Over the course of the long primary season, I’ve had trouble deciding which candidate I wanted to become the next president of the United States. I never seriously considered any of the Republican candidates, not after I realized John McCain is fundamentally a conservative and Ron Paul is a racist. For the past five months, the Democratic field has been a pitched battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I’ve waited and waited, and it is with great care and deliberation that I’ve finally decided who to support. Today I declare my endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the presidency of the United States of America.
For most of the past five months, I had been an supporter of Barack Obama. I reacted to his oratorical prowess with cautious skepticism. As inspiring as he can be, he is, after all, still a politician. But, he’s smart, his community organizing experience puts him more in touch with people, and he would bring a fresh perspective to the White House, not to mention the first new surname in twenty years.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, I found abrasive and off-putting. Her “We’re always right” attitude reminded me of the Clinton years (and not in a good way), and her “Win at all costs” tactics are exactly the type of politicking that I’m tired of. She is not a fresh face. In fact, my feelings toward Hillary Clinton run closer to hate than to love. I wanted nothing more than for her to drop out of the race.
And that is why I’m endorsing her. Clinton’s announcement that she’s dropping out marks the first time ever that a politician has done exactly what I want her to do.
The past seven and a half years have been particularly bad for politicians doing what I want them to do. Specifically, I didn’t want George W. Bush to start a war with Iraq, and then he did. And then at every election cycle, I wanted him to stop talking about 9/11 and the War on Terror, but he wouldn’t do that, either. I thought things might change with the troop surge, because I actually supported that. It’s a tactic that was endorsed by academics and members of our allies’ armies who have studied counterinsurgency. It should’ve been employed immediately after the invasion, but, as they say, better late than never. Bush actually looked like he was going to do what I wanted him to do. But then he didn’t add as many troops as the experts said were needed! Just because I’d been used to him not doing what I wanted didn’t make it any easier to have my hopes lifted and then crushed.
I really thought Hillary Clinton was headed down that same path. Starting with her vote for the Iraq War and up through her idea for a gas tax holiday, she just didn’t do things I told her to do. And then she stayed in the race when it was clear she couldn’t win unless some tragedy befell Obama, which she actually brought up! When I would see Hillary Clinton on TV, my blood pressure would rise, and I would begin yelling, “You’re not going to win! You cannot win! Just…drop…out!!!” And what did she do? She said she’s going to drop out. In a democracy, you vote for someone who will represent your view, for someone who will be your voice. And Clinton did exactly what my voice was saying very loudly at the TV screen.
It hasn’t been only presidents and presidential candidates who haven’t done what I’ve wanted them to do. Take Rod Blagojevich, the beady-eyed soon-to-be-indicted governor of Illinois. Regional public transportation was short on funding and was going to have to severely cut back service. To keep that from happening, the legislature needed to come up with a solution. The governor didn’t want to sign anything that raised taxes, though, so I feared the worst when he received a plan that called for the sales tax to be increased by .25% – .50% (depending on what county you live in). “Just sign the bill, Rod!” I screamed. It seemed like an equitable solution that would allow me to continue getting around town like I needed to. And he said he’d sign the bill, but only if senior citizens got to ride free, a stipulation that no one knew anything about, including the governor, apparently. I said “Just sign the bill,” you hack!
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, complied with my wishes. “What are you trying to prove?!” I’d scream at the newspaper. “You’re helping nobody by staying in the race! Drop out! Drop out!!” And now she’s going to. My voice has been heard.
Non-executive branch politicians have also disappointed me. Idaho Senator Larry Craig has raised my ire on more than one occasion, if not for his conservative politics than for his participation in the barbershop group called The Singing Senators (surprise: they’re all old white men). “F— that guy in the a–,” I uttered on more than one occasion. When Senator Craig was arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport last year, I was pleased to learn that he’d apparently been doing what I said all along. But then he made excuses that were not only lame but also involved awkward pieces of information about his bathroom routine, and denied the whole thing! I assume he did what I said, but he won’t ever admit it so I don’t know if it counts. I’m almost as confused as Senator Craig is.
But with Hillary Clinton – with her I have no doubt. “Stop it, stop it, stop it!” I’d yell. “Literally any mathematical way you slice the delegates, you will not get this nomination! The only way you’ll win is if Obama does something terrible or if something terrible happens to Obama , which is why you mentioned Robert Kennedy’s assassination, because it was on your mind! And that scares the crap out of me! Now face reality and drop out of the race!”
And then Hillary Clinton stood at that podium in New York City on June 4, 2008, and said that she was going to drop out this Saturday. Which she’ll do. Probably. What more could I ask for at this point? She’s got my vote.
However, I may alter my endorsement, and give it to someone who isn’t even running, at that. If, in the coming days, Bill Clinton shuts up, apologizes to Obama, and admits that his vociferous and oft-irrational support of his wife is just a way to repent for the Monica Lewinsky scandal; and then he says that’s actually not true, it’s actually because all he wants out of life is to be in the White House again, to feel power, that delicious power. Then I will face a difficult dilemma of who to throw my full support behind.
this may be my favorite political post of the year. thanks for makin’ me laugh.