Clinton’s Achilles Heels, Ctd

Feb 6 2014 @ 1:38pm

Hillary Clinton Addresses National Automobile Dealers Association Convention

A reader gets more specific than the previous one on Clinton’s record in New York:

According to my research at GovTrack, during her time as a Senator Hillary Clinton sponsored three bills that become law. They were:

S. 3145 “A bill to designate a portion of United States Route 20a, located in Orchard Park, New York, as the Timothy J. Russert Highway.”

S. 3613 “A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2951 New York Highway 43 in Averill Park, New York, as the “Major George Quamo Post Office Building”

S. 1248 “Kate Mullany National Historic Site Act”

She renamed a road, a Post Office, and created a National Historic Site dedicated to a labor leader. Not exactly a huge body of work.

Weak. Lame. Another reader:

The responses to your query about Hillary are so depressing. I’m a woman and a huge capital-F Feminist, and I refuse to support someone JUST BECAUSE she’s a woman. That’s the stupidest, lamest, most self-defeating thing ever. I want to support someone who is the best person for the job, and hey, if that person is a woman, bonus! My early support for Obama was mostly about Obama, but secondarily because Hillary was emerging as the front-runner and that worried me. A lot.

I followed the 2008 race very carefully, for both personal and professional reasons. I read probably four hours’ worth a day of campaign coverage. (That’s how I found the Dish by the way – you’d keep coming up in searches early on, when not many other people were writing about Obama.) Hillary’s campaign was a MESS, in a way that reflected very badly upon her as an executive.

I don’t know who will emerge as the Democratic candidate in 2016 – I don’t see a lot of great options right now. But I really, really hope it won’t be Hillary, for two reasons. One, I don’t think she would be a good candidate. Two, and more importantly, I don’t think she would be a good president.

Another questions the premise of the discussion:

Do we really need a president (or candidate) that has a string of successes on “signature issues?”

No. What we need is an effective management from someone who can bring together both sides to advance the business of this country. Although we seem to have forgotten, that is what government is ultimately about. Success on big-focus policy issues in this day and age comes from narrow partisan achievements in one-sided political climates (See, e.g., Perry in TX, Walker in WI) or sacrifices overall improvement for narrow advancement (See, e.g., the Obama White House in the last year). The country is in desperate need of a president who believes in the value of good government and tries to, and can, improve the overall effectiveness of government for all people, rather than tear it down and rebuild it in some esoteric image. Now I’m no Hillary apologist (I voted for Obama, twice), but she seems like the type to advance the mission and effectiveness of government rather than focus it on myopic “policy initiatives”.

Another is on the same page:

Perhaps it doesn’t matter what her specific legislative/political/personal accomplishments are. A push-back against criticism of Obama is often (and I believe fairly), that he is merely the executive leg of a system of government. Our system of government is built to have checks and balances, and unless he or she has (super)majorities in Congress and the Senate, the President is never in a position to unilaterally impose their will or agenda. Again, this is something that gets brought up on places like this very website to produce a defense of Obama. He’s in charge of setting a tone and pushing an agenda, but sometimes that’s all that he can do.

So maybe Hillary’s specific accomplishments aren’t even the most important part of her resume. Maybe her status is indeed more important. As other’s have said, she is likely to be a little more of a fighter than Obama. She’s extremely popular and a well-liked figure. If she can set a tone that allows Democrats in Congress and the Senate to push Immigration Reform/Climate Change proposals/gun control/expand health care, and other items, then I think most Democrats who vote for her will be very happy.

Another takes it one step further:

I believe part of Hillary’s appeal lies in the precise fact that she does NOT have a signature accomplishment. After the failings of the Obama administration in the activity of governing (think the botched healthcare rollout, inability to effectively engage Congress), I think people are looking for someone who will be a competent administrator, without all sorts of new flashy policies. Clinton’s appeal is that she seems to be on top of her portfolio and can manage the details of governing, even without big accomplishments to point to. And part of this has to do with Obama’s own failings – after voters saw such promise in him during the 2008 election, the intervening period has really taken away the magic of his “change” message. Perhaps, in the end, Clinton’s 2008 approach of emphasizing “experience” over “change” is what will allow her to win in 2016.

And to Democrats, this has particular appeal. After 8 years of the Obama presidency, they are going to be seeking someone to lock in and secure the changes he has made – particularly with regard to healthcare and executive branch policies on things such as the environment and military policy. A Clinton presidency which can competently administer these policies will make it even harder for them to be rolled back at a later date.

Yep, that’s the strongest case for Democrats: that she’ll basically entrench Obama’s legacy the way George H.W. Bush did Reagan’s. By doing nothing.

(Photo: Former U.S. Seceratary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the 10th National Automobile Dealers Association Convention on January 27, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. According to reports, Clinton said during a question and answer session at the convention that the biggest regret was the attack on Americans in Benghazi. By Sean Gardner/Getty Images)