The Other 'Historic' Choice: How Hillary Would Have Governed

Ever since June, when Bill Clinton criticized (however obliquely) Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill, there has been renewed chatter concerning a Hillary candidacy in 2012. Hillary could take advantage of a weakened president with plummeting approval ratings to achieve her own ambitions -- or save her party from the aforementioned weakened president, depending on the viewpoint. Whether this is a plausible theory or not is debatable, but it does bring to mind something else: What kind of presidency would a Hillary victory in 2008 have produced? How much better or worse off would the nation be at this point? The most likely conclusion: We'd probably be exactly where we are right now -- just less annoyed, and perhaps less fragmented as a people.

First, the differences, most of them being rooted in personality traits. Hillary has flaws, to be sure, but narcissism is not visibly among them. So say goodbye to a whole host of cringe-inducing Obama acts: the Brandenburg speech, the Cairo speech, the endless campaign speeches, the omnipresent "I" in nearly every spoken sentence, the appearance on "The View," the whole president-of-the-world routine. Nor does Clinton seem to harbor grudges against our allies, so the thinly veiled insults to England and Israel wouldn't have happened.

Hillary wouldn't have run around bowing to foreign leaders. Obama is arrogant and childishly thin-skinned. Hillary is decidedly less. She wouldn't have appeared so frightfully incompetent on so many issues, from the BP fiasco to formulating a coherent Afghanistan policy. Hillary seems to be a more serious person than the president; no repeat golf outings, date nights, or basketball with Arne Duncan for her. No birth certificate mess. What a boon to conservatives it would be to have this divisive issue off the table!

While all of these shortcomings leave Obama being less than what we expect of our president, they are, with the exception of incompetence, matters of character and more annoyances than serious problems. But now we come to the Big Difference: race. This is about more than the foolish Beer Summit; Obama was supposed to be the bridge, the transcender, the proof that the country has moved beyond a serious racial divide. Of course, it hasn't turned out that way at all; if anything, the situation is far worse. No policy of Obama's can be criticized without him or his defenders resorting to accusations of bigotry as the "real" cause of said criticism. Obama has proven to be a divider along racial lines as well as class and religious ones. This fragmentation is especially damaging when the nation is already in a down economy.

More differences could be enumerated, but they, like all of the above, shrink to near insignificance when we look at the whole picture and the basic political philosophy that determines the major policies of the Left, of which Hillary is undeniably a member. Sure, she tried to position herself as a centrist after she got into the Senate, but it's not hard to detect where her true allegiance lies. Recall her book exhorting us to let the village raise the child, as well as her belief that we should stop worrying about the individual and worry more about the group. Revisit the 2007 speech in which she yearned for a "we're all in it together society" instead of an "on your own society."

Had Clinton been elected in '08, we would have seen the same stimulus bill, cap and trade, financial reform, health care reform, and takeovers of the private sector that have occurred under Obama. She would have been fine with the "Russian Reset," ditto the relegation of the war on terror to the back burner. We could have expected an identical cabinet, as well as the posting of leftist radicals to important jobs in the administration (with the exception of Samantha Power, who famously called Hillary a "monster.") Why should we be surprised that she follows the blueprint that all leftists adhere to? This is a woman who, unlike Obama, actually met Saul Alinsky and was impressed enough to write her senior thesis about him.

So ultimately, Clinton would have us exactly where we are today because she shares her hundred-year-old progressive playbook with the president. We'd still have a tottering economy, a rampant Iran, an overreaching federal government and a law enforcement approach to the challenge of radical Islam. But we might be able to face our problems as a more unified people, a little more tolerant of each other. The Tea Party would still be there: They would just be termed angry Americans rather than angry racists. And the main recipient of that anger would be not the current celebrity-in-chief, but a truly formidable female chief executive.
Ever since June, when Bill Clinton criticized (however obliquely) Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill, there has been renewed chatter concerning a Hillary candidacy in 2012. Hillary could take advantage of a weakened president with plummeting approval ratings to achieve her own ambitions -- or save her party from the aforementioned weakened president, depending on the viewpoint. Whether this is a plausible theory or not is debatable, but it does bring to mind something else: What kind of presidency would a Hillary victory in 2008 have produced? How much better or worse off would the nation be at this point? The most likely conclusion: We'd probably be exactly where we are right now -- just less annoyed, and perhaps less fragmented as a people.

First, the differences, most of them being rooted in personality traits. Hillary has flaws, to be sure, but narcissism is not visibly among them. So say goodbye to a whole host of cringe-inducing Obama acts: the Brandenburg speech, the Cairo speech, the endless campaign speeches, the omnipresent "I" in nearly every spoken sentence, the appearance on "The View," the whole president-of-the-world routine. Nor does Clinton seem to harbor grudges against our allies, so the thinly veiled insults to England and Israel wouldn't have happened.

Hillary wouldn't have run around bowing to foreign leaders. Obama is arrogant and childishly thin-skinned. Hillary is decidedly less. She wouldn't have appeared so frightfully incompetent on so many issues, from the BP fiasco to formulating a coherent Afghanistan policy. Hillary seems to be a more serious person than the president; no repeat golf outings, date nights, or basketball with Arne Duncan for her. No birth certificate mess. What a boon to conservatives it would be to have this divisive issue off the table!

While all of these shortcomings leave Obama being less than what we expect of our president, they are, with the exception of incompetence, matters of character and more annoyances than serious problems. But now we come to the Big Difference: race. This is about more than the foolish Beer Summit; Obama was supposed to be the bridge, the transcender, the proof that the country has moved beyond a serious racial divide. Of course, it hasn't turned out that way at all; if anything, the situation is far worse. No policy of Obama's can be criticized without him or his defenders resorting to accusations of bigotry as the "real" cause of said criticism. Obama has proven to be a divider along racial lines as well as class and religious ones. This fragmentation is especially damaging when the nation is already in a down economy.

More differences could be enumerated, but they, like all of the above, shrink to near insignificance when we look at the whole picture and the basic political philosophy that determines the major policies of the Left, of which Hillary is undeniably a member. Sure, she tried to position herself as a centrist after she got into the Senate, but it's not hard to detect where her true allegiance lies. Recall her book exhorting us to let the village raise the child, as well as her belief that we should stop worrying about the individual and worry more about the group. Revisit the 2007 speech in which she yearned for a "we're all in it together society" instead of an "on your own society."

Had Clinton been elected in '08, we would have seen the same stimulus bill, cap and trade, financial reform, health care reform, and takeovers of the private sector that have occurred under Obama. She would have been fine with the "Russian Reset," ditto the relegation of the war on terror to the back burner. We could have expected an identical cabinet, as well as the posting of leftist radicals to important jobs in the administration (with the exception of Samantha Power, who famously called Hillary a "monster.") Why should we be surprised that she follows the blueprint that all leftists adhere to? This is a woman who, unlike Obama, actually met Saul Alinsky and was impressed enough to write her senior thesis about him.

So ultimately, Clinton would have us exactly where we are today because she shares her hundred-year-old progressive playbook with the president. We'd still have a tottering economy, a rampant Iran, an overreaching federal government and a law enforcement approach to the challenge of radical Islam. But we might be able to face our problems as a more unified people, a little more tolerant of each other. The Tea Party would still be there: They would just be termed angry Americans rather than angry racists. And the main recipient of that anger would be not the current celebrity-in-chief, but a truly formidable female chief executive.

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