Voting For Billary’s Experience

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - January 30, 2008
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Hillary and Bill, a two-for-one
Hillary and Bill, a two-for-one

There’s an over-arching reason - beyond her superior national healthcare plan - why I think I’d like to have Hillary Clinton as our next president.

We’d get a very smart U.S. senator leading the country with a former president as her backup and her confidant.

I cannot imagine any situation more advantageous for all of us than to, in effect, have one president’s and one ex-president’s minds working on any foreign or domestic crisis.

We could have had something similar had George W. Bush and his father been compatible, conferring folks, but that was not the case. George seems to have not wanted his father’s input - just his father’s old friends’ Cheney and Rumsfeld.

My bias is predicated, of course, on a presumption that you like Hillary and her politics and Bill and his. I fully understand that many Democratic voters have an aversion to her that’s as deep-seated as the trust they had in Bill when he came into office and before the Monica stuff.

I also understand the Barack Obama enthusiasm. Here’s a guy with little connection to the usual politics, a charming speaker, a black man who’s managed to appeal to many kinds of voters. For us, it’s his Hawaii-Punahou connection.

I don’t have any reason for voting against Obama other than the obvious one of his barely being in the Senate and not having much experience around the Big Boys. But Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan brought faint national credentials to the job, and Hillary has not been anything but a senator and a gubernatorial and White House spouse. However, even a political spouse absorbs considerable experience.

I admit it’s mostly the thought of a Hillary and Bill duopoly in charge that intrigues me. It would be the first time in our history a president could turn to a bed-mate and say “honey, what do you think ...” without it being ridiculous pillow talk.

It’s too bad we can’t have a February presidential primary in Hawaii. We only have those caucuses limited to party members - a teeny-tiny sampling of the state’s voting population. By the time we hold our open primary in September the presidential nominees already have been chosen. But we’re too tiny and too far away to be an effective campaign state.

This is an historic year. Every indication is that we’ll have either a woman or a black man as the next president. The odds of any Republican winning the prize are poor. They’ll get worse if we run into a recession.

My first choice would have been Bill Richardson, the Democrat whose resume has everything. But we don’t vote by resumes, do we? We vote for star power. Obama has sure got that.

Hillary’s not so much of a star. That’s because she brings lots of the same bad vibes people got from Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. But she’s got the resume, the moxie and she’s got Bill - who, you have to admit, was a pretty darn good president.

That’s enough to make me buy in today. I could change my mind tomorrow.

One MidWeek reader wrote that I had “dissed” some PBS-Hawaii people in a recent column. Then a PBS-Hawaii employee wrote that I wrongly tried to compare Channel 11 to the commercial stations.

Auwe! Some readers don’t read very well. I didn’t “diss” anybody. I didn’t compare anything. I said the station’s local programs don’t manage to attract more than a marginal audience - and that’s a fact from the ratings book.

The PBS folks obviously work hard at their tasks but most of you are not watching. That’s all I wrote.


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