Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton's campaign

I'm not that savvy about political operatives and in particular Mark Penn, a P.R. executive who's been running Hillary's campaign. I know the very lefty bloggers hate him, and I suspect that a lot of their antagonism against Clinton has to do with him and Hillary's choice of him as her chief campaign advisor (for which he's being paid a lot of money, and the lefties hate money).

Penn is associated with the Democratic Leadership Conference, which helped Bill Clinton get elected. Their tack was to offer up a candidate with more appeal to right-wingers, one who was pro-business and not so "liberal." Of course the hard-core left-wingers in the Democratic Party found the strategy offensive. The goal, however, was to get a Democratic presidential candidate elected, and Bill Clinton got elected.

I think Bill Clinton did the best he could. He did, for example, try to get gays accepted in the military and wound up with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which is better than the status quo at the time. He did try to get comprehensive health care reform, but that unfortunately failed. He was working in an adversarial atmosphere not of his own doing. Too many special interests had (and still have) high stakes in keeping the parceling out of health care in this country a for-profit business when, in reality, our health care problems are too vast to be handled fairly and effectively by the private, profit-seeking sector. Taxes will have to be raised. The most wealthy in the country can certainly afford it, but they will resist it tooth and nail and have the means to do so.

I think it's unfair of Obama to slight Bill Clinton's presidency. Let's just see what Obama is able to accomplish in comparison. I'm hopeful that he can live up to the hope he's offering us all. (I think I'm going to faint now, or just go to bed.)

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