Radical/Progressive Queer News and Commentary
from Memphis, Tennessee
Friday, April 18, 2008
The REAL Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton: Bosnia and Back Again
Picture this as an ad in the general election! And Hillary's Guerilla Women think the GOP will be nicer to Hillary than Obama!!
More seriously, former Clinton advisor, political sociologist l, Theda Skocpol exposes Clinton's hypocrisy in calling Obama an "Elitist"! Skocpol was at the 1995 Camp David meetings where Hillary Clinton took an "elitist" approach to the working class conservatives she is now courting:
"(Ben) Barber reports in his 2001 book that Hillary Clinton said "Screw 'em" about southern working class whites who did not support Bill Clinton. Two other scholar-particiants, Alan Wolfe and Harry Boyte, agree she said this. Reported demurrals (and not a clear denial) come from Clinton staffers Bruce Reed and Ken Baer, not from the independent intellectuals in attendance. But independent witnesses who keep notes trump employees any day.
I have gone back to my 1995 notes to check my recollections of the event. My notes do not have any exact words, so I am not going to try to corroborate a particular phrase from Hillary Clinton or any other speaker.
But what is clear in both in my memory and my notes is that there was extensive, hard-nosed discussion about why masses of voters did not support Clinton or trust government or base their choices on economic as opposed to what people saw as peripheral life-style concerns. Hillary Clinton was among the most cold-blooded analysts in attendance. She spoke of ordinary voters as if they were a species apart, and showed interest only in the political usefulness of their choices -- usefulness to the Clinton administration, that is.
I vividly remember at the time finding it impressive that Bill Clinton (not Hillary Clinton) showed real empathy for the ordinary people whose motives and supposedly misguided choices were under analysis. Ironically, just as Barber reported, Bill Clinton was the one who combined analysis and empathy, much as Obama himself did in his full San Francisco remarks.
I think this whole angle of "gotcha" politics about snippets of speech transposed from one context to another is ridiculous and pathological for democracy in America -- and I cannot fathom why the Clintons or George Stephanopoulos are descending to this dirt, not to mention the guilt-by-association crap. It is particularly despicable of them to criticize Obama for the sort of observation/analysis that was routine in and around the 1990s Clinton White House. And I cannot help but feel there is a psychological edge of pure envy in Bill Clinton's attacks: Obama is empathetic and charismatic as well as smart, just like Bill was back then, in those so much better days!
Over and out. I am going to try to find a way to preserve in amber my better memories and feelings about the Clintons, so as not to lose altogether the sense of admiration I once felt, but can no longer."
It is amazing how so many former Clinton advisors now despise her and are supporting Barack Obama!