When/why did Hillary "lose the love"?

I’ve never loved Hillary Clinton, but neither have I ever- until 2004- despised her. I voted for her husband twice and will admit I alway saw her as a kind of Eva Peron/Lucy Ricardo “I wanna be in the act too!” type, but also as a lot more educated/qualified than either of those zany broads. I couldn’t understand the passionate hatred of her, especially from non New Yorkers when she ran for Senate (I’m not from NY and consequently couldn’t give a damn who wins the NY Senate race, though I’d like for them to be Dem obviously).

Now I’ve gotten to where I just cannot stand the woman. From the annoying grating voice and witch’s cackle to the fact that she’s more elitist (in the bad sense- frankly I think elitism’s like cholesterol in that some kinds are good) than Obama or even McCain in many ways but tries to play Just Plain Folks (if I had heard that goddamned cloying story about how her immigrant grandfather swam to America and went to work in the Scranton mills when he was 8 weeks old and didn’t once leave his post til he came out to teach her to shoot and bowl I was going to hurl) and just her self-absorbed and whole condescending seeming demeanor— ugh. I’m not half as surprised Bill’s a philanderer as I am that he’s still straight.

But I’ve tried to decide, what’s changed? She’s still basically the same person she was four years ago when I’d have gladly voted for Hillary over Lurch/Edwards (and I think she’d have probably won, for I think she’d have gotten a lot more swing vote as most of the 48.3% who supported Lurch were voting against Bush). If she gets the nomination this year, I’ll mark her name on the ballot, but mainly to vote against John McCain and his Iraq strategies, whereas if Obama gets the nomination I’ll actually be voting FOR him.
Which I suppose is the rub: Obama is the first candidate I’ve been genuinely enthused about in 16 years. I think he’s the right man for the right time. He’s brilliant, well informed, and contrary to what Hillary repeats like an autistic parrot with Tourettes I do NOT think that charism and great oratory are trivial qualities in a leader during the 24/7 media age but in fact are close to the top of the list after intelligence. I also think Obama really will work with political opponents which is SORELY needed on both sides, while Hillary is one of the most divisive figures in politics, which is the LEAST needed quality.

But other than her divisiveness, I think that most of my newfound hatred of her comes from ad-hom type stuff and the fact I like Obama so much more. So I’m trying to understand just why I dislike her as much as I do.

One thing I do think is a factor and that’s not personal is realizing that while she may be more intelligent than her husband (which is saying something) she’s nowhere near the diplomat he was, and in fact some of her political blunders have been unforgivable. Most recent biggie I can think of was last week during the debate when Obama was questioned about his association with (former Weatherman) Bill Ayers.

Okay, I’m not a super-informed person politically, I’ll admit it, but even I knew about the Clinton connection to the W.U. and in fact said aloud to the friend I was with “this is a set up, they’re baiting Hillary more than Obama” and thinking “she’s not going to take the bait”. Obama answers about his association with Ayers (very well, the “yes, I know him, I respect him, I don’t agree with him on many issues, I also associate with many far right wingers”) and I think to myself “she’s not going to touch this one”.


Hillary stupidly belabors the point and tries to take Obama to task.

There is no conceivable way she could not have thought that Obama did not know the perfect response and would not use the perfect response and that in fact he would have been a damned fool not to use the perfect response: “Your husband pardoned two of the Weathermen” (and incidentally, it was three). The crowd who had been instructed not to applaud and had complied burst into (brief and sporadic admittedly, but still) applause, and I was thinking or saying “You… damned… idiot! Hubris…j’accuse!” Not knowing when to shut your damned mouth and not predict the predictable comeback is a far more damning trait for a PotUS than association with political radicals.

And though I’m not naive enough to believe that any serious contender for PotUS has to have a more than healthy ego, I increasingly believe the woman wants to be president far more than she wants the best person to be president.

But anyway, enough about me (and apologies for any discombobulation, this started out as a Pit Rant but was reformatted for G.D.): Why do you think so many people who would have been for Hillary 4 years ago have lost the love (and note that I’m not asking why so many prefer Obama, but more specifically why so many now actively dislike Hillary), or for that matter do you think people dislike her any more than they used to (though sadly not enough of them do)?

Four years ago people hadn’t given serious consideration to her being President.

They also hadn’t heard her campaign message and the tone in which she would deliver it.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, and I’ll find the cite, when asked why she was running on one occasion, she replied “to fight the Republican attack machine” or something along those lines. Now, that was a very heartfelt answer, I am sure. Both of them have a clear, deep, abiding sense of anger that they were investigated and he was impeached. I never sense from either of them that they have any degree of remorse – vindicating themselves against Ken Starr is what they will go to their graves muttering about.

Several problems with that:

(1) It’s not a very compelling or uplifting raison d’etre for wanting to lead the country. I’m going to become President so I can make the Republicans eat dirt? Well, half the country is Republican, so political demonization of them begins to seem overly, well, partisan. It is difficult for those who have been running for something since the sixth grade Student Council election to step back and grasp that many ordinary people are not as motivated by “our clique rules, their clique drools” spoils contests. Having a campaign that seems animated solely by revenge and ambition is especially unfortunate in a year in which a guy comes along selling a New Deal and a more positive politics (I don’t know that any of his talk amounts to anything, and it can sound a bit phony, but I’m a Hell of a lot less likely to be turned off by it than by a candidate whose best answer to her reason for running is “the other side sucks and I’m going to prove it.”).

(2) As people have heard her policies, they’ve thought: Eh. She reminds you of every teacher’s pet who sweated and swotted their way to a technically accurate, numbingly detailed, compendium of the standard-issue policy doctrines. The more she talks about how she has a plan for governing, the more it sounds like the emphasis is on “she” rather than on any big new ideas about how best to govern.

(3) She has not reacted well to Obama coming on so quickly. I can’t “prove” that she has a sense of entitlement, but many, many people have gotten the impression, from her petulance about his media stardom, from her mockery of his rock star status, that she is REALLY ticked off that he and others haven’t recognized that it’s “her turn.” This has brought out another unattractive side of her personality, the disingenuousness and puffery. Many (not all) people were smart enough to have the sense that the First Lady spent a lot of time receiving decorative vases from foreign dignitaries and listening to schoolkids recite poetry, not calling the shots in the Oval Office. Her relevant experience is not so much vaster than his, at least some people conclude, and it’s really annoying when she acts as though it is. Doesn’t help either that she appears as congenitally incapable of being truthful as was WJC when she lies about her experience.

(4) WJC hasn’t helped. He’s a visible reminder that she is in a sense of the past, a retread, and supports the idea that this is Term 3 of their co-Presidency. Americans (I hope at least) are ambivalent at best about dynasties.

Why is this coming out only now? Because some of the above negatives are specific to the way she’s campaigned, and couldn’t have been predicted four years ago. Some of it is the side-to-side comparison with another Dem, as opposed to “She’d be so much better than Bush.” Some of it was that she was “new” in the sense that a female candidate was a novelty. Well, along came a newer kind of new, and flaws of hers that had been masked or overlooked no longer were.

The way she stands there sprouting bullshit talking points as if they were the obvious truth reminds me so much of Bush.

And it reminds me so much of WJC. Goes to show.

The whole “War Room” approach to politics, which was first really brought to light in WJC’s years, turns me and a lot of others off. It’s hard to listen to the candidates’ “message” when you know they have a pre-canned Message Of The Day, faxed to every operative and repeated, as though spontaneously, on every talk show and interview stop. How many times did she, and he, recite the same soundbite on the “bitter” comment in a 24 hour period?

The modern media culture, for which this approach was formulated, can also bite you in the ass because the proliferation of news outlets and instant availability sometimes exposes just how methodically mechanical the message-spouting is. People get irritated when they see the machinery as such. People either are repulsed by James Carville, or glad he’s on their side. No one’s really inspired by him or his tactics, and when they show through nakedly . . . .

By the way, my initial line was not meant to absolve Bush, who absolutely does this too. Another pet peeve is the inability to give a speech without standing in front of a huge pre-printed backdrop with the message of the day printed up on it just to drive it home. “Mission Accomplished” is the infamous one, but it’s every damn issue. “Keeping America’s Workforce Strong.” “Growth For The Future.” Ad nauseum.

My fear is that we’re stuck with this, from both parties. Why? It apparently works, at least if the candidate is not otherwise so unlikable as to turn people off the feel-good soundbites. She apparently is increasingly viewed as such.

Sampiro, I share many of your feelings as well as your uncertainty. I feel a bit of a fool about it, too.

Carl Bernstein recently wrote an article about her, describing her view of herself as a valiant fighter bouncing from battle to battle, whereas she’s really an incompetent who creates her own crises.

Now, everything she says sounds calculated and patronizing and usually implausible.

And I find myself sympathizing with some Republicans, which is its whole own weird little universe.

I think she’s very good at understanding the working class and thereby avoiding becoming part of it.

4 years ago my hard-line Democrat friends were asking “Why does everyone hate Hillary so much? She seems fine to me.” She was the same back then as she is today:

[li]Her political opinions are based solely on how they will play to the electorate (see: her vote for the Iraq war.) [/li][li]She lusts for power, no matter the cost (see: “kitchen sink” strategy in the Democratic primaries.)[/li][li]She has no true ideals that I can tell. That woman would say anything to get elected.[/li][/ul]

What’s weird is that it may well be that you are sympathizing with them for the same reasons they have been bitching about her for years:

Utterly ambitious, without any real core.
Convinced she knows best, impatient with anyone who questions this.
Expert in the politics of personal destruction (with the Clintons, a good rule of thumb was that when they accused someone of X, it was exactly what they themselves were in the middle of doing).
A really humorless, unpleasant shrew.

She benefited greatly for years from my-enemy’s-enemy. But just because the Bush/Rove nexus was painting her as all of the above didn’t, it turned out, mean it wasn’t true. Now that the issue is no longer smearing the late GOP opposition at any price (at which the Clintons would be worthy street-level combatants), she isn’t getting so much of a free pass.

By the way, Bush has benefited and still does from my-enemy’s-enemy. The absolute hatred he incites from liberals makes him a darling of the GOP mainstream and masks what should be a deep conservative revulsion from his reckless foreign adventurism, drunken sailor spending, and expansion of intrusive government.

Lots to agree with in the analyses above. Her campaign has destroyed whatever respect I had for her in the past. If I had to pick the single most egregious action of hers, the thing that made it impossible ever to vote for her, that turned my dislike to loathing, it would be her unholy alliance with Richard Mellon Scaife.

GAH. Just thinking about that, about her sitting next to that reptile and sucking up to him, turns my stomach.

I think it’s because all people possess all traits, to varying degrees.

And when one person is preferred/liked/chosen/inspirational to a given person then the other person’s perceived negatives go up.

It’s not too unlike a romantic relationship; that laugh which was adorably cackly becomes grating; the kindness becomes weakness, the assertiveness becomes aggression, the intelligence becomes pompousness, etc. when you break up with someone; and the reason you break up with them in the first place is often due to a variety of factors that aren’t just their fault; someone else comes along, perspectives shift, needs shift, circumstances evolve.

If Obama hadn’t run, I think HRC would have been adored right about now; her kitchen sink tactics – as they’re called – would be seen as smart, her toughness wouldn’t be seen as monstrous, etc.

It’s like when someone fights on your side suddenly you don’t mind as much when they do things that you otherwise would be against. I remember in pro wrestling when Hulk Hogan was huge and sometimes he’d eye gouge or do something low like that and the crowd would cheer anyway even though he was booked as a ‘face’ good guy because he was fighting for ‘what’s right’ in the storyline.

It’s all perspective and I think much is made of the new angles that are created by the way the light falls on someone through the prism of new circumstances.

I don’t believe by a mile that she deserves all the venom or adoration she gets; but at some level, it’s enjoyable to indulge in it for both sides.

If anything, outsized adoration seems to me to be at play for Obama in a way that I find troubling. But that’s another thread. :wink:

Clinton supporter here.

She had many folks’ loyalties when she was sort of the underdog. Her toughness looked different when she was going up against establishment figures and old boys’ networks and whatnot.

Up against Barack Obama, SHE’S the Man, and that toughness looks like bullying. That being true even before we take his campaign style into consideration (he’s tried to go lofty and visionary and abhor all that nasty political infighting stuff).

As Establishment Bitch, cynical strategic campaigner extraoirdinaire Clinton just isn’t very endearing. Ambitious, arrogant, divisive, the ultimate cold-hearted political chess player, out to win at all costs.

My college professor had a sign on her wall that said “Sexual equality is not when a female genius can do as well as a male genius; it’s when a female schlemiel can get by as easily as a male schlemiel”. Clinton is not a schlemiel but she’s also not a visionary political poet or Bringer of the New Camelot or The Most Earnest Straight-Talkin’ Politico Ever or anything of the sort. Her politics are not those of Karl Rove, Lee Atwater, George W. Bush, and company, but having seen guys like that make political mincemeat of liberal politicians like Gore, Dukakis, and Kerry, she came onto the playground ready & willing to play dirty. Like zillions of other ambitious determined power-hungry politicians. MOST of whom don’t catch a whole lot of flack for being ambitious, determined, or power-hungry.

I don’t know that a male politicians who was otherwise a lot like Hillary Clinton would not not also be getting painted as a meanspirited old-world mud-slinging divisive capital P Politician undeserving of sharing a debating stage with the idealistic New Hope Omama. Maybe he would. Possibly he would be getting less of that, or less vitriolic hatred and contempt. I don’t know.

I do think that if she were running against the likes of Mitt Romney and this were the general election, and she were doing the same kinds of things, a lot of the folks who say they are now repulsed by her would be cheering her on.

You know, that’s absolutely true. But I don’t think that’s necessarily indicative of any hypocrisy on the part of those who would feel that way (and I count myself as one of them), since they’re very different situations.

The overriding goal, to me, is to have a Democrat in the White House starting January 20th, 2009. Any actions which further that goal (such as hypothetically throwing the kitchen sink at Romney or McCain) will be applauded, while those which diminish the likelihood of that goal’s being achieved (such as in actuality throwing the kitchen sink at Obama) will be denounced.

A fair argument can be made about whether her actions are detrimental to the goal of a Democratic presidency, but believing that her attacking Obama is bad while thinking her attacking a Republican is good is not, prima facie, hypocritical.

You can’t blame her too much for a sense of entitlement. We’ve been hearing the question of Hilary in '08 pretty much since Gore was nominated in 2000. It’s been somewhat like the party was holding the place for her. And then all of a sudden there was competition. She doesn’t know how to handle it. Her whole strategy and outlook had to be adjusted.

One thing to consider: many people had their reasons to vote for George W Bush. Many of those people now regret that decision. If you like your candidate, there’s always that fear that he/she might be as bad or worse than George W Bush. It might be inconceivable now, but imagine your continual making of excuses, backpedaling, and the final resigned acceptance of your mistake if your candidate does a terrible job.

In light of that prism, maybe we should discount those “I don’t like her cackle” urges. Consider instead each of these scenarios:

A. The candidate does a super job
B. The candidate does an okay job
C. The candidate does a mediocre job
D. The candidate does an extremely awful job

This board loves Obama, but isn’t it possible that Clinton could do a super job? I think there’s a fair chance Obama might do a mediocre or awful job. (Although I hope that doesn’t happen) If it did happen, I see a lot of excuse-making, then perhaps a thread entitled When/why did Obama “lose the love”?

My problems with Hillary stem back to the authorization for the use of military force resolution. She wasn’t fooled by the WMD nonsense any more than I was. She voted for it, knowing it was wrong, because she expected to have it all be a distant memory of an overwhelming victory by the time the election rolled around, and she didn’t want to give the Republicans something to hold over her head.

Granted, I’m sure she would have voted differently had she known it would turn out like this, but it was still wrong to invade a country and put millions of people in harms way because she didn’t want to give the impression she was weak on terrorism.

When Hillary laughs at the stupid questions ,I completely understand. So many stupid questions. So many set up questions to try and trap her.
Even my problem with her ,her vote for the war and funding later.is defensible. It takes a lot of guts to vote against a war once it has started. If this war was a success and you voted against it ,your political career would have been over. It was a huge risk. I laud those with the fortitude to stand up against the war machine. But a politician after a future career would have a difficult calculus to make.
Her husband brought NASFA to us. I think it was a horrible error. Yet is she responsible. But 8 years of peace and prosperity would be nice.

I’ve never liked her ever since her “we’ll take your wealth from you” speech in San Francisco several years ago. But all the puss that comes from that same sore is now oozing from her general persona as she storms through this campaign. First and foremost is her entire all things to all people, blowing with the wind lying bullshit.

She started her whole campaign, for example, by saying that the voters would decide what candidate faces John McCain. By the time Pennsylvania rolled around, it was that the voters were merely “a part of the process”. That’s because now she needs superdelegates to overturn the voters.

She promises everything from jobs for Detroit to guns for Pittsburgh, none of which she will have any control over. The only thing she WILL have control over that she’s talked about is her ability to nuke Iran. That statement would have buried any other candidate, but she’s like a goddamn cockroach.

I mean, I could list her bullshit but I don’t have time and thinking about it pisses me off.

Why can’t some Clinton supporters understand that to many of us, it’s the hideous, monstrous way she’s ran her campaign that has turned us off? The fact that she is failing to pay off campaign debts? The fact that she has all but slandered her opponent? Her apparent attitude that she is entitled to the nomination?

I was never a big fan. Some admiration for her political acumen, but no love. I had long been hoping that a strong opponent would rise who could defeat her for the nomination; another Clinton presidency just doesn’t sit well with me.

Her awful campaign clinched the deal as far as I was concerned; I could not support her candidacy, however strongly I would like to see a woman president. I agree that she seems to have no ideals–she’ll gladly go back on previously strongly held positions (like NAFTA) just to get elected if the wind blows that direction, and she’ll do so pretending all the while she never really held that position. It’s kind of sickening to see.

At this point, I think she’d be an awful, awful president. She’s a divider, just like Bush has been. I’m tired of that.

I see her as the moral equivalent of Mitt Romney.

Harsh, I know. But there it is.

Basketball analogy:

The thug on my team is “tough” and “hard-nosed” - “a real scrapper.”

The thug on the other team is a “dirty player” and a “cheap-shot artist.”

Obama is not a thug, as his gracious concession to her in Pennsylvania demonstrated. Hillary is simply a demon vomited from the bowels of hell. What team she squats on is irrelevant.