February 17, 2008
Endorsement watch: Presidentials

As I expected, the Chron endorses Barack Obama and John McCain in their respective primaries for President. The Star-Telegram echoes those choices. According to Poll Dancing, that's a clean sweep for Obama (and McCain as well, as far as I can tell). And for good measure, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times stumps for Obama (and McCain), too. Given how much the papers here disliked Bill Clinton when he was President, I can't say that it's a big surprise none of them have endorsed Hillary Clinton. But I confess to being a little surprised at the ongoing shutout.

Anyway, that's one down, and a whole lot more to go for the Chron. I figure we'll get the Senate races tomorrow, and who knows what after that. Any guesses as to mow much of my list they'll make it through?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 17, 2008 to Election 2008

About the only time you have seen the Clintons in Texas since he left the White House is when they 1) need money and 2) need money.

Maybe the people who have kept giving them money like them. Maybe the people who have kept giving them money believe they may finally see some "return" on it.

Reality is they have done very little for Texas candidates through the years when juxtaposed against the millions of dollars that went to New York. Millions of dollars that might have made a difference to quite a few campaigns had it stayed here.

Not everyone likes the Clintons. There are quite a few reasons why.

We need a new direction in this country. And a growing number of people simply do not see a new direction with Hillary Clinton. What they see is the same old, same old.

And both are getting downright nasty along with Chelsea. They were so sure that everyone would step aside for them.

Barack Obama broadsided them and ran them off the road.

Posted by: Baby Snooks on February 17, 2008 11:04 PM

Baby Snooks commented, "Not everyone likes the Clintons. There are quite a few reasons why." That is an amazing understatement.

It is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Because if we don't, then we will end up with an elephant in the White House.

Dyed-in-the-wool Democrats love Bill Clinton, or at least they look back on his eight years in the Oval Office with the same fondness that out-and-out Republicans look back on the Reagan era. In each case this adoration is as undeniable as it is utterly baffling to those across the aisle; the rhetoric and the patterns of applause emanating from the Reagan Library and the Kodak Theatre during the debates right before Super Tuesday made this utterly clear.

But Clinton supporters take heed; your longing for a return to the Bill Clinton era has blinded you to an unfortunate but certain consequence of the country's polarization.

Consider your feelings concerning George W. Bush's term in office. More likely than not, if you are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton those feelings are mostly or entirely negative, perhaps even reaching the level of hatred. I know that mine do. Mine even extend past the period to the man. I hate George W. Bush, and that comes from someone who hates the very concept of hatred. I have previously described evil as the collision of moral certitude and willful ignorance; that collision seems to be embodied in the person of Dubya, with the country itself impaled by the shrapnel. From what I can tell, my feelings are not at all outside the mainstream of those who are planning to vote for Hillary.

Here is the important point: an extremely large fraction of conservatives feel exactly that way about Bill Clinton. You may find that feeling unreasonable, just as my conservative in-laws found my hatred of Dubya unreasonable back in 2000, but reasonable or not that conservative hatred is both evident and categorical. We ignore the fact of that hatred at our own peril.

This is not a party issue. I am not a liberal. I am not a Democrat. If anything, I am socially liberal but fiscally conservative. I have voted for a Democrat most often, and have never voted for a Republican for a Federal office, but I would seriously consider voting for a Republican presidential candidate under the right circumstances, particularly if the Legislative branch were heavily Democratic. Checks and balances are a good thing. But I would never, under any circumstances, vote for Dubya.

My in-laws are also socially liberal but fiscally conservative. They have voted Republican more often than Democrat, but might vote for a Democratic presidential candidate under the right circumstances. But they would never, under any circumstances, vote for a Clinton. Not just Bill Clinton... any Clinton. It doesn't matter if this is a reasonable position or not; it is a fact. And they could justifiably be considered swing voters.

My in-laws, and millions of voters just like them, will be voting in the general election. If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, then the Republican nominee will have an automatic, very significant advantage over her. That doesn't mean that she won't win, but it will be harder for her. Probably dramatically. Do you want to give them that advantage? Think of the elephant in the room that the GOP elephants will trot out.

Further, if somehow Hillary overcomes this inevitable disadvantage and manages to win the White House, what will be her ability to cross the aisles to reach bipartisan compromises? The people she would be working with will be many of the same people who impeached her husband, and Hillary herself is approaching the relationship as adversarial rather than potentially cooperative; witness her comment at the Democratic debate before Super Tuesday, "who can be the best nominee for the Democratic Party to be able to withstand whatever they decide to do on the other side of the aisle, and come out victorious?"

If Hillary wins the nomination, then there will either be a Republican in the White House, or Bill Clinton's polarizing legacy in the White House. If you are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton, consider that carefully. As Doyle McManus of the L.A. Times noted in his question the same Democratic debate between Hillary and Barack Obama, "when most voters look at the two of you, they don�t see a lot of daylight between you on policy." Given this, why vote for Hillary?

Posted by: Kevin Ausman on February 19, 2008 12:34 PM