Like it or not, the 2008 election is already happening now, and ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away, so I’m going to have to start blogging fairly regularly on that.
On that note, a couple interesting things happened today in the race. One of them was Obama’s call for universal health care, which I certainly hope he’s serious about, although I’m skeptical.
The other thing was that some interesting articles popped up today on Hillary Clinton. One, from Matt Taibbi, pretty much hits the nail on the head. The whole thing is worth reading, but the one part at the end pretty much exactly echoed my sentiments regarding Clinton:
What’s so tragic about Hillary’s political evolution is that her decision to morph into a caricature of a Washington stuffed suit seems so clearly a conscious decision on her part, a way of overcompensating for the abuse she took when she first arrived on the Hill over a decade ago to push her health care plan. Whether you love her or hate her, Hillary is a compelling story and an iconic figure in the history of modern feminism. Hers was a journey marked by intense public humiliation and the most savage kind of abuse. En route to her current status as a favorite for the Democratic nomination she has had to navigate, publicly, all the most dangerous minefields that exist for the modern professional woman — the dilemma of whether or not to put her husband’s career over her own, the burden of having to work overtime to be taken seriously in a male-dominated professional environment, the specter of abuse and discrimination by closed-minded people who see strong women as a threat to older traditional values, being rewarded for one’s success by sexual humiliation at the hands of a husband more attracted to youth and feminine vulnerability than loyalty, strength, and achievement, and so on.
Had Hillary embraced head-on her undeniable role as an unwitting martyr/archetype for the modern professional woman, had she opened up her campaign by actually showing us what her private thoughts have been throughout all of these trying times, and what she might think the meaning of her journey has been or could be, she would have instantly established herself as an extraordinarily interesting and compelling story, at the very least. Instead, Hillary is clearly so spooked by the experience of not being taken seriously by the Beltway establishment that she’s gone overboard in the direction of being a typical Inside-Baseball, full-of-shit Washington hack, spraying cardboard cliches like machine-gun fire. She’s Joe Biden without the plugs.
Clinton’s trying to turn her campaign into an indestructible juggernaut as early in the campaign as possible, turning herself into some kind DLC über-insider leviathan. I hope it doesn’t work, but it could. Meanwhile, the one person who I feel genuinely enthusiastic for in this race has yet to enter it. But again according to Rolling Stone, he will.
Look at what Gore has been up to lately, and it’s hard to escape the impression that, on some level, he is already running for president.