I grew up reading comic books wanting to be a superhero. Comics taught me that those who speak the truth are heroes, all the rest are liars.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Energizer Bunny in Hillary

Just like the energizer bunny, Hillary keeps on ticking... Steven Stark had an interesting column in the Boston Phoenix today that highlights how Hillary is being held to a different standard than any candidate in modern political history specifically in regards to asking her to quit and referring to her as a 'spoiler'.

"It is, in truth, an argument virtually without precedent in modern political history, at least at this stage of such a close race. And while it does have its origins in an effort to preserve party unity, it also has its roots in an odd and vitriolic crusade to purge the Clintons and hand the nomination to a candidate who has yet, after all, to win a single large state's primary (other than his own), let alone the nomination.The fact is that, until now, candidates have rarely, if ever, faced such a concerted movement (featuring prominent names, such as Bill Richardson, and a column in Slate titled "The Hillary Deathwatch"), urging them to drop out before their rival has clinched the nomination. To review the history:

  • In 1988, Jesse Jackson took his hopeless campaign against winner Michael Dukakis all the way to the convention, often to great media praise.

  • In 1980, Ted Kennedy carried his run against Jimmy Carter all the way to the convention, even though it was clear he had been routed.

  • In 1976, Ronald Reagan contested the "inevitability" of Gerald Ford all the way to the convention. Few, then or since, have ever thought to criticize Reagan's failure to step aside and let Ford assume the mantle.

  • Also in 1976, three candidates -- Mo Udall, Jerry Brown, and Frank Church -- ran against Jimmy Carter all the way through the final primaries, even though Carter seemed more than likely to be the eventual nominee.

  • Even in 1960, Lyndon Johnson and Adlai Stevenson fought the "certain" nomination of John F. Kennedy all the way to the convention floor

In fact, until this year, it's been an axiom of American politics that candidates are allowed to pursue their runs until they decide to drop out -- which is usually, by the way, when they run out of money. Even Mike Huckabee kept running against John McCain in this campaign long after it was obvious he had no hope of winning the GOP nod.

Yet in one of the tightest races in modern history -- before the opponent has come close to clearly clinching the nomination, before a number of voters have been given the chance to have their voices heard, and when Clinton still has a chance, albeit a slim one, to win the prize, she is continually vilified for failing to see the light and bow out. What gives?Shifting standard

I don't doubt many are concerned about a division in the party. And many just want to ensure a win any way they can including no prolong race among Democrat contenders, but...

"....it's also being driven by a concerted campaign that examines every action the Clintons take and somehow finds the basest, most self-serving motivation for its existence. Thus, in this case, when Clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she's constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party. Is there a fair amount of sexism in the way she's being asked to get out of the way so a man can have the job? You be the judge.

We need to exam the reason for this...and what is driving it? Have the rules changed because of the times or have they changed because of the player being female?

Personally, I've always like the energizer bunny. It just keeps on ticking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Energizer Bunny is a marketing campaign. Yes, a very successful marketing campaign. Hillary Clinton's campaign hasn't been as successful.

It seems to me that it's easy to claim that Hillary Clinton is being held to a different standard, when one has their eyes closed.

Let's state the obvious - Yes, Hillary Clinton is a woman. Yes, Barrack Obama is an African-American.

It's sad that we are stuck on those two obvious things. They can become a crutch for those candidates that want to use them in that way.

For example: Tonight one of the news programs showed a clip from an upcoming Ellen Degeneres show appearance that Hillary Clinton made. It airs on Monday. She states something to the effect that the "boys want her to quit"... This is not the first time she's used this language - referring to "the boys".

I find this very politically convenient to play a poor political victim of "the boys club". You know its politics when Bill Clinton uses similar language to prop Hillary up.

If "sexism" was a meaningful issue to Hillary she would not use it in this way. She would give a serious speech about it (as Obama did with race).

These are historic times, and I find it very, very sad that instead of embracing the history and use this moment in time to discuss the issues - whether it's sexism or racism OR any other slue of issues... we are stuck in the same old politics of yester year - at least in regards to Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Don't get me wrong... I KNOW THERE'S SEXISM. I have seen it first hand. But it's hard for me to believe that Hillary Clinton is not twisting a very serious issue into a political tool.

I used to like the Clintons. I've lost respect for them over this campaign. It makes me sad. I hope someday I will be able to feel that the Clintons are sincere... I'm not there at this moment in time.

Thanks for the chance to voice my opinion.