Progressive. Queer. Feminist. Opinionated.

Monday, July 18, 2005

On "The Evolution of Hillary Clinton"

The New York Times Online has a fairly in-depth article on Hillary Clinton and her changing political voice. She's been growing more moderate over the past few years, and many seem to believe this could imply an imminent bid for presidency.

The article begins:

As she gears up her re-election campaign for the United States Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton is presenting a side of herself that might have given some of her supporters great pause just a few years ago. Nothing captures this new face of Hillary Clinton better than the Web site her campaign started this week: It portrays her robust stand on national defense and her desire to reduce the number of abortions, among other positions.

In fact, in the last few months, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly confounded the expectations of people who judged her from her White House years. She has appeared publicly with Newt Gingrich, her onetime political foe. She has called abortion a "sad, even tragic choice." She has stood fast in defense of her vote authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq. Over the last few weeks, she has found defenders among prominent conservative commentators who feel she was maligned in a new unauthorized biography.

I've never known what to think about Hillary Rodham Clinton. My parents are ardent Republicans, and from the first moment I saw her, I was taught that Clinton was a liar, a manipulator, and someone who would do anything for power. I regret that. I often feel like I'm behind on political issues because I was taught to simply believe, and I was never encouraged to look at political issues with an unbiased eye.

Although I proudly call myself a liberal now, I'm a firm believer that all too often Republicans and Liberals are similar people with similar goals who "use" different ideologies to reach these goals. I hardly hold power-seeking against Clinton (if indeed she is guilty of that offense), especially because I highly doubt that a man who believes he has a mandate has no interest in power. Besides, I don't necessarily think desire for power is a a negative thing; after all, that desire might imspire a person to work harder for his or her constituents.

I'll admit that I admire Clinton for her political savvy in attaching herself, in a time when it was difficult for women to rise in power, to a man who was going places. Now she has emerged from his shadow, and it's likely she's as powerful as him. I respect that. I also respect the ability to make judgements not based strictly on political party. Although, I am curious as to why she's so supportive of the war in Iraq.

However, I'd like to diverge from my point for one moment. After those first few lines (pasted at the top of this entry), the article goes on to say:

It is a striking departure from just five years ago when she was seen as a fierce Democratic partisan and a symbol of the liberal excesses of the Clinton years.

So now the economic comfort and respect the US held during the Clinton years is considered a "liberal excess"?

Anyway, I'm interested in what others thing about Hillary Clinton. Any thoughts?


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