Assuming the next president will be a Democrat — which is never safe to assume, considering it’s never wise to underestimate the ability of Republicans to sell themselves, nor the inability of Democrats to do the same — what would a Clinton or Obama presidency look like for America? There’s a big risk that an Obama presidency would be an enormous failure in history, because he may not have learned the lessons that Hillary has learned. Just days before what might be Clinton’s last stand in the primaries in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island, I cannot help but wonder what we’re losing as a country if she fails to reach the general election. For all of us who have wondered what a female presidency would look like, we’ll have to wait. Yet, there’s a bigger opportunity that’s being lost, and it is not just bland “experience”. It’s the most experience we may have ever seen. It’s the possibility that Hillary Clinton just might be the most qualified person in the world today for the particular job she’s applying for, and may, in fact, be the most qualified person ever to have entered the job in my lifetime, were she to do so. No president, in my lifetime, has entered with 8 years of experience in the executive branch, 8 years of experience in the legislative branch, and a lifetime of working in law and justice, the third branch of our government’s balance of power. She has travelled to some 120 countries. She knows everyone that needs to be known throughout the world. She knows how the current power structures work both here and abroad. And her experience, both in terms of her learnings from her mistakes and the recoveries and reinventions of herself in the Senate, are unparalleled. We’ve probably never had a chance in my lifetime to elect someone as qualified for the job as she is. Can anyone think of a president who has entered office with so much qualification and wisdom earned from their experience in all 3 branches of government? Who has made high profile mistakes (health care), followed by high profile learning (the Senate)? It would be an incredible thing to see that experience put to use for the country. Yes, in a Clinton presidency, lobbyists and corporations will still run the country, and we’re likely to be involved militarily in the middle east for decades to come, but we might see some changes to health care policy and tax policy that would help the non-wealthy classes in America catch up and catch a break. And we’re not likely to see any major blunders of judgement. Would an Obama presidency look much better? Would he really end lobbyists? Would he really end the conflict in Iraq? Would his presidency translate into a transformed America, more than Hillary’s might? If other change agents that Obama is modeled after are any indication (MLK, JFK, RFK), then the prospects are not very good. A slight over reach of power can backfire. I’m a huge Obama fan, but my enthusiasm was perhaps somewhat predicated on not believing he could really make it to the general election. Now that I see Hillary’s sun possibly setting into the west, I can’t help but think differently now about who I’d vote for. As much as my heart wants to vote for Obama, I think I’d vote for Hillary if I were in Ohio on Tuesday. Why? I feel that I know what a Clinton presidency would look like. It is difficult to imagine that it would be a failed presidency, as, say, Carter’s (or Bush II’s) are often considered. An Obama presidency is easy to imagine as a failed presidency. Why? Obama cannot possibly realize all that he’s asked us to dream of. We’re bound to be disappointed. If he tries to implement any of his ideals, he will be stopped by the systems that are in his way. It would be sad if we had to watch Obama make the same mistakes Hillary once made with her health care plan, the same lessons she has already now learned from. Back then she was filled with purpose and ideals. And the system pushed back, and pushed back hard. Perhaps it would be sad if we miss this chance to bring the most qualified person in the world into this job. But things are not looking good for Hillary. The campaign was not prepared for the Obama momentum, and aided it. Bush II has been a disaster for the Republicans. We may just have to hope that an Obama presidency won’t do the same to the Democrats.
- ‘Bush intends to attack Iran before the end of his term’
- Recommended Podcast: Stanford Technology Ventures Program Entrepreneurial Thought Leader Lecture Series
- I always knew I needed multiple, or larger, computer monitors . . .
- A recent New Yorker profile of Spitzer
- What kind of presidency would she or he make?
- Hillary or Obama? What’s the difference?
- Reversing the “Bradley Effect” – Gender Style
- Hysterical Tucker Carlson essay about touring with Ron Paul
- The Checklist
- Obama: From Promise to Power