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She’s In

Hillary Clinton announced her intention to run for president today. I wish I was more excited about a woman trying to win a major-party nomination for the nation’s highest elected office, but I have always been ambivalent about a Clinton candidacy. It’s not that I don’t like her, and it’s not that I don’t think she would make a good president. It’s just that I’m disturbed by the idea that she’s the Democratic party’s best hope because I have trouble believing that she can win a general election.

My husband and I have been arguing about this for years now. I suggest that it’s crazy to have a candidate that a sizeable portion of the country hates with a passion utterly divorced from reason. Ted maintains that Clinton-haters aren’t going to vote for a Democrat no matter who it is, so it might as well be Hillary. I really hope he’s right, but I still think that at least a few of the people who have misgivings—however irrational or unearned—about Hillary might be persuaded to vote for a centrist Democrat who is not such a divisive figure. I know that a lot of liberals are sick of centrists, and they want a candidate who will appeal to Democratic loyalists, but I wonder: Do any Democratic loyalists love Hillary Clinton as much as Bill O’Reilly’s fans hate her?

I’m not saying that I’m excited about the prospect of a thoroughly unexciting nominee. I mean, I voted for John Kerry, but I didn’t get much of a thrill out of doing it. It’s just that I believe any Democratic would be better than any Republican, and I would really, really like us to win this election, and I just don’t know that Hillary can do that.

If she is going to be our candidate, however, I say, let’s go nuts: Make Barack Obama her running mate. I am a member of the Democratic base—despite what the Republicans seem to think—and I would consider myself energized by such a ticket. I would also enjoy the fact that it would be a hearty “Fuck you!” to the segment of the American public that would never, ever vote for a chick or a black dude.

Hillary and Barack

January 20, 2007 | Permalink

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