Chuck See: Hillary Speaks…

Hillary Speaks...

Yesterday I waited 3 hours in line to hear Hillary Clinton Speak. It was quite an experience; she certainly has many enthusiastic supporters. I did this because I believe that she may very well be the next President of the United States, and I wanted to see what we were in for.

It didn’t start well. After the barrage of local Democrats taking their turns at the mike, Hillary finally showed up and began to speak. But the first words were not of harmony or hope; they were words about making history and how “It always takes a Clinton to clean up the mess a Bush has made”. Clever to be sure, but are those the reasons to aspire to the most powerful position on the planet, to be the first woman or because of you last name? I was hoping for more.

And there was more. After a time she did begin to speak about the issues. I was pleased to here her speak out against No Child Left Behind (NCLB), however it was difficult to distinguish how her new ideas were different than when she supported NCLB. I was hoping to hear that there would be more focus and opportunities for the common student.

I was glad to here someone speaking against Global Warming and for energy independence, although it was only a few sentences.

Where I really began to be concerned, though, is when Hillary started talking about National Health Care. What she described was OK, but toward the end she stated that this is where she parted with Obama, who didn’t have a National Health Care plan. I was confused. I had heard Obama speak of a plan similar to Hillary’s just weeks earlier. Did I get it wrong? So afterwards I went home and looked it up. Sure enough, on Obama’s website is a plan virtually identical to what Hillary was proposing, even using a lot of the same words. I’m not sure who stole what from whom, but it is apparent that they know each others platforms well.

Which brings me to the point in the speech where Ms. Clinton asked the crowd if they had seen the debate? “Isn’t it nice to see us coming together,” she said. It sounded to me like she was implying a union, like saying, ‘if you vote for me, you get Obama as well.” …a bargain to be sure.

The second time in the speech where I felt uneasy was when she attacked McCain over the war. She said that McCain would be comfortable leaving troops in Iraq for 100 years, but she wouldn’t wait 100 days to start bringing them home. I had heard Senator McCain speak of this, and what he was saying is that we might have some military presents in Iraq long after the war was over, just as we have in Germany, Japan, the Philippines, Cuba, and many other countries (and probably not for 100 years). Although I’m not necessarily in favor of this, it is a far different thing that saying that he is going to perpetuate the Iraq war for 100 years, which is what she was implying.

I felt that her statement was misleading. This began to make me wonder if her statement about Barack’s health care plan was intentionally misleading, which in turn made me wonder if what she said about education was just meant as an insult to Bush. Did she really mean anything she said, or was she just trying to “make history”?

This election is too important to be about someone’s ego. Over the next 4 years we need to end a war, find new sources of energy, fix the economy, heal our international reputation, make critical investments in America’s infrastructure, fix our schools, repair Social Security, and make great strides to combating global warming. Any one of these would be a daunting task for a President. To do them all (and we do need to do them all) requires a super-President.

I think that Hillary is great at women’s issues, which is important. We need to address those too, but not at the expense of the rest of the country. I feel that Hillary is using the fraternity between women to forward her personal goal of becoming the first female president. And I think that is wrong. And in four years, when nothing has changed I’m afraid that we’ll be even deeper in trouble than we are now.

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