A scientist watches the election

Brian says Senator Clinton is annoying him. She annoys me too, but why?

1. She drones on endlessly without a point. This is just personal... she's boring. She probably won't be quoting last week's SNL skit in which Amy Poehler, in character as HRC, says that she is the candidate who will be able to annoy her enemies into compliance. Perhaps there's something to that... she certainly makes me want to flee.

2. The negative ads. (a) I don't care what is standard in politics, or if somebody else's negative ad is worse than yours. As soon as you run a negative ad, then you've defined yourself for me in, frankly, a negative way. Everybody else is doing it is not an excuse. (b) Her ads are worse than negative, they're fear-mongering. Have we all been here the last seven years? We've seen what fear-mongering can do, leading this country into a trillion-dollar war that has taken thousands of lives. How, in conscience, can we tolerate a candidate who relies on this tactic? I strongly reject a person who attempts to use fear-mongering to her advantage.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

3. But finally, as a person who looks for solutions with a scientific basis, I don't like the misrepresentation of fact. HRC is bending the facts to suit her hypothesis that she's winning, something a scientist must never do, and something that double-blind tests, for example, are designed to prevent. (If we all saw the numbers without the names, which set would we say was winning?) After Tuesday, Senator Clinton turned me off by listing Florida and Michigan as wins, suggesting that she should be at the top of the Democratic "dream team" ticket of both candidates, and generally ignoring the fact, in all of the excitement of winning three states on Tuesday, that she still trails Senator Obama in the delegate count and it is highly unlikely that she will catch up, never mind overtake him or reach the magic number needed for the nomination.

We have a president who lives in his own little dream world. I don't like the way that's working for us. I realize that politics are not science, and Senator Clinton is attempting to appear optimistic and like a winner (while at the same time telling us if we don't vote for her, our children will be consumed by an atomic fireball).

Once again, for all of her accusing Senator Obama of having no depth, she is the one who has no actions that support her words.


Julie said...

I'd like to know why, since she's expressed a preference for McCain over Obama, she doesn't talk about sharing a ticket with McCain instead.

If she tries to play the second-banana card again, he can easily take it away from her by saying "I'm not running for vice-president" (or something even more direct, if that's too subtle).

I know his aides have said as much, but I think it'd be more effective coming from him.

Unless, of course, he wants to keep that option open. I liked the idea at one time, but now I'm not so sure.

Dr. Momentum said...

I spoke to someone (OK, it was BOB) who interpreted that VP comment to be her first indication that she'd consider being Obama's VP.

It's not the way I read it, but is it possible that she's being strategic, and in the process is giving some of us the wrong messages?

A lot of what she says makes me angry, but I'm trying hard to give her the benefit of the doubt on most of it.

Because you know what -- I want to see her kick some Republican ass if she does win.

I hope there's another debate soon, because I think she needs to take the opportunity to explain to us why she thinks that EITHER of them would be a better president than McCain.

Julie said...

It's been way too easy lately for me to lose sight of the fact that I don't hate her at all.

But it'd help her more in the remaining primaries if people saw her going after McCain instead of Obama. By fighting Obama she's showing that she's still worried about him. By fighting McCain she'd show that she's more concerned about the real fight.

(On the other hand, I'm not sure Obama has to "go after" McCain to beat him. I'm just urging Clinton to apply her strategy to a Republican for a change.)

RadioKeri said...

I love this.

That being said -- my favorite "spin" is that he is only about SPEECHES ... but SHE is about SOLUTIONS ... which she tells us DURING A SPEECH. Unless her speeches are SOLVING SOMETHING, she's full of shit.

B.O.B.(bob) said...

1- I agree she stinks as an orator. On the other hand I don't trust people in general who are good orator's 9 times out of 10 they're slime. just my opinion based on 40 years of watching them.

2- this is just reality. negative ads aren't going away. They work. maybe that's the lesson from history. Democrats refused to "go negative" as much as the republicans did and we lost 2x when we should have easily won. the Clinton's have a history of making republicans regret their negative attacks. Will the republican's learn from history?

3- both sides are making in the numbers work for them. Obama ALSO has no chance of getting to the magic number but his supporters act as though he does.

I don't think Clinton lives in her own little world. She knows EXACTLY what she's doing and everything is very calculated. Nothing in her histopy would make me think she lives in a George Bush like dreamland (neither does he by the way). By mentioning the VP thing she makes Obama consider her as VP or risk alienating her supporters. the who's on top of the ticket was her attempt at humor which she should stop. she stinks at it. George on the other hand showed last week that he should become a stand up comic once he's kicked out of the white house. that Red Sox press conference was just great. the one and only time I've enjoyed a GB speach in 8 years.

Maggie said...


Do you begin to wonder what it is you don't hate, as she morphs again before our eyes?

The only time I've liked Senator Clinton is in the one debate before Super Tuesday. I feel I'm seeing her more clearly, now. I'm not saying I'm right... just wondering what it is you see that's consistent that you like. And I don't mean that in a challenging way, and I'll ask any of the Clinton supporters here the same question: what do you see that's consistent about Senator Clinton that you like? I'm not seeing any arguments here about why she'd make a good president, only seeing arguments about why she hasn't lost yet. We all know she hasn't lost yet, and I don't think anybody's saying Senator Obama has won or is going to win (just that he's ahead, do the math) -- I don't think either of them is going to get the pledged delegates needed. They're going to need the superdelegates. It's a mess. As I said before, the last time the superdelegates came into play, we got Mondale. Another phone ad guy.

I'll tell you what I like about her: she's smart and knowledgeable. But I see no evidence that she's capable of getting anything done -- it appears that her political career has been aimed at getting the Democratic nomination for president by sitting on the right committees and voting what she thought was the right way. Like a high school kid signing up for the yearbook committee to have something for the college application. She reminds me of a tornado, just randomly moving through an area, ripping up everything in her path.

I believe judgment is more important in the White House, and I don't trust hers, even before the scare-tactic ads. (Which I still find reprehensible, and I'm truly utterly amazed that anyone who has lived through the last seven years finds them at all acceptable.) I feel Obama shows better judgment, and he's also intelligent, and I agree with his consistent stance against the war.

I'm not surprised that the Clinton supporters would vote for Obama -- he's an actual Democrat. Will the reverse be true?

I guess that's about it. I'd love for someone to post what's so great about Senator Clinton. I think Chuck has indicated that she knows how to compromise, but Senator Obama has said that she did a very poor job working on health care, stomping on or ignoring people who would've been her allies. I don't think she knows how to play nice.


Julie said...

Sometimes I do wonder what it is that I don't hate, yes, but here's something I remember from 1992: Hating Bill Clinton up until the last night of the convention. Then realizing it was a done deal, and deciding that he was the greatest thing since pie.

Both feelings were honest, but they were also RELATIVE. Compared to some of the guys he ran against, I did hate him. Compared to Bush Sr., I LOVED him.

So, relative to Obama, I kinda hate Clinton and I want to call her "Shrillary." Relative to McCain I want to call her "General H.R.H. Senator President Hillary Rodham 'Babe-licious' Clinton, MD, DDS, Esq., PhD." even if some of those titles aren't completely accurate.

From the Bill Clinton experience, I know that if things don't work out the way I want for Obama, and even if I'm feeling bitter about it, I'll eventually think she's swell, and in the meantime I don't want to leave too thick a trail of bile behind me because it's more expedient to point that bile in the direction of a different senator, for whom I have yet to concoct an appropriate nickname. (Or an inappropriate one.) I want to keep things in perspective.

As for what's to like about her: Yeah, I want to take credit for that high school yearbook comment because that's truly the impression I have of her. It's been on my mind because my senior prom date was in a lot of the yearbook "club" pictures despite never having been in any of those clubs. (Indeed, some of those clubs didn't even exist, they were just on the photographer's list... but that's another story.)

Whoops, that was one of the things I do NOT like. Sorry.

So, taking away the comparisons to McCain, Obama, or Bush, here are some things that are consistent:

I outlined one reason for truly being impressed by her here. Going door-to-door in New Bedford. Was that "calculated"? Maybe, but there were other ways she could have fattened her resume. I have to believe that there's still some shred of that idealistic person inside her somewhere, and I'll take that shred over whatever the hell is inside McCain, which is still a total mystery because I doubt that he's been straightforward with anyone in the last 20 years.

She probably doesn't know how to play nice, but she could probably read a few books on the subject and fake it well enough to fool a few people. If she has to beat McCain, I'm sure she'll do it by not playing nice. But she's someone who does her homework, who knows what she's talking about even if she doesn't know how to solve problems, who seems genuinely prepared for anything - I don't necessarily mean prepared to deal with it perfectly, but able to cope intelligently.

She'll be able to go toe-to-toe with any bully who tries to push her around on any issue. And I don't know for sure that she'd be as "business-friendly" as I perceive her now, after she's in office.

I know she's had some trouble getting co-sponsorship on some of her bills, but it's a bit different when the president is asking a favor or invites someone to be part of her cabinet. I think she's more likely to try to assemble a qualified and diverse group than a gang of cronies. And I think she'd actually listen to them AND intelligently evaluate what they say.

Most of the above are what I would consider only minimum requirements for a good president... but they are still good things that I like about her.

The list of things I don't like about her is longer, but that's why I prefer Obama. It doesn't mean she totally sucks.

And then there's Mr. Clinton - who, in a manner of speaking, is also one of her "own merits" in the sense that no one else has a Bill Clinton. I don't know whether he should be a factor or not, but there's a part of me that hopes that a Hillary Clinton first term would really be a Bill Clinton third term. Not perfect, but probably an improvement in terms of experience and allies.