Let me preface this post by saying I think of myself as an average suburban mom. I am a democrat, which is unusual in the republican stronghold where I live. I have an ivy-league education, and my own podcast about education issues. I am sure some of my “demographics” put me outside of the main stream, but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume I am average.
I had my doubts about Bill Clinton when he first ran. But he was a great president. Yes, he had a charisma problem- too much and it got him into trouble. He believed his own hype and appeal, and regardless of how you spin in, he took advantage of a young girl and he should have known better. I still don’t think it was any of our business, though. And I would vote for him again in a heartbeat, because I think Smart is important. In fact, I wish we had “being a Rhodes Scholar” as one of the qualifications for president, because I think it says a lot about your native curiosity and intellectual ability – better than the person who brags about being a C student and hating policy running the country.
I admire Hillary Clinton for taking on a substantive role as first lady, and for trying to deal with health care. She got a bad deal from republicans who wanted to see her in a more traditional “housewife to the country” role, and the Country is poorer for it. She had to deal with very private issues on a public stage, and has come through those times with her head held high.
Friends in New York state where I grew up think she’s been a great senator. She is one smart woman, and I love all of this about her. I would even love to see a woman president, because we need a different kind of voice leading us into the future. But I am concerned that she comes with too much baggage from the old days. I also think that we need to get away from this “American Monarchy” that shifts between left and right. What if the history books read “Bush Clinton Clinton Bush, Bush, Clinton…..” in terms of order of presidents- I think we might need new ideas and a new approach. I think Hillary would be an excellent VP. An excellent cabinet officer. She is smart and capable. But I don’t think she’s going to be an easy sell to the majority of Americans, and I cannot stand the thought of another republican president after the fiasco of the last 6 years.
I just don’t have the sense that at this point in time she can win. This may change. Women won’t vote for her just because she’s a woman. Women are, at heart, as self-interested as the next person, and they will want to vote for a candidate who will make this country a better place, regardless of gender or party. We are raising children, and we want them to grow up in a better world, not just the status quo. So we need to see substance, and not simple demographic facts about our candidates. If Hillary can show us that she is authentic and substantive beyond sound bites, she can do this. I am just tired of the same old political blah blah blah- speak to me like an adult you respect, and you can have my vote. Don’t sell me- Convince me.