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Response to MADem (Reply #266)

Fri Jan 30, 2015, 11:37 PM

267. When I speak of "attractive," I'm not talking about beauty.

I'm talking about her stances on Medicare and Social Security. I recall how unwilling she was to raise the cap on the income subject to Social Security. That is not going to appeal to the real middle class, the parents scraping by with 2.4 kids and grandparents needing a lot of care. Do you know what Medicaid does to the assets of the grandparents in middle class America?

Hillary has no clue about that issue. If she did, she would raise the cap on taxes for Social Security and Medicaid and promise to bring a national insurance program that would cover nursing home and long-term care for the very elderly and the dying.

Hillary has a lot of problems. Bill is one. NAFTA is another. Her vote on the Iraq War is another. And while the Issa committee's investigation of Benghazi turned up nothing, there are questions about what our involvement in Syria and Libya were and I question why in the world our ambassador was meeting with the ambassador of Turkey in Benghazi rather than in Tripoli. There is something strange about two ambassadors meeting in an insecure region of a country like Libya in the way they did. Something very strange. It does not feel right to me, not based on my experience traveling.

The scandals, however, will not be the problem for Hillary. She may think she has taken care of everything, shut up the right (or wrong) people, sewed it up. Her problem will be the problem of the Democratic Party in 2014 -- incredible apathy.

Obama broke his campaign promises. We never got the cap raised on Social Security. Instead he favored chained CPI. The handling of the mortgage crisis really hurt the middle class. I held some very vulnerable hands during that period, and I will never forget how the banks were protected and families, some just starting to buy a home and set out on their lives were abandoned to their creditors. Clinton helped set the stage for that fiasco.

But back to Obama. He won because of his themes of hope and change. We really have not gotten much change beyond his hard-won health care bill, and the implementation of his health care reforms has been so slow that I don't know that Americans really perceive the improvement in our national health care system that it has and will bring. The closing of the Medicare prescription doughnut hole will not help seniors until I think 2019. That's a long delay for a bill passed in 2010.

Hillary will not have nearly the push in enthusiasm and hope that Obama had that pushed Obama to victory in both 2008 and 2012. She also does not have his energy or his backing from what we used to call "minorities" or from unions or from young people excited at the thought of a younger, enthusiastic president, one they could call their own.

Hillary's problem will be apathy. How in the world will she get voters up off their sofas and out of their workplaces to vote for her.

I was at the polls in 2008. People in Ohio were waiting for long periods of time to vote. We kept them waiting. A lot of them were African-Americans at the polls where I worked. It was of course their machine that broke down. They waited patiently. There I was an already older white lady from a different state assuring them they would vote. Do you think they will stand in the chill of November to vote for Hillary, assuming they can prove their identity and pass all the other hurdles Republicans will have erected to make it hard for them to vote at all.

So your problem with Elizabeth Warren is controversy. My problem with Hillary is apathy -- boredom and the sense of having been there and done that. Her negatives are going to have to do with NAFTA. It has not produced the jobs that Bill promised us and Social Security. She and Bill have hung out with Pete Peterson a bit too much to say nothing of their ties to the Wall Streeters who want to get commissions on churning Social Security investments and don't like the system we have which doesn't let them skim from the top.

I think that the Republicans will nominate Jeb Bush. He speaks Spanish. He is conservative on issues like choice. And Republicans actually think that GW Bush "kept them safe." (What a joke!) I expect them to pick as they did with Palin someone who will appeal to the Christian fundamentalists for the vice presidency, perhaps someone like Palin with problems, latent scandals, in her resume that can be pulled out to provide an excuse to fire her when she becomes an inconvenience. Remember Nixon's Agnew?

And then the campaign will boil down to the Republicans exciting their fundamentalist base with their vice presidential candidate and Democrats struggling to get out the vote in a campaign in which their base (and that includes union members and minimum wage workers, the long-term unemployed, and many other marginal populations with big problems like parents with kids who face frequent tests in the schools and who have not fared all that well under Obama) is not convinced they have a stake or representation.

So that is how I see it. Sherrod Brown is a possible candidate, but he also has a problem with his voice. Your voice is a reflection of your health. That is why we use it to measure people more than we realize. A good voice reflects good lungs and youth in most cases. Hillary's voice sounds cold and stern. Sherrod Brown's voice does not sound clear. I hate to say these things. It is very superficial and I will be the first to admit it. But remember how Nixon's sweating on camera hurt him in the 1960s campaign. A voice that does not sound robust and healthy hurts a candidate. It's a very deep-seated, sort of animal way that we judge people -- by appearance and by voice and even gait. Obama has the most perfect voice of any candidate in my lifetime. Maybe JFK could match him, but only maybe. (If Hillary is the candidate, she needs to work out regularly and do yoga - deep breathing and constant work on your abdominal muscles are essential in maintaining your voice. Ask any classical singer.)

Hillary in spite of Republican statements to the contrary does project an image of pretty good health. But Elizabeth Warren is even better in that respect. It's just a really basic, human desire to be lead by someone who is very healthy and fit.

I just think that the problem with Hillary will be getting out the vote. That she is woman will give her one advantage. But Elizabeth Warren would have that advantage too. The questions you raise about Elizabeth Warren's biography could be turned into assets because of her very likeable personality.

I continue to hope that Elizabeth Warren will run. We really need someone who understands the economic problems of the middle class in the White House. And she is THE one when it comes to that topic. Hillary is not. Not at all.

Of course, as you may remember and as I have mentioned before, I am studying the biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Although the reforms by FDR seem more important today, Teddy Roosevelt (in spite of his bloodlust which was deplorable) brought the energy that made change in our economic system possible. He was a true reformer. And we need a lot of reform today. We need a candidate with the fight and fire of Teddy Roosevelt (but not the cruel pride in killing). I don't think Hillary is that candidate. Time will tell, but I don't think so.

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