Monday, February 18, 2008

Three Things about the Bush White House that Hillary Clinton Won’t Change.

After eight years of the disastrous Bush presidency, the country is clearly poised for change. Although it’s undeniable that a change from George W. Bush to either Democratic candidate would be dramatic, there are some characteristics of Hillary Clinton's leadership style that have emerged during her primary campaign that do not appear to differ much from what we've seen from the current president.

A President in a Bubble.

Hillary surrounds herself with people who always tell her she is right, regardless of the available evidence, and without consideration for changing conditions. Her stated intention to fight for the nomination "all the way to the convention," no matter what transpires in the coming weeks and months, is reminiscent of Bush's stubborn insistence that he will continue to fight the war in Iraq until we see the flowering of pro-American democracies throughout the Middle East!

Hollow Slogans R Us.

Phrases like "Ready on Day One" and "I'm in the Solutions Business" are fine if you are selling accounting software to small businesses or delivering packages overnight, but they are not reasons to have confidence in a president. These types of marketing slogans are about as meaningful as, say, having a huge "Strategy for Victory" banner behind the podium for a speech on a failed war in Iraq!

It's the Secrecy, Stupid.

Hillary likes us to know how hard she's working for us, but her history suggests that she prefers that the actual work take place behind closed doors. This is widely thought to be one of the reasons for failure in her previous attempt at health care reform. Her recent suggestion that she would release her tax returns only if "she secures the democratic nomination" is reminiscent of Bush's claims that he would discuss possible White House involvement in leaking Valerie Plame's identity only after the conclusion of an "ongoing investigation!"

In contrast, I think it’s safe to say that Barack Obama would represent significant change from George W. Bush in these and every other area. He has clearly expressed a willingness to engage in discussions with those who may disagree with him. While his campaign uses recurring rallying cries, such as “Yes, We Can,” they are not marketing slogans designed to “sell” his own competence or qualifications. He has released his tax returns, and has made openness in government a key part of his campaign.

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