Saturday, April 12, 2008

No One is Entitled to the Presidency

One of the real problems that the Hillary Clinton campaign has had during the battle for the Democratic nomination is the sense that her campaign advisors, and her husband, believe that she is somehow entitled to the Democratic nomination. This attitude is what, according to an article in the L.A. Times, drove New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to endorse Barack Obama.

The reason why no one is entitled to the presidency, or the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, is that presidential elections are about the future, not the past. They are about what is going to happen in the next four years more than they are about what happened in the past four years, or in the case of the Clintons, 16 years ago. Yet, when you read news reports about her campaign, and when you read about the reaction of her husband to former supporters of his backing Barack Obama, you get a sense that the Clintons believe that she is entitled to the Democratic nomination.

This sense of entitlement is not working for them. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton electoral pattern. It gives the impression that the presidency is somehow an inherited position. This is a concept that is foreign to Americans. When you convey a sense of entitlement, you are increasing the feeling of discontent that a lot of people have with the idea of another Clinton presidency. Add to that the fact that a lot of Democrats are unhappy with her support of the Iraq War resolution and what many see as racially tinged attacks on Obama and you can understand why she is behind in the polls.

One of the strengths of the Clintons is that they don't really care what others think about them. Most character traits that work for you in some situations work against you in others. This one is no exception.

1 comment:

rad said...

I truly agree with this writer’s evaluation. Hillary is for herself, without regards to the Democratic Party, or better still, this nation. As a lifelong proud member of this party, I have never heard of a democratic presidential hopeful make a statement endorsing a Republican when she stated “I think that since we now know Sen. McCain will be the nominee for the Republican Party, national security will be front and center in this election. We all know that. And I think it’s imperative that each of us be able to demonstrate we can cross the commander-in-chief threshold.” She went on to say “I believe that I’ve done that. Certainly, Sen. McCain has done that and you’ll have to ask Sen. Obama with respect to his candidacy,” I also take exception of her desire to have the votes in Florida and Michigan to be counted; when she previously had no opinion. My point is how can she trot out the voting rights doctrine for these two states, while asking the super delegates to vote against the will of the people who voted in the other 48 states. Finally, as a veteran I know all too well that a person taking sniper fire would know and remember it; and most importantly, they will never misstate a sacrifice for personal benefit that belongs almost exclusively to those who serve in our armed forces.