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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Clinton v. Obama ‘08

posted by on January 17 at 9:34 AM

Both Annie and Erica make great arguments.

And even though I believe Obama would ultimately be the better nominee for the Democratic Party (for the reasons I wrote here on Slog), I’m personally a Hillary Clinton fan. So, I want to address two things about Annie’s post.

1. While Obma’s education plan is more thoughtful than Clinton’s, it’s only a plan. Plans are nice, but I think Obama’s candidacy rests too much on proposals and plans. Not only does Clinton plan to attract and recruit teachers to low-income, high-need areas, but she’s already done it—in the real world—legislatively. She got millions in federal dollars to recruit teachers to ailing schools in New York, and she created a program to do the same nationwide. This is the type of thing that Clinton fans mean when they talk about experience.

2. The environment. On the campaign trail Clinton specifically talks about investing money in green jobs. Guess what? She’s already done the heavy lifting by writing and moving legislation that does just that, the Strategic Energy Fund which invests $50 billion in green jobs.

Where’s the money come from? Taxing excessive oil company profits that have resulted from the oil company giveaway that Obama voted for and Clinton voted against in 2005. (No wonder, environmental super star Rep. Jay Inslee—who stumped and voted against the oil company giveaway in the House—has endorsed Clinton.)

Admittedly, she hasn’t been a legislative leader on the environment, but she votes the right way on the environment: check her record.

And that’s good enough when she’s been busy picking her own to-do battles in the U.S. Senate. Women’s rights has clearly been her emphasis—and she’s gotten results during this socially conservative era. Erica already documented many of the results in her post, but Erica forgot to mention the paycheck fairness act and guaranteeing affordable birth control for college women. For a look at what Clinton’s done in the U.S. Senate, check out her record here.)

Erica, did note Clinton’s successful fight to make Plan B available, but that one is worth mentioning again. Think about that. Clinton made that happen (alongside our own Sen. Patty Murray) during the Bush Dark Ages.

Again, these are things Clinton’s spent time on and fought for in the halls of power, not things she promises in white papers or in campaign speech rhetoric.

RSS icon Comments


Thanks for all these points on Clinton vs. Obama. This is a tough race, and it's great to have some re-affirmation on my original first choice - Hilary.

Posted by violet black | January 17, 2008 9:41 AM

HRC voted to give GWB the authority to go to war. She trusted him to make that decision. Either she's (a) not as smart as we like to think she is, (b) willing to make votes she doesn't believe in for political reasons, (c) got caught up in all the post-9/11 patriotic frenzy, or (d) actually thought going to war might be a good idea.

None of those options makes HRC a very attractive candidate. Nor do they speak to her supposedly fantastic executive decision-making abilities.

Am I missing something here? Anyone wanna jump to her defense?

Posted by M | January 17, 2008 9:46 AM

@2 -

(b) willing to make votes she doesn't believe in for political reasons,

... and not only that, but willing to make such votes on issues of enormous significance. This isn't some relatively trivial pander, like a vote for a anti-flag-burning bill that the legislator in question knows for sure won't be passing anyway. (Of course, in Hillary's case, of course, she actually sponsored that bill.) It doesn't leave one with much faith that she'd show stronger convictions on any other issue in the face of pressure.

Posted by tsm | January 17, 2008 9:56 AM

Please fix the comma in the first sentence. It's so distracting that I can't get past it to read the rest of your post.

Posted by Editor ? | January 17, 2008 10:10 AM

Josh could you get the classified ad manager, the paper delivery people, receptionist, art director etc. to write their takes on the election?

Posted by whatever | January 17, 2008 10:15 AM

Another reason for Hillary to make effective use of her legislative skills... in the legislative branch.

Do you think as President she'll have MORE influence over Congress, and be able to get these things done from the Executive Branch? ...That is when she's not being investigated-to-death like her husband was by all those petulant Republicans who loathe her?

Posted by andy niable | January 17, 2008 10:25 AM

Hillary in '08! We need someone who can get shit done, and she's it.

Posted by Carollani | January 17, 2008 10:29 AM
Where’s the money come from? Taxing excessive oil company profits that have resulted from the oil company giveaway that Obama voted for and Clinton voted against in 2005.

Wait a minute. Your point is that she worked on legislation that spent money raised by a tax she opposed? How did she get money from this "huge giveaway"?

As pointed out before, the "oil company giveaway" netted a $300 million tax increase on oil companies and a huge investment in clean energy.

Posted by Mike of Renton | January 17, 2008 11:16 AM

The reality is that Sen Obama is far more likely to be able to achieve workable compromises (which is what most legislation that passes is) than Sen Clinton.

Partly because she does have such a long track record, and partly because you outside the beltway don't grok how much Republicans and some Dems loathe her.

Is it fair? No. But that's reality.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 17, 2008 11:54 AM

so according to ECB, obama lacks substance and is a policy "lightweight."

and according to feit, obama's "candidacy rests too much on proposals and plans."

you can't both be right. which is why ECB is wrong.

Posted by jaykay | January 17, 2008 12:33 PM

Anytime Will in Seattle says, "that's reality"--just remember, that's HIS reality.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | January 17, 2008 1:08 PM

Anytime Will in Seattle says, "that's reality", you would be wise to remember that is HIS reality...

Posted by tiptoe tommy | January 17, 2008 1:12 PM

I don't know. Clinton wasn't even able to get a bunch of lowly Nevada casino workers who support Obama disenfranchised from the caucus process. So I'm starting to doubt her ability to get the really tough things done.

Posted by kk | January 17, 2008 1:59 PM

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