Monday, November 07, 2016

About Hillary Clinton

This comment from Metafilter is the best testament to Hillary's qualifications to be president that I've heard. 

I was on the the Republican majority staff of a key congressional committee during the 105th Congress. I was on the team for two bills where Hillary and her staff were our primary White House contact and negotiating adversary (I don't like using that word to describe it, but that's how it is, so there you go). One of those bills was signed into law (which is always surprising).

That was at the beginning of my legal career, and I've now worked for many years handling complex litigation in state and federal courts. And I have never handled a case where I did not apply at least something I learned from watching Hillary and her team from the other side of the table.

I'm telling you right now that there is no challenge as president that she cannot handle. None. Everything you've ever heard about what a brilliant strategist Bill is is true of her. She is as tough as anyone I've met and as effective and brilliant a legal mind as any litigator I've ever known. She is infuriatingly clever and almost unfathomably strategic. And she sees the big picture of legislation and government better than just about anyone.

I spent a lot of hours working against her. And now I'm proud to say I'm with her. Because she's with all of us. She's with America. And it would be a joke to pretend anybody can do the job better than she can. People can accurately criticize her by griping that she's been gunning for this job her entire life and thinks she's entitled to it. And that's exactly why she gets my vote. Nobody is more qualified. Nobody has spent as much time preparing for the job as her. Nobody will work as hard as she will in that office. Nobody.

Just as Rosa Parks was selected to be a test case for bus segregation because she was a fine upstanding citizen with no scandals in her past, President Obama had to be the most perfect candidate possible to win election to the presidency while being black. The result has been a relatively scandal-free presidency. We will miss him.

Hillary Clinton is about to be another kind of first, with a somewhat different path. While there will no doubt be other women presidents in the future, the road to being the first is particularly tough. And I can't think of any other woman tough enough to run the gantlet the way she has. Any sane woman would have said "Screw it, I don't deserve this." A man with her public service experience would have blown the field away. But Hillary labors under the burden of competing against men in a field where the field itself is built around men, while at the same time dealing with criticism for not being womanly enough. She's had to bend constantly to people's expectations all her life while still pursuing her ambitions. Were the trade offs worth it? To the next generation of women, yes, because it would have been be a long time before we found anyone else tough enough to break that glass ceiling. Her classmates at Wellsley thought Hillary would be president some day, but never thought she'd marry a politician or change her name.
In conversations, though, with many of them over the past couple weeks, they all agreed: This, in the end, is probably how it had to be. A woman who operated purely as a feminist would have condemned herself to fighting a permanently outside fight. And a woman who never tested the limits of the role she agreed to play—tested it over and over—wouldn’t have built the thick skin and the savvy needed to keep going.
Samantha Bee had the TL;DR version of the above on her show.

The presidential election of 1992 was the first one I'd been enthusiastic about since I started voting in 1976. Back then people were saying that Hillary was the smarter one, but Bill had more charisma. Besides, Hillary would have never been elected governor of Arkansas. After all, she's just a woman.


Johnny Wallflower said...

Nice sentiment. Also, mad props for using "gantlet" instead of "gauntlet."

Bruce M said...

It's a shame that the orange haired blow-hard is even close to her in polls. She's got my vote!