I’d met Bill Clinton a couple of times. That was when he served as governor of Arkansas. And I knew Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff when Bill was president. Never met Hillary.
But in the Democratic primary more than eight years ago, I voted for her over Barak Obama. I figured a white woman had a better shot than a black former college professor at becoming president.
Picking Obama over Sen. John McCain that year was an easy call. Same four years later when the Republicans nominated Mitt Romney.
All these years later, I haven’t changed my mind about Hillary. In fact,
her years as Secretary of State only deepened her credentials and made her an even more impressive as a candidate for president.
Sunday, she made it official. Before her announcement, though, potential Republican candidates unleashed a barrage of criticism. I expected that.
What of her announcement in a video? Even liberal columnists belittled that. Ruth Marcus and David Ignatius to mention only a couple.
But I learned years ago that it doesn’t matter so much what the pundits say as what voters think. And there is a persona in this extraordinary politician that voters can warm to. To be sure, she came across as stiff and overly scripted in the Iowa primary so long ago. She lost that race.
The New Hampshire primary was a different story. In that race, she appeared open, vulnerable and relaxed. She won that primary election. I’d bet anything she and her advisers have studied that success carefully.
To be sure, her You Tube video didn’t give viewers much of Hillary. And why? She must be one of best known Americans of the last 20 years. But I thought the focus on a diversity of citizens – an Asian student, an Hispanic businessman, a gay couple – managed to portray Mrs.Clinton as a champion of ordinary Americans.
Moreover, the video offered a powerful reminder of the kind of country we’re becoming. On the Republican side, we even have a candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, who is the son of Cuban immigrants.
Without a doubt, Hillary Clinton has more experience in government than any possible candidate, either Republican or Democratic. She’s one of the brightest political leaders of our time. In testimony before Congress, she demonstrated a nuanced approach to foreign policy.
Inside the Obama administration, she often advised the wisest policy course, even when the president chose a different path.
But long before her role as a foreign policy adviser and ever-thoughtful senator on the gravest international issues, she was advocate for children as an adviser to the Children’s Defense Fund. A kid lover and a new grandmother to boot. That I especially like.
We’ll see how the race develops. But I was a big fan of Bill Clinton, despite the sex scandal. At this early point in the president race, I’m a big fan of Hillary Clinton.
She’d make us a fine president.