I spent most of Sunday working with people without Hillary Clinton on their mind. People going about their lives without a care for politics, or any perceptible interest in it. That is the new normal, and it has been the norm for a while.
Later in the day, I had a conversation about Hillary’s announcement to run for president and the other person said, “I’m not sure it’s a good idea because she is such a lightning rod.”
She is, I said. But look what has happened with Obama. There is an active movement to de-legitimize his presidency by impeding anything he has done or tried to do. Any Democrat who runs for president will experience the same thing. “What else is Hillary going to do?” I naively said.
“She could practice law, she could work at the Clinton Foundation, she could write another book, there’s lots she could do.”
“Well she’s decided to run,” I said. “and there’s no stopping her now.”
If you don’t think Clinton can hold her own, think again and watch this segment of the Benghazi hearings posted on YouTube by ABC News.
In a little noticed Sunday afternoon tweet, John Podesta, chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign posted this:
Helping working families succeed, building small businesses, tackling climate change & clean energy. Top of the agenda. #Hillary2016
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) April 12, 2015
That he mentioned climate change as a priority in a 140 character micro blog indicates the importance of addressing the climate crisis. Both politically, and in the real world where the economic effects of climate change are being felt by almost everyone I know whether they recognize it or not. How this plays out over the campaign remains to be seen, but it’s early, and Democrats are expected to own the issue. The Mad Hatter’s tea party of the Republicans is expected to continue denial to their detriment.
Because Clinton is a prominent public figure we know a lot about her and there is much to like and dislike. That seems okay because a perfect candidate—one who matches our shopping list of desired qualities—does not exist. What matters more politically is she is a woman.
During a recent conversation about the 2008 Iowa caucus someone recounted a story about a group of local Democrats who caucused for Obama. The upshot was “rather the black guy than a woman.”
Since the 2008 election, some of them bought into the bullshit about Obama, according to the story, and changed their voter registration to no preference. They aren’t coming back to the Democratic party any time soon.
Within the microcosm of a precinct the departures may be good for Hillary during the caucuses, but the attitude is not good for our lives in society. In the whisper campaigns that go on in Iowa, being a woman will make a difference, and not always in a good way.
I’ve made my preference for Jim Webb known publicly, and there are not a lot of others in that or any camp at the beginning of the run up to the Iowa caucuses. If Webb decides not to run, or if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination for president, I will support her more than I did Obama after the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
The simple truth is a lot is at stake and Hillary’s combative strength will be needed if progressive ideas are to gain prominence in our country.
As I wrote on Saturday, caucus season in Iowa has begun.