To say that Hillary Clinton is flawed is to say that she is human. So are the rest of us. I would have preferred Bernie (at least up until the time that he seemed to become impervious to the questionable conduct of some of his supporters). But I am confident now that Hillary could be a very fine president. She deserves a break from some of us who have been largely unwilling to give her breaks in the past. Here’s why:
- She has been pilloried by the vast right-wing conspiracy. If we did not think that the right-wing conspiracy existed when Hillary first brought it to our attention in 1998, it ought to be clear to all of us now. Just thank Roger Ailes and Fox News. How many of us would stay in public life if we took such an ongoing public lashing?
- Like so many running for public office, her supporters have inflated the content of her character way beyond what is possible for anyone to achieve. It is not easy being the first woman candidate of a major American political party, but she is not as great as some of her most ardent supporters think she is. Yet it is hard to not soak up such adulation. She seems to have kept stride because she is so well grounded.
- She has been “throwed” more than just about anyone else, and she keeps ticking even if it means another licking. [See Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s 3-minute speech at DNC to learn what “throwed” is – start at one minute; five seconds.] Her perseverance is remarkable. She may well be able to handle the hostility of Republicans and some in the mainstream press much better than Barack Obama has.
It is interesting that the left’s most common criticism of Hillary is that she is a tool of Wall Street. She has done little to distill that with her words. But through thick and thin, no one has been able to find a connection between the way she governs and ties to Wall Street. She might enjoy getting the last laugh in when governing in a progressive fashion after taking so much money from Wall Street.
The Donald has given us an opportunity, not just to elect Hillary Clinton but to regain control of the Senate and possibly the House. If at all possible, it would serve progressives well to give us a similar political arrangement in the federal executive and legislative branches as we had following Barack Obama’s election in 2008. If it’s a question of how to spend political capital, I have tremendous confidence in Hillary Clinton. Let’s give her that opportunity.