Tuesday Reads: Hillary in 2016?

The face of a President?

The face of a President?

Good Morning!!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been suffering from a bad case of what JJ calls “PAD” or “Political Affective Disorder.” I’ve been finding myself escaping into a haze of detective stories, Criminal Minds reruns, and video games. I’ve still kept up with the news–barely–but I haven’t felt much like writing about it. I feel discouraged about the fate of our nation and I’m paralyzed about my own personal future too.

Beginning in 1993, I focused most of my attention of getting the education I missed out on as a young woman after I left college after only two years. From 1993 to 2010, I lived the life of a full-time student–and I loved it! After I finally achieved my goal–a doctorate in psychology–I had no idea what to do next. I was near retirement age, and faced the reality that the best “job” I might be able to get in the current economic climate was as an adjunct professor with low pay and no benefits.

I had learned after 12 years of teaching that the kinds of teaching jobs I might be able to get wouldn’t allow me to experience the aspects of teaching that I truly enjoyed–working directly with students and leading class discussions–wouldn’t be available to me. Instead I’d be lecturing to classes of 150-200 students with little opportunity for class discussion or personal interaction. In addition, I had serious problems with grade inflation and the “customers are always right” attitude of the universities I had taught at.

I had fantasies of focusing on writing and research, and I thought that might be a realistic goal, but then my mentor died suddenly and shockingly, and I no longer had anyone in academia to turn to for advice or to help me negotiate the publishing process. I was already so exhausted by the effort to complete my dissertation and my father’s death in March of 2010, that I really felt the need to just do nothing for awhile.

I threw myself into blogging, because it gave me opportunities to write and express myself on a daily basis. I’ve always loved following politics and it has been great to connect with so many other people who have the same interests and obsessions. But lately the world of politics seems as paralyzed as I am in my own life. The Republican Party has managed to largely control the agenda despite the fact that they only control the House.

Right now, I have the ability to live on a very low income and still have a decent lifestyle. But the day is eventually going to come when I won’t have a free place to live. I’m also finding myself less satisfied with just recovering from the effort to finish my Ph.D. and the major losses of my father and my academic father figure–my mentor. What will my future look like? I seems wrong not to use the skills and knowledge I’ve gained over the years to give back in some way, no matter how small.

Well, I can’t solve all those problems today. But I can keep on keepin’ on and imagine ways things might change. You might call it, “The Audacity of Hope.” And that’s where Hillary comes in. More and more I see her as a model for survival, for achievement late in life, for looking at problems in new and productive ways. Could she really become the first woman president at approximately the same age I am? Could she be a better, more innovative leader than Barrack Obama has been? I want to take that leap of faith and believe in her ability to win the nomination and general election and succeed as president. I also want to believe that she and we can survive the Clinton hate that we’ll all have to go through to make it happen.

Suddenly Hillary is all over the news! Yesterday Dakinikat posted a link to the first major interview (at New York Magazine) Hillary has done since leaving the State Department. Yesterday I was feeling so apathetic that I didn’t even manage to read the whole thing. But I’ve promised myself I’m  going to do that today. In the meantime, here are some crib sheets and reactions to the New York article:

From NBC News’ First Thoughts:

*** Clinton news — everywhere! If you wanted an idea of what the media landscape would look like the moment we get a clear indication if Hillary Clinton is running for president, we got a taste of it over the past 48 hours. Hillary Clinton gave her first private-citizen interview to a news organization; Bill Clinton is making news ahead of his Clinton Global Initiative meeting; and the New Republic runs a tough piece on Bill Clinton aide Doug Band. It’s a reminder of what comes with the Clintons — excitement, news and attention, and baggage. Now on to these individual stories…

*** “She’s running,” Hillary confidante tells New York magazine: In her first interview with a news organization since leaving her secretary of state post, Hillary Clinton certainly didn’t seem like someone who was shutting the door to a 2016 presidential bid. In fact, it was the opposite. When New York magazineasked if she wrestles with running, Clinton responded, “‘I do,’ she says, ‘but I’m both pragmatic and realistic. I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and governmental challenges that are facing our leaders, and I’ll do whatever I can from whatever position I find myself in to advocate for the values and the policies I think are right for the country. I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other.’” It’s a significant step that she’s decided to acknowledge publicly that she’s thinking about it. We may all think we know this and treat it as a given inside the Acela Corridor, but it’s still significant to read her SAYING it. But the article adds, “Some of her close confidants, including many people with whom her own staff put me in touch, are far less circumspect than she is. ‘She’s running, but she doesn’t know it yet,’ one such person put it to me. ‘It’s just like a force of history. It’s inexorable, it’s gravitational. I think she actually believes she has more say in it than she actually does.’” Other than sending signals that she’s running, the other unmistakable take away from the Hillary interview: She won’t be surrounding herself with a lot of the Bill alum, a la 2008. More Team Hillary, less Team Bill in 2016. Translation to nervous donors/supporters about a repeat of 2008: Mark Penn and other Bill veterans aren’t running this thing.

From The Daily Beast: Seven Juiciest Bits from Hillary Clinton’s New York Profile. Go read the whole thing, but I’ll excerpt the part I found most intriguing:

7. The future of Clintonworld now lies with Chelsea.

Of course, there’s a third person in the Clinton family: Chelsea, whose name has been added to the name of the foundation, making it the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. Chelsea had tried out a number of careers before turning to the family business, first as a consultant at McKinsey & Co., then a hedge fund and a stint NBC. But not everyone at the foundation was happy about Chelsea’s sudden appearance and her decision to bring in an old McKinsey associate as CEO—and Bill eventually stepped out and defended his comrades, a move that hinted there might have been conflict between the three Clintons. “This is an operation that runs on its proximity to people,” one staffer said. “Now it’s three people. How does that work?”

But Hillary says Chelsea’s entrance is simply in her daughter’s DNA (a move that seemed especially true after Chelsea’s Daily Show appearance on Thursday night). Hillary said Chelsea, the family’s now-gatekeeper, “comes by it” at the foundation “naturally.” Ever the proud parents, Hillary said Chelsea is “an incredibly able—obviously I’m biased—but extremely well-organized, results-oriented person, so rather than joining a lot of other groups, on which she could pursue her interests, she thought, I want to be part of continuing to build something I have worked on off and on over the years, and I really believe in it. I was thrilled to hear that.”

A negative note from The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign Is Already Haunted

Clinton-watchers have an abundance of bedtime reading options this Sunday with not one, but two long profiles aimed at a possible 2016 run for Hillary Clinton. In New York magazine, Clinton herself breaks a mini “press hiatus” to spend some time with Joe Hagan, who then digs into the extensive support system for the family dynasty. But it’s The New Republic’s profile of Doug Band, longtime advisor to Bill Clinton, that hints at one of the challenges Hillary will face in a 2016 campaign: the ghosts waiting in the wings from the Clintons’ long public life.

Band, writer Alec MacGillis explains, is “rarely written about, almost never quoted, and many Clinton associates are loath to discuss him on the record.” But lately, he’s emerged from under the Clinton umbrella to strike out on his own, leaving him more vulnerable to scrutiny. In the past few months, his name has popped up as something of an antagonist in stories of troubles at the family foundation. Even though Band declined to speak to MacGillis for his expansive profile, the piece connects some dots that could be unwelcome for Team Clinton: “the unease with Band reflects an unease with the phenomenon of post-presidential Clintonism itself,” he writes. That Clintonism angst, TNR’s piece posits, could extend to Hillary, albeit with few to no direct ties. Band’s role in the Clinton administration was as the body man, a presidential version of a personal assistant.

Taylor Marsh points out that Hillary is not Bill just because she’s married to himBill Clinton, Hillary, and a Bone Picking Exposé on Doug Band.

The fact is Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a trail to give us an idea what she’d do, let alone if she thinks similarly to her husband on economics. What we know about Hillary in matters commander in chief is that unlike where Bill started, she’s respected at the Pentagon, which is one reason a contingent of progressives will oppose her candidacy. People tried to hook NAFTA to her back during the 2008 season, which I debunked, because not even Carl Bernstein, someone who wrote a fairly tough book on Hillary, would allow that to go unremarked upon, throwing ice cold water on any notion she supported NAFTA, a free trade agreement that exemplifies neoliberalism.

Just because she’s Bill Clinton’s wife doesn’t mean her views are identical to him. You’d think Democratic activists and progressives would understand the insult of assuming Hillary would be just like Bill. Opposing NAFTA also doesn’t mean she won’t approve of other free trade deals. Of course, for many Iraq, then her role in Libya, now Syria, is enough to make her unsupportable.

The other issue is that to people inside the power structure who want to be in charge, pretending corporations aren’t part of politics is to lose your foothold on the ladder taking you upward. You can choose not to participate as a voter and activist, but anyone in the political food chain who wants to rise cannot. This is one of the immovable, unsolvable, implacable truths that create the catch-22 of American politics.

Anyone who wants to change the system can’t get access to power without using the system and by the time they rise within the system they’ve lost credibility with the voters who put them in office to fight the system. Once in the political stream that gives you access to the power as a politician, the corporations who run the world also control the political apparatus you need to get anything done. Thus instead of Barack Obama changing Washington it changed him, as it will anyone governing in the era of international globalization. It gets to the question of whether a person is strong enough to also exact their own pound of economic flesh so that the stacked deck for the wealthy against the middle class at some points starts evening out.

So we don’t talk about neoliberalism when it comes to Democrats, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama, and a scorching investigation of Doug Band won’t change that fact, or that Hillary being married to Bill doesn’t tell us anything definitive about what she’d do if she ran for president and won.

John Dickerson at Slate via CBS News: Hillary Clinton: The long game.

Hillary Clinton, in her first interview after leaving the State Department, offered a wise metaphor about the current state of presidential election madness. “This election is more than three years away, and I just don’t think it’s good for the country,” she told New York magazine, referring to the fevered speculation about her possible candidacy. “It’s like when you meet somebody at a party and they look over your shoulder to see who else is there, and you want to talk to them about something that’s really important; in fact, maybe you came to the party to talk to that particular person, and they just want to know what’s next,” she says. “I feel like that’s our political process right now. I just don’t think it is good.”

Clinton knows what it’s like to be on both ends of that exchange. She was a political spouse; the shortsighted looked over her shoulder for many years, seeing her as merely an adjunct to her accomplished husband. Now, she is the person who draws every eye in the room–away from even her husband. (When someone says “Clinton”, it may not be long before a majority of people think of the former secretary of state and not the former president).

Read more at the link.

And finally articles on two important members of the Clinton orbit:

NY Daily News: Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016, friends say — and Huma Abedin will have tough choice

WaPo: McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in Virginia governor’s race

Soooooo . . . what’s your take on Hillary’s chances? How can we handle the CDS and the rampant misogyny we know she’ll face? 

Of course this is an open thread, so feel free to post your links on any topic in the comments. I promise to click on every one!


70 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Hillary in 2016?”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    Something about Hillary always gives me hope. It might just be because she’s unfailingly positive, she never whines, and she has a great smile.

  2. Pilgrim says:

    Fantasy: “I had fantasies of writing and research…”

    Fact: You really are a very good writer.

  3. Fannie says:

    You got it right BB, you got it all right. You are not just our Dr. in Psychology, but our Chief Dancer here. Our best friend, and we love all that you are about, all that you have experienced, and lived through. We celebrate your accomplishments, all those long hours, that turned into years, and years of work. Even those feelings of “getting nowhere” because of a lack of flexibility, and freedom” that weren’t granted to you when students needed you the most. Your heart and your mind has been in the right place. I want to tell you that a lot of us are looking at our past lives, and depressed, because we worked all those years, and we are losing, It seems like what we worked for just slipped away……….and what happens on the horizon is scary, it’s bad. Just like Detroit, bad. Maybe it is good that all of take a few days away from the current pressures on politics. And sort of gather our reserves for Hillary.

    Hillary exemplifies us………………..the woman committee to herself, her community and her country. We understand her needs, motives, and goals, and we know we need her to be the great leader she was met to be, because we believe in her. We believe that she can help solve problems, and that is why she should take the job.

    The one thing we cannot do is let them “silence” us. We are going to keep on keeping on, and will lash out when they try to destroy her with misogyny, and meanness.

    I don’t want to turn the corner, but what if Hillary doesn’t run because of life factors beyond her control? That’s the question nobody wants to address, certainly not me.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I hope she runs, despite how painful it could be if she doesn’t win. I really feel we need a woman president. Other countries have done it, why not us? I think a woman’s viewpoint is desperately needed in today’s world.

      Thanks for the kind words, Fannie. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling stuck right now. Imagine how it must be for young people just graduating! At least I lived through a time of American prosperty–from my birth in 1947 until about 1974. After that, it was pretty much downhill except for the Clinton years.

    • Beata says:

      Fannie, you summed it up very well. Thank you.

      I think many of us here are looking at our pasts and worrying about our futures. Hillary is like a beacon in the night, giving us direction and hope.

  4. RalphB says:

    Simple really,I want Hillary to run. I support her for all I’m worth and don’t worry about those who don’t. Easiest choice ever!

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’ve reached that point too. I know I’ll occasionally get annoyed with naysayers, but will mostly try to let it roll off my back. I really believe Hillary could change the negative tone that has overtaken the country.

  5. dakinikat says:

    I’ve found the political environment to be very traumatizing as has my elderly dad. He turns 90 next month. He’s worried that they will take his social security or medicare away from him. I try to get him to turn off the TV News. I think Fox basically runs republican paranoia 24-7. Every one I know that isn’t really rich is struggling just to pay basic expenses. It’s like your income never goes up but your basic bills steadily go up. Something has got to give here.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Mother Jones
    The US Senate made history Tuesday by unanimously confirming the first openly gay judge to the US Court of Appeals.

    http://bit.ly/1b2G2JO

  7. dakinikat says:

    The Raw Story ‏@RawStory 9s
    WATCH LIVE: Ted Cruz filibusters against Obamacare http://ow.ly/paO1d

  8. ANonOMouse says:

    BB….you’re a talented writer and I believe you’re more than capable of reaching your goals,

    Becoming an old person is a tough bridge to cross psychologically and physically. Watching your body change and your health decline is a painful transition for anyone who lives that long. For me the hardest thing about being old is that I can actually see the other shore and I know for sure that I’m not going to land where I’d expected. It’s a shock when you finally come to grips with the fact that your horizons are no longer endless, and course corrections are no longer possible. That realization makes it more difficult to motivate yourself because the work associated with any major endeavor calls into question whether or not you possess the energy and stamina required for the task. I know I have to kick myself in the ass regularly to overcome my mental and emotional lethargy and that creeping feeling of “washed up”. The lying bastard who coined the phrase “these are the golden years” probably died young.

    Keep your head up girl, you still have it. 🙂

  9. dakinikat says:

    There’s ‘Nothing More Christian’ Than Gutting Food Stamps, Says Family Research Council http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/theres-

  10. ANonOMouse says:

    I need to look at Senate Filibuster rules, Rand Paul raised a point of order for a question, now he’s basically delivering a sermon. It’s the Moe and Larry show, I wonder who’s going to play Curly

    • prolixous says:

      Anon — have you not seen that varmint residing on Rand Paul’s head — he’s Curly. They need to find a Larry, since the one they had is in a bathroom somewhere exercising his “wide stance.”

      • ANonOMouse says:

        LOL……I hate to admit it, but I was a 3 stooges fan as a young person and “Curly” was bald or burr headed. Moe had dark hair with a Buster Brown haircut, Larry had curly/wiry haired.

        I probably should turn it off, but I’m gonna keep watching this circus because I can’t wait to see Ted Cruz deteriorate right before our eyes.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Well, we have a Curly (Jeff Sessions)

        • ANonOMouse says:

          It’s no coincidence that the 3 Senators who are taking part in this filibuster are from States that are not accepting ObamaCare funding. TX, KY, AL.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Now we have Marco Rubio pontificating from the floor and he too is from a State that is not accepting ObamaCare funding, Florida.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            And Rubio, like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Jeff Sessions is trying to make the argument that ObamaCare is or will be hurting the poor & middle class by eliminating jobs or making full time jobs into part time jobs. This from the party that just cut Food Stamp funding by $40 Billion Dollars. What a bunch of hypocrites.

  11. prolixous says:

    BB — I won’t dare advance any advice about what the future holds because each day offers a potential new adventure, but I will offer this: Through your writing and your PhD, you leave everyone a bit better than you found them. That is a legacy to which we should all aspire.

  12. NW Luna says:

    I have a huge case of PAD and have taken a break from reading & commenting to focus on more soothing activities. It just keeps getting crazier, eh?

    SD is a place of reason: much needed, and much appreciated!

  13. littleisis says:

    I’m finishing my Bachelors in Psych come spring, BB. For what it’s worth I’d love to have you as my professor!

    I’ve had PAD for two years now so I know how you feel. We will see if Hillary really does run. Who knows if her role in Libya and Syria makes a difference, they didn’t give a shit when Obama got involved but we all know that hypocrisy is a given with some of those people.