The cool kids want you to feel guilty about supporting Clinton (I’ll call her Hillary when you start referring to McCain as “John”), but I challenge anyone to sell me on Barack Obama without using the words “hope,” “change,” “unity,” “Kennedy” or “poetry.” Or without dusting off the old “She voted in favor of the war” gambit, which is a tough pill to swallow, but ultimately less important five years later than some would like us to think.
La Clinton isn’t sexy or idealistic. Thank God. (Besides, what candidate could be as sexy as, sigh, John Edwards?) Every time somebody criticizes her for being calculating and entitled, I’m like, “Fuck yeah. Right on.” Anyone who thinks Obama is going to swoop in, overhaul a lazy, ineffectual Congress, and “unify” our great fractured nation by remaining true to his ideals is in for a world of disappointment. Here in Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick ran a similar campaign and found himself hamstrung by a contrarian legislature once he took office.
Clinton, on the other hand, seems like an easier lay. She knows that compromising in order to get 75% of your goal is better than holding out for 100% and ending up with 0. Yes, she’s “divisive” and “polarizing.” Guess what – come General Election time, so are both candidates. Every time.
The fun thing about this race is that, since both Clinton and Obama have similar levels of experience (at least in terms of actual elected public office) and stances on the issues (neither is more than politely gay-friendly, and we have no way of knowing, really, if either can avert the coming economic meltdown or salvage the Iraq-tastrophe), it genuinely is a war of personality. And to my eyes, Clinton wins that race hands down.
Obama may inspire ex-hippie snail trails at rallies, but Clinton deserves an Oscar for just about every debate performance she’s given. This is where the haters who call her chilly and overly rehearsed need to eat their hats. She’s a great quipper. When faced with that awful, sexist likability question, followed by a churlish Edwards/Obama gang-up during the January 5 debate, Clinton’s response was so riveting I half-expected her to break a dish and scream like Sissy Spacek in In the Bedroom. Her laser-beam takedowns of Wolf Blitzer’s WWE tactics during the January 31 debate (“Nice try, Wolf”) were a hoot. If she loses the nomination, I kind of want her to guest star as Barney’s mom on How I Met Your Mother.
I have no doubt that Barack Obama is a smart, moral guy with good ideas about how to turn our country around. But at heart, I’m still, as Jack Donaghy would say, a “godless, glassy-eyed Clintonista.” I’m pretty sure that after one of the Axis of Evil nukes us into oblivion, all that’s left standing will be the three C’s: Cher, cockroaches and the Clintons.