Would Hillary be doing a better job than Obama?

In a recent interview in the London Times Gore Vidal now says that he regrets having backed Obama in preference to Hillary Clinton.

I have no dog in this fight as I supported neither but I can see his point. It’s certainly not difficult to imagine that Clinton would have been more forceful in her Presidency so far. But more effective? I honestly don’t know. She would have had the same obstacles to overcome as Obama. Would she have been more successful at carrying her party with her on health reform?

Any thoughts?

Hillary may have turned out to be more saavy on the international front; but domestically I think she would have been disastrous. You think Obama is polarizing? Hillary evokes an irrational hatred many many times worse from a larger % of people.

I think the way it worked out is actually the best course: make Clinton the Sec. of State. He just needs to use her better.

Vidal sounds like a bumbling old idiot:

Were I American, I’d’a voted for Hillary in my state’s primary. In any case, Vidal’s opinion isn’t special. It was inevitable that some disappointment would be felt in Obama, as it is for every president in the months following the election.

Now if Al Gore had been elected in 2000…


Hillary in office would make the current insane hatred for Obama look like a mild disagreement between Japanese businessmen. The hard on the right has for hating the name ‘Clinton’ is epic. Given what I’ve heard claimed about Hillary by just some conservatives I’ve met, I don’t even want to think about what her in office would be like.

Personally, I feel that Hillary Clinton has proven by her actions that she is not competent or honest enough to be a good politician.

A few examples from the 2008 election race:
[li]Lying about being under sniper fire in Bosnia in an attempt to boost her foreign policy experience.[/li][li]Her support for a gas tax holiday, despite previous evidence and common sense saying that it wouldn’t have the benefits she wanted (apart from drawing votes from the idiot masses).[/li][li]In response to this, her statement that “I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.” If you’re a politician who isn’t smart enough to know the right thing to do, I at least expect you to be smart enough to find someone who does.[/li][/ol]

I’m inclined to think that even though Obama is not liberal enough to satisfy me, Hillary would be even less so. Possibly, that’s why I voted for Obama in the primary.

OK, let’s say she won the election, and she is now President. In that case, I second hotflungwok:

Hillary showed during the campaign that shes not capable of running the country and not capable of surrounding herself with the right people. She would have been a disaster.

…Democrats would still be pissed.

Vidal has a point about Obama’s military knowledge and his handling of military matters. Right now, he’s got his General’s plan for Afghanistan sitting on his desk. This plan has been on his desk for weeks. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. The military says it needs 35,000 soldiers desperately or the situation will still continue to deteriorate. And what is Obama’s response? He’s ‘studying it’, and says he’s going to take a few more weeks to make up his mind. This is ridiculous.

In the meantime, Joe Biden has channeled Donald Rumsfeld and is producing a plan to win the war on the cheap, without boots on the ground, using predators and high technology.

Does any of this sound familiar? Think Rumsfeld vs Shinsecki. Think of the drubbing Bush took on this board and elsewhere for not listening to his generals and going with his civilian SecDef’s radical ideas.

And now we have Obama, sitting on a plan the generals have come up with and which is being urged on him so strongly that the theater commander has threatened to resign if Obama doesn’t accept it. And what’s he doing? Giving serious consideration to a plan drawn up by his idiot VP over the plan drawn up by his professional military men? It’s insane. In the meantime, his handpicked representative in Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, is complaining that things are adrift, no decisions are being made, hands are tied, and he can’t do his job. And Obama’s SecDef has had to come out and publicly oppose Biden’s plan. What a mess.

The conclusion I draw from this is that Obama knows this decision is going to cost him political capital no matter which way he goes on it, and he’s delaying it until he gets health care passed. But if that’s true, it’s an awfully cynical thing to do, because soldiers are going to die in the meantime, and any ground lost to the Taliban in the interim will have to be won back at the cost of more blood.

The more charitable, but more worrying interpretation is that Obama is overwhelmed and paralyzed by the magnitude of the decisions he’s being forced to make, and he’s simply struggling in the job.

And you’d think that with a decision of this magnitude, Obama would be surrounded with military experts, be in numerous meetings with his generals, and in general working feverishly to figure out what to do, calling on the best help he can. But no. The accounts I’ve heard is that he’s only met with General McChrystal once, and had a 34 minute conference with him. That’s it. But by God, he can spend days trying to bring the Olympics to Chicago. How about those priorities?

Really, his handling of Afghanistan recently is abysmal.

Then there’s his wishy-washy UN performance, which even drew a rebuke from Sarkozy. Sarkozy has said that he’s “inexperienced, ill-prepared by advisers, and thus far not always up to standard on decision-making and efficiency.”

In the meantime, France is worried that Obama is too soft on Iran.

When France is worried that you’re too much of an appeaser, it’s time to take a big look in the mirror and think about your strategy.

So at this point, I’d have to say that yeah, Hillary would have done a better job.


(I do not begin to understand why people claim I am succinct in my posts.)

I preferred Hillary in the primaries, mostly because it was a year for the Democrats and Hillary winning, which was a strong possibility, would have exploded the heads of a lot of idiots. Imagine Joe Wilson multiplied 100 times and without the self restraint to stop at “you lie”. It would have been soooooo good. And Hillary would not have put up with the shit on health care.

That said, I’m not going to give up on Obama until late January or early February. He is not a reckless nitwit like our last President and his admirers. Nor is he a skirt chasing scoundrel (although I don’t really care about that provided it isn’t harassment).

No President is going to do everything the way I would if I were the President. Hell, I probably wouldn’t.

I give Obama high marks for high intelligence and a calm demeanor. The personally begging for the Chicago Olympics was stupid, but the only harm done was to his own image. And now the Daly machine owes Obama instead of the other way around.

I’m a Hillary supporter but I would say she would only be doing a bit better.

Hillary brought up HUGE problems with Mr Obama and was called everything form a sore loser to a racist. But no one ever told her she was wrong.

Mr Obama’s record in politics was mediocre at best. So why did he win? People didn’t vote him IN as much as everyone else OUT.

Hillary and Bill were career politicians and they know how to work WITHIN a system. Or at least they did. Remember the first year Mr Clinton was in office, he got slapped down fast.

Remember Jimmy Carter he got slapped down fast. The difference was Bill Clinton learned form his mistakes (at least poltically wise, not personal errors), Carter didn’t.

Think of it this way, Mr Obama is saying, look we have this computer, let’s put all our files on a computer and our company will run better.

But Mr Obama has no idea on how to go about doing this.

This is where DC policits come into play. It looks easy. In my example just hire a computer expert.

Well not so easy. Who to hire? You say, put an ad in the paper, hire someone with excellent qualifications. Sounds easy right?

No, not so. Remember Mr Obama didn’t have enough delegates to beat Hillary outright. He had to have those “unassigned ones” to put him over the top. How did he get those? By making promises.

So let’s go back to my example. Mr Obama puts an ad in the paper for a computer guy, but Mr Senator from NY says “Wait a minute, I know a guy who can do that, and I helped you get elected. Better hire my guy.” Then Mr Florida guy says “Wait a minute, I voted for you over Hillary at the Democratic Convention and I have a guy too.” Well you get the idea.

So right now you get the best candidate not from a list of applicants but the best guy from a list of people you owe favours to.

Then there’s things like the Governor of Illinois expecting payback from Mr Obama for appointing a “good” replacement Senator. Mr Obama said “If he appoints the guy I like he’ll have my appreciation.”

As a voter I stand up and applaud him. That’s great, but as a Governor in another state or a Senator or anyone else, I see the fact I busted my butt to get Mr Obama in office and he’s shutting me out.

I’m not talking about corruption, I’m talking about working in a system.

The Clintons learned you can’t accomplish much on your own even with a majority party. Mr Obama will learn that too, or he’ll wind up another Jimmy Clinton. A man who had honorable goals but couldn’t put them into play

Obama’s closest adviser is Rahm Emanuel, who has been around the block several times and has experience in the White House as Clinton’s adviser, first as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and then as Senior Adviser to the President for Policy and Strategy. He is now Chief of Staff. Emanuel certainly has been around Washington long enough to know what the score is. He is Obama’s designated Bad Cop.

I’m surprised Vidal even cares about such gradations. One party, two wings, blue team vs. red team, and so on – not some other Gore Vidal, right?

Obama is having a much harder time of it then Hilary would have because he’s black.

Sometimes it seems as if those opposing him on each and every issue regardless of merit are a lynch mob rather then people who should be wanting the best for their country,who ever delivers it.

They’d rather be able to say “Look I was right all along” and give themselves some sort of justification for their racialism then see their country strengthen and grow.

Its called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I neither have a dog in this fight nor foreskin in this Bris! ( gotta love these metaphors!)

But I do like the calm, intelligent and patient demeanor he brings to the post.

The opposition in contrast seem to have no new way of developing their argument other than stamp their feet harder and throw their toys further out of the pram!

I doubt that anyone would be doing any better than Obama,he inherited the biggest mess any president ever inherited. Bad economy, 2 wars,etc. I do not think Hilary or McCain would have done any better. The critics of both sides are so afraid the other may succeed they seem to be more interested in their own agenda than that of the country.

There are some who want Obama to fail and will do all they can to try to make it so. A sad thing indeed …united we stand,divided we fall still holds true. Obama has a lot to do and an up hill climb. He did say early on that things would get worse before they got better,he was criticised for saying that, they said he was being too pessimistic, he is darned if he does, and darned if he don’t. The religious right will never think he does anything right because he doesn’t push their agenda that every one follow their beliefs.

Look at the ways that Obama and Clinton ran their own campaign organizations. AFAIK this was the only substantial test of Clinton’s executive ability, and it was a disaster.

Obama has the most difficult job in the world now. The ugliest constraint of a major political job is that politics is the mechanism one must use to accomplish anything. So, Afganistan and health care are now inextricably linked, and so are all the other issues - and if the politics of any one of them goes far enough wrong, it can take all the others with it.

Any and all of the criticisms of Obama may be correct or at least have some merit. The worst thing of all is that none of the alternatives to Obama come even close to being as appealing.

It’s been clear for quite a while that Gore Vidal is slowly going senile. I think it’s distasteful that the media is now exploiting his rantings rather than leaving the legacy of his previous work intact.

Does anyone else remember his horrific interview from Obama’s inauguration?