General Question

jcs007's avatar

Will someone please make an argument as to why Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Barack Obama?

Asked by jcs007 (1770points) May 1st, 2008

I just don’t understand why people would choose Hillary. And being from Illinois, I don’t expect to meet anyone who would. Sooo, can someone please tell me what’s so good about Hillary. Because the media and everyone surrounding me sure can’t.

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47 Answers

MrKnowItAll's avatar

Better the Devil you know, than the Devil you don’t know.

simone54's avatar

Wasn’t that on Scrubs this week?

wildflower's avatar

Because she’s already done the job?.....admittedly she’s campaigning a slightly different set of priorities this time around and she’s now speaking directly…

nikipedia's avatar

Because everyone’s hoping she’ll be like having Bill back, minus his wiener.

Zaku's avatar

Isn’t that the official campaign slogan? ;-)

reed's avatar

I actually haven’t heard a convincing, cogent argument as to why any of the current candidates should be president. A sad state of affairs indeed.

CameraObscura's avatar

In all seriousness, how can you “not understand why someone would choose Hillary” unless you’re looking through Barack Obama tinted lenses? Personalities aside, they’re virtually the same candidate…

Zaku's avatar

CameraObscura, but this question isn’t Clinton vs. McCain, it’s Clinton vs. Obama.

CameraObscura's avatar

Who said anything about McCain? My point is simply that jsc007 is obviously an Obama supporter and the fact that he feels so disenfranchised from the Hillary campaign that he cannot come to grips with it’s supporters is strange.

loser's avatar

she already knows her way around the white house!

Zaku's avatar

I thought McCain was the implied context of you saying Clinton and Obama were virtually the same candidate. That’s the view from which they look very similar. Seems to me it’s an interesting question and jsc007 may simply be being straight that he doesn’t see why someone would prefer Clinton to Obama, even though that may also represent his preference.

You’re essentially asking a similar question in return, which is also interesting.

Or, it would be interesting, if anyone would discuss any of it clearly and openly.

cheebdragon's avatar

because she’s African American…..oh wait, no she’s not…..hmm I can’t think of any good reasons.

for some of their views you can go to
ontheissues.org

benjamin6's avatar

if hillary is elected, maybe she’ll nominate bill to the supreme court. i’d like to see that.

rking1487's avatar

Hillary would be better because I wont have to hold my nose as tight when I vote.

zaid's avatar

rking, loser, and mrknowitall. I interpreted the question as looking for good reasons.

thegodfather's avatar

I don’t know that Hillary is better than Obama; both at this point have shown that they are mostly good at mudslinging (which is so characteristic of senators) and not actually good at doing much else.

* I’m not supportive of anyone else, just in case some of you are worried I’m biased… I really am quite sad about this year’s choices. I have yet to find a candidate I would be happy to vote for; they all miss the mark for me.

jmbm's avatar

one may be better than the other, but neither would be good.

luckie161's avatar

zaid, you are mistaken, Hillary is extremely good at mudslinging. A a desparate tactic she began using when it was clear thst she was not connecting with Americans as well as Barack. Neither of the three have experience governing anything substantial. Therefore, we must make do with with the choices we have. McCain equals more of Bush and old politics, Hillary is old politics, that leaves me with Barack,

cheebdragon's avatar

Where do people come up with this McCain = more Bush crap?

jcs007's avatar

If you compare Clinton and Obama with only the issues in mind, then I have to agree: they are essentially the same. So then my question is why Hillary is the better choice. I admit that the way I phrased the question revealed where my support lies, but like I said: I am desperate for some reasons.

Zaku, thank you. You interpreted my question correctly. I am posing a serious question and am trying to gain other people’s perspectives. I am desperate to understand the stalemate.

CameraObscura: If you think that I can “not understand why someone would choose Hillary” unless I am “looking through Barack Obama tinted lenses,” then in all seriousness, I don’t understand why Hillary is better than Barack. Maybe you should elaborate on these “tainted lenses.”

Jonsonite's avatar

The (nonpartisan) National Journal rated Obama as the most liberal senator. So if you aren’t as liberal as the most liberal Senator, you might prefer Hillary—she’s slightly more centrist. She also has more experience (and I’m not just counting her whitehouse stuff—she’s been in the Senate longer as well). That said, I still prefer Obama. I can’t stomach the dynasty system—it seems very Latin American to be electing the term-limited ex-president’s wife, even if she is an important politician in her own right.

afghanmoose's avatar

she wants to obliterate everyone,now I don’t know about u but that kind of attitude is just the same as or current president

CameraObscura's avatar

To clarify, I said “tinted” lenses. In other words, you’re already pulling for Obama.

Here’s an answer from a conservative’s view. In a historical perspective, Barack Obama is a man we know little about because he’s had a very short political career. What we do know is (as Jonsonite mentioned) that based on his voting record, he is the most liberal senator presently in politics and is perhaps the most liberal we’ve ever had in America. This is something I’ve mentioned several times in discussing him here but I don’t think you can emphasize it enough. This is a man running for President of the United States with the voting record of a fringe liberal/socialist. Certainly not mainstream politics, yet a study released yesterday showed that only 9% (or close to) of his supporters associate him with the word “liberal”. In my opinion, this clearly shows a large gap between what his supporters see and what is really there. Obama is certainly a great orator, and I would not be surprised if the support for him is largely based on the fact that our current President is not.

Obama is running on a “change and hope without regard for race” platform and has (for whatever reason) convinced many that he is a “different” or “new” kind of politician. This Jeremiah Wright controversy has shown that he is simply a spinster and opportunist like any other politician. Wright married Barack and his wife, baptized his children, gave him the title for his book (The Audacity of Hope) and several of the chapters in it and was his “spiritual guide” and preacher on an anti-American and anti-white agenda for twenty years. Now we’re to believe it took him two decades to figure this out? Jeremiah Wright (who gave Louis Farrakhan his own “Jeremiah Wright Trumpeter Award” and called him a man who “truly epitomized greatness”) was on his campaign committee until recently when the facts about his outlandish views became public.

If you’re not familiar with Farrakhan, you should read up on him. Among other things, he has called Judaism a “gutter religion”, referred to Adolf Hitler as a “great man”, and believes white people were created by black scientists in test tubes. I am not saying I believe Obama to be a subsciber to these beliefs, but Wright was certainly far too close for comfort for a Presidential candidate. Think for a moment if this had been reversed and it was discovered John McCain or Hillary Clinton had the same… I cannot imagine the outrage in the black community.

CameraObscura's avatar

Also, as an aside, if I’m a democrat, I’m praying the nomination is handed to Hillary Clinton by the superdelegates. Not only has Obama failed show the ability to win a big-state primary, but he will not win the support of working class white Americans after this ridiculous episode. As much of a polarizing candidate as Clinton is, democrats will not win an election with a fringe candidate like Obama who’s got ties to such outlandish racial extremists.

Zaku's avatar

CameraObscura, it’s great to see some actual discussion, but I notice that’s pretty much all about conjecture about Obama, and so doesn’t actually say anything about Clinton (which was the question you wrote you were answering).

The part about Obama seems to be two points: you label him liberal/socialist, and associate him with Wright and Farrakhan and say mainly that they are anti-white.

As for the “liberal” angle, it seems to me one of the ways America has been stuck is by taking tribalistically polarized opposing sides of a few simplistic unreal arguments (false dichotomies), and “liberal versus conservative” is one of them. “Liberal” in particular has become a meaningless label used to polarize people. If Obama has succeeded in avoiding being labeled that way while suggesting ideas that traditionally get ignored due to that label, then he has succeeded in transforming the dialog, at least until people start chanting “liberal” and stop really thinking again.

breedmitch's avatar

@CameraObscura: If the superdelegates “hand” Clinton the nomination (as you suggest), many of the Obama supporters will pick up their marbles and go home. They won’t participate in the national election and we’ll be stuck with at least four years of the same skull duggery. If Obama wins the nomination, the only Clinton supporters that might jump ship are the ones who are so worried about the Rev. Wright hogwash, and I’d prefer to not have such subtle racists in my party anyway. Shouldn’t these people already be voting republican?

Jonsonite's avatar

@breedmitch: Actually, the numbers have somewhere between 20% and 30% of Obama/Clinton supporters voting for McCain if the other Democrat wins the nomination. So both sides will have people walking across the street.

@Zaku: I’m the first to agree that the Liberal/Conservative dichotomy doesn’t do justice to the real political picture. The term “liberal” does mean something, however, and if it fits Obama to a tee (as far as his voting record), less liberal Americans can be forgiven for being less willing to vote for him.

For instance, part of his healthcare plan (as written on his website) requires insurance companies to give a policy to every applicant, and to set their premiums without regard to the health status of the applicant. So unhealthy people or those with unhealthy habits will be paying the same premiums as health nuts. Whether or not you agree with the policy, it is extremely liberal, essentially amounting to an unheard of subsidy for unhealthy/risk-seeking people at the expense of health/risk-averse people.

All this while focusing his oratory on his desire to bring people together and end the old partisan politics—it’s going to be a hard-sell being the “bring everyone together” President when your policy preferences are at one extreme end of the spectrum. It’d be like Pat Buchanan running as a uniter not a divider. Bringing people together requires compromise, and there just isn’t any evidence that Obama is willing to compromise.

Hillary, on the other hand, is seen as a old-school politician who is willing to compromise to get things done. She’s also seen as drastically dishonest, which may be the flip side of the coin.

loser's avatar

wouldn’t it be great to be able to refer to Bill as “the first lady”?

CameraObscura's avatar

Zaku, I’m not sure how to respond to your first point because I’m not following where you’re going with it. Conjecture aside, it sounds like you’re trying to paint me in to a corner. I can understand that a lot of what is being said about Obama and his pastor could be considered conjecture, however the way the situation was handled was poor at best and in my opinion, says something about Obama’s leadership abilities. There was nothing said three days ago by Wright that differed at all from the nonsense he’s been spewing for twenty years, yet now it’s an issue.

To clarify, I will say this…I was first told of the Jeremiah Wright issue by my old man a few days before it broke in the media and I honestly did not believe what he was saying. It sounded too far-fetched for a presidential hopeful. I believe Michael Medved’s radio show was the first I actually heard about it through the media and I still considered it to just be right-wing propaganda. Now as more and more of the story has unfolded, the picture has become clear to me and it’s a disappointment that so many of his supporters look past the issue. The point is, I gave the man the benefit of the doubt because I could not believe a presidential contender would allow someone so vitriolic to be so close to him. As I said, if this were a white candidate, be it Ralph Nader or Fred Thompson, people would absolutely be up in arms and everyone knows it.

I see where you’re coming from with your statement about false dichotomies (I’m sure I’m just as guilty of using the word “liberal” as a derogatory term as the next guy) , but it does not take away from the fact that Obama is a far-left leaning politician. If he does win the nomination, I hope this is not an argument used by the left to justify his record, as factoring it down to an issue of semantics would be disappointing and unjust.

I’d disagree about the reason the public does not associate him with the term “liberal”. I think it’s because John McCain and the Republicans have been laying low and allowing the dems to beat each other up. Wait until the other side takes a swing.

breedmitch, it sounds like you just labled myself and everyone else who believes the Wright controversy to be an issue a racist (huh?) and then went on to say that racists only belong to the republican party. Usually I don’t comment on such moronic posts because it’s kind of like arguing with couch, but geez, man. . Your own candidate believes it to be an issue, which is why he dropped the guy two days ago. So if I’m a racist, what does that make Jeremiah Wright? What does that make Barack Obama?

jcs007's avatar

No one answered my question. I still don’t understand this stalemate…

breedmitch's avatar

@Camera: Let me clarify. I believe that racism exists in very subtle degrees in this society and that those who would rather vote republican (something that might not be in their best interest in terms of healthcare, social programs, etc.) than vote Democrat based on the association of what they see as an “angry black man screaming” are racist. I did not apply this to you, specifically, but if the shoe fits…
To be clear: I am not calling you a racist, but did you just call me a moron? :)

cheebdragon's avatar

@Jcs007~ several people answered your question. The answer is nothing makes Hillary a better choice for president but at least shes not obama, that seems to be the point a few people are trying to make.

indicatebound's avatar

@jcs~ I haven’t been able to figure this one out either, though I’m maybe tainted by five years in IL. I can tell you it definitely doesn’t have to do with Obama’s pastor or whether or not his pastor or he has something to with the Nation of Islam. There’s supposed to be that little bit in the Constitution about “and no religious test”, so really. IF either Clinton or Obama are the nominee they will have the working-class (union, I should say) vote. Howard Dean knows this and is happy as a clam to have the cable news talking about Democrats 24/7 til August. Kerry was already being swiftboated this time 2004.

@Jonsonite~ “So unhealthy people… will be paying the same premiums as health nuts… amounting to an unheard of subsidy for unhealthy… people at the expense of health/risk-averse people.” As an unhealthy person, who didn’t choose his illness, it just saddens me that people think that now I should have pay more than them to stay alive, that because they are blessed with better genes or luck, they should be able to live while I shouldn’t. Sorry this is off topic, but it does really sadden me.

Zaku's avatar

@Jonsonite – You may be the first to agree that “the Liberal/Conservative dichotomy doesn’t do justice to the real political picture”, but then you go on to support voting and analysis on the basis of that term. It’s not just that that and other labels don’t do justice, it’s that they mean very different things to different people, and many of the meanings other people have boil down to “wrong, stupid, crazy, awful, the way those other jerks think, etc.” – they’ve been overused and abused so much that they undermine communication left and right (so to speak). Since you basically get my point, I invite you to consider explaining specific ideas you have, and listening to others’ ideas as free from such labels as possible.

@CameraObscura – I wasn’t trying to paint you into a corner, but was just observing that you literally didn’t answer the question directly. You did answer it indirectly, by saying the two Dem candidates are essentially the same but you see problems with Obama. Maybe all you have to say in Clinton’s favor is you have weaker concerns about her than you do about Obama; if so, to be clearer I’d just suggest writing it explicitly as an answer to the question.
As for false dichotomies, you say you understand but then call it a fact “that Obama is a far-left leaning politician”, to which I’d observe that “left” and “liberal” are labels that remove meaning and reduce discussions closer to “us versus them”. If there is a coherent idea to express, it will communicate much more clearly to the listening of everyone if it can be expressed without such terms.

loser's avatar

she’s also got better cleavage than obama!

Jonsonite's avatar

@indicatebound, Zaku, et al: Sorry, I just realized that I’m arguing on the internet again. It’s a habit I’ve been trying to cut down on. I’ll try to stick to less controversial subjects from now on.

CameraObscura's avatar

Zaku, if I’m going to play along, do you have an acceptable adjective you’d substitute for “liberal” or “socialist” when describing Mr. Obama’s voting record? Let’s be real here and call a spade a spade. The idea of not using terms like “liberal” and “conservative” sounds fine in theory but the practical application would be so mind-numbingly politically correct that you’d discourage an honest debate due to fear of retribution from those who aren’t actually engaging…

On point, instead of continuing to moderate, critique and criticize the way I and others are are “indirectly” answering the question, I’d ask if you have anything to add because so far, all I’ve seen is the pot calling the kettle black. To be fair, I’ll assume you’re an Obama supporter based on your profile and the way you’ve indirectly defended him here so maybe you don’t think there are any reasons why Hillary Clinton is a better choice. If that is the case, that’s fine but your unsubstantiated attempts at finding fault with my views look a little silly when put into context.

If it’s a specific rundown of issues and votes that people are looking for as an answer to this question, I do not have the time or interest to list all of the issues on which I disagree with Mr. Obama or agree more with Clinton. Both of their respective voting records can be found here:
http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490
...and here:
http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=55463

This should allow you to see what kind of president you’re going to be electing and allow you to make your own decision. Beyond that, I’ve got no more interest in being called a “subtle” racist or having someone analyze and mother all of my words as this has become incredibly annoying.

Zaku's avatar

@CameraObscura – I’m sorry you were annoyed.
I’m not suggesting non-loaded adjectives, but explaining ideas rather than using labels. Labels keep people from seeing an idea clearly. Without labels, there is the possibility of treating people and their ideas for what they actually are, instead of as some label we side for or against. Assuming I’m an Obama supporter is another example of reducing a discussion into sides, as if that could give you a better understanding of me, but actually it would reduce me to a label instead of a person with ideas.

You asked what I’d add to the question (“can someone please tell me what’s so good about Hillary [versus Obama]”), and indeed I don’t have an enthusiastic or novel answer. I’d phrase what’s been said already perhaps that she’d be the first woman to be president, she does have the background of having been the president’s wife for eight years, and she lacks the racial stigma and controversy mentioned here.

cheebdragon's avatar

is CameraObscura a bitter person, clinging to guns and religion?

CameraObscura's avatar

Yet another brilliant insight from you? Since you mentioned it, no. Absolutely wrong. I’ve got no firearms and I am agnostic. Any more stereotypes to throw my way? Anyone?

afghanmoose's avatar

nice britney pic

Zaku's avatar

@cheebdragon – More good examples of labels that can interfere with discussion, especially when applied to specific people.

By saying someone is an X kind of person, the implication can become that everything they say must come from an X perspective, be X-ish, etc. It may just be an attempt to understand the person, but it can also be, or seem like, the person and everything they might say or think is being reduced to an X.

In US politics especially, people have been stuck deeply in these kinds of traps, and even sticking multiple labels together in blobs.

Iphone35's avatar

I wanna see a woman try and run the country, back in history I don’t recall a woman ever being president of these United States.

afghanmoose's avatar

iPhone 49 is obviously not well versed in history

cheebdragon's avatar

I’m well versed in history and I don’t recall the United States of America having any female presidents.

@zaku~ you have serious issues with labels, don’t you?
Perhaps you should build a bridge….?.....

afghanmoose's avatar

That’s what I mean,there never was a lady as president,and obama now will get the nomination,its all in the math

Zaku's avatar

@cheebdragon – I see serious issues with the overuse of labels and other entrenched thought ruts, yes.

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