In 2007 I was initially all in for Hillary but ended up going with Barack Obama. Hillary’s record, policies and style did not wear well with me.
I was reminded of her record and her policies when I read “The Left Ought to Worry About Hillary Clinton, Hawk and Militarist, in 2016” by Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss in a recent The Nation. It makes the case that Hillary is a Blue Dog Democrat, a moderate conservative, and what used to pass for a Republican in many states. (http://www.thenation.com/…)
That triggered a recollection about her style. I was drawn back to Spring 2007.
I was living in SC and went to the state Democratic Convention as a delegate in May of that year. The two leaders of the presidential pack were Hillary Clinton and John Edwards but Hillary was ahead of Edwards by a mile.
As I drove up to the Columbia SC convention center I noticed that the streets were lined with dozens of large signs — 30 feet tall, bouncing as huge fans at their bases filled them with air. Each proclaimed “Hillary” in HUGE letters. At the Convention center there was a sea of yard signs covering every entrance and scores of volunteers lined up outside waving posters and jumping about excitedly.
At each of the entrances there was a common display- A stand alone white door, framed by flowering plants, with a set of brick steps leading up to it. The door had a nameplate that read “Madame President.” It seemed to say that all that Hillary had to do was walk through that door.
On the main floor, in the area set aside for candidates, the Hillary “table” was a large pre-fab control center with computer check-in for volunteers who got color coded name tags linked to a staff member wearing the same color tag who coordinated the work to be done by each group. The booth dominated the entire area. It was slick, splashy, classy and oh-so professional. There was a training area screened off from the floor for new volunteers to train them in how to chant “Hil-La-Ry” (which had different tones for men and women); and to learn the day’s “Hillary-brief, the talking points.” Each volunteer got an itinerary telling them what to do, when to do it and where to be at precise times.
A countdown clock ticked off the minutes until her arrival. When Hillary arrived, a special flag went up above the control center to signal that the volunteers were all to be in position. There was a high school band outside playing upbeat tones and a local choir inside singing spirituals…..as Hillary moved through the crowd, the volunteers chanted her name while the members of the choir called out: “You Go Girl, You Go Girl.” The chant and the call blended perfectly.
It was all so slick, so well organized, and obviously expensive.
Her speech at the Jefferson/Jackson dinner was carefully nuanced to appeal to the Blue Dog Dems who dominated SC Democratic efforts and as I think back on it THIS is Hillary’s natural audience- an Arkansas audience. Democrats who are really old GOP.
It was impressive and a bit worrisome….her record, her policies were already a concern but on that day the assumption seemed to be “who else but her….”
The next day I picked up “Dreams From My Father” by Barack Obama.
A DISCLAIMER: With the midterms around the corner and the 2016 race on the near horizon, I find myself wondering where I will land this time around. Once thing I know, whoever the Democrats choose that person will be MY candidate as I have come to believe that any Republican, no matter who that person is, will be a bad choice for America because I have lost all confidence in the GOP. They no longer have any claim to credible leadership.