire system.. But mandatory insurance is the first step toward substantive change. Massachusset's plan (basically Hillary and John Edward's plan) appears to be working (article today in paper), but guess what...not enough primary care physicians. But that should be easy enough to change with incentives.

Overall Barack, for all his talk of change, is pretty centrist on most issues. I just wish he would move a little more to the left to counteract the last 8 years of neoconservative nonsense.

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susan | June 3, 2008 - 3:15pm

I agree totally that Hillary has the better health care plan, and I like to think that Obama will move in that direction.
I also think that being a centrist is not all bad when it comes to winning elections.
And this is an election we MUST win.
A moment ago, when I heard that Obama is going to clinch the nomination tonight, I remembered what it felt like when Hillary was on the upswing and Barack was dealing with Bitter and Cling. It felt AWFUL. And were the shoe on the other foot today, I'd be morose and unable to watch her claim victory. So I understand how hard this is for those who have supported and admired Hillary. And though I'm over the moon at Barack's apparent victory, I'm not over the moon at watching Hillary's awkward endgame. But I am ready to move on to make sure that John McCain is soundly defeated this fall.

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Anonymous (not verified) | June 3, 2008 - 10:55pm

Quick question: Are the words "unconscionable behavior" ever ascribed to males? Somehow, these words have the whiff of coming from a vaguely pompous disapproving parent, probably a father. You know, breach of etiquette, manners, comportment. Women gotta toe the line there, men don't. They're "playing hard ball" or something when they behave badly. I mean "unconscionably".
And now that the campaign's under way for real now, how bout no more epithets referencing physical characteristics? (Beefhead, Ermine, etc) I think it's part of what O means by "change", no?

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susan | June 4, 2008 - 1:37am

Quick question: Are the words "unconscionable behavior" ever ascribed to males?

Um, yes. Bill Clinton, for starters. Please, there were horrible sexist moments in Hillary's campaign, but I think it's bogus to say that HIllary Clinton lost due to sexism. Many of us who are hyper sensitive to sexism don't buy that.

Somehow, these words have the whiff of coming from a vaguely pompous disapproving parent, probably a father. You know, breach of etiquette, manners, comportment. Women gotta toe the line there, men don't. They're "playing hard ball" or something when they behave badly. I mean "unconscionably"

Man, I recognize the whiff of disapproval, and it's not coming from my "vaguely pompous and disapproving" father. So, do you think a black man doesn't have to toe the line?
Tonight at the rally there were African American women seated above me, and tears were streaming down their faces as Barack spoke. Seated right below me were white women, "feminists", who up til tonight -- and maybe still -- support Hillary. They were glued to their seats, couldn't muster one bit of applause. I know they're hurting, and I will give them space and time, but it was -- vaguely disapproving.
All these years black people have watched us white folks pick our candidates and then expected them to fall in line. So to hear disappointed women say that they'll write in Hillary, and don't care if that means electing McCain, well, it's -- unconscionable.

And now that the campaign's under way for real now, how bout no more epithets referencing physical characteristics? (Beefhead, Ermine, etc) I think it's part of what O means by "change", no?

Oh, c'mon. The MSM can't use those epithets, but the blogosphere can. Yeah, in the best of all worlds, that's what O means, but get real. And really, "Beefhead" and "Ermine" are pretty tame epithets, so spare me your whiff of disapproval.

Tonight was thrilling. I'm willing to give Hillary the space to heal and figure out her future. How about giving us tonight to celebrate what America just accomplished?

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