You’re on your own now

24 01 2013

I’m not supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Nothing against First Lady/Senator/Secretary Clinton, JD, but I ain’t supporting nobody for 2016 because a) nobody has said he or she is running, and 2) it’s too damned early to think about.

Not that I’m not thinking about it. *Sigh*

If she does run, I’ll take a look, just as I’ll take a look at everyone else with policy proposals within the ballpark of the not-horrible. (A low bar, yes, but one which most Republicans and quite a few Dems haven’t managed to clear in years.)

Still, there is one thing I like very much about Clinton, regardless of any possible candidacy: She just doesn’t give a shit anymore.

I mean this in the best possible way, as a resignation which moves her beyond all of the Washington and pundit horseshit and into the realm of real political action. She has a job to do and she’s going to do it and fuck off to anyone who doesn’t like it or her.

You could see this movement into a kind of pure-practical politics during her reign as Secretary of State. She got along fine with President Obama and served his agenda well, but did so in a way which she clearly shaped. Beyond the Beltway she was free from the sniping about her clothes and her hair and the constant agita about her relationship to her husband and able, simply, to act on behalf of the people and policies which matters to both her and the president.

Pundits suggested she looked best in short hair; she grew it long. She defended the pantsuits for their practicality, then didn’t mention it again. She drank beer and danced with her staffers, and appeared in public at least once without makeup.

That last bit might seem a triviality—and as someone who hasn’t worn makeup in over 20 years, I truly wish it were—but for a sixty-something high-status woman to go face-naked in public is damned-near astonishing.

She doesn’t care.

I was leery of her in the 2008 run, tired of the “Clinton drama” and unsure of her temperament for the office. Yes, she had done good work as a senator, but I still remembered FLOTUS Hillary, and that Hillary was clearly pissed-off at having to perform a role which did not fit. Yes, she chose to marry Bill and to support his run for president, but as someone with her own political ambitions, “First Lady” had to feel like a crummy consolation prize.

And that her husband, with all of his political skills, nonetheless let his indiscipline hobble his chances for real legislative success had to have pricked at her in ways wholly distinct from the wounds of his personal indiscretions.

I don’t think Obama did her any favors in picking her for Secretary of State—he chose her because he thought she could benefit his administration—but he did give her a way to apply her own formidable intelligence and skills in a manner which both served him and freed her.

Oddly, my reconsideration of her began with an Onion article, about her return to the Senate after losing the nomination:

One anonymous Wisconsin senator told reporters that Clinton has been known to deliver a sustained, audible sigh while President ProTempore Robert Byrd calls the meeting to order; frequently votes by letting out an extended belch; repeats the title of every bill in a high-pitched, mocking tone; and, once, after her disruptions caused the former first lady to be escorted out of the Capitol, raised both middle fingers in the air and proposed that the entire Senate go fuck itself.

This was satire, of course, but I nonetheless liked the picture of her saying “fuck it” to the whole shebang, of her not caring what anyone thought anymore.

Fours years later, and she really doesn’t care—not about all of the nonsense that has hemmed her in for most of her adult life. She knows what matters, and fuck everything else.

I like that in a politician.

~~~

And yes, if she does run, that Bjork tune will be her theme song, at least on this blog.

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4 responses

24 01 2013
peacelovegreatcountrymusic

Fantastic post!!

24 01 2013
geekhiker

She’s definitely not the same person that she was when she was running in 2008, and her position in the administration and the way in which she’s carried out the job has certainly allowed her to come into her own. I’m not sure if “more qualified” is the term I’m looking for (‘cuz that sounds condescending in a way I don’t mean it to be)… so what is it I’m thinking of? Any help?

Of course, the sniping BS that she had to put up with during the hearings this week may also make her wonder if she really wants to go through the ringer running for president again. And that’s the funny thing: her new taking-no-shit attitude may very well mean that she no longer wants to take the shit involved in running for President!

25 01 2013
dmfant

I think that Obama marked the end of boomer pols and I think she has peaked in terms of her formal public service but who knows what lurks in the heart of presidential runners, I hope she finds something else along the lines of what Brer Bill had been up to.

25 01 2013
dmfant

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