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Words Matter More Than Votes March 2, 2008

Posted by Jeff in Election '08.
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In the last week and a half, we’ve seen Hilary attack Obama for running a campaign based on “waving [the] magic wand” of rhetoric and speechifying rather than a good, old fashioned campaign based on his ability to defend the country (by which I mean taking the same approach to national security as General Ripper). She’s an idiot. Not just because her campaign is, you know, mostly words too, or because her record isn’t exactly one to run on either, or because it reinforces that stupid stereotype that women nag and whine. No, she’s an idiot because speechifying is far more important than Obama’s history in the Senate.

Truth be told, Clinton and Obama don’t differ all that much—they’ve voted together 95% of the time, and where they do differ (NAFTA, health care), neither is stunningly brilliant. What we’re voting for in the primaries this year is not a policy platform, but a style of leadership. I admire Hilary’s ability to get stuff done and her political acumen. But those qualities dictate that she should stay right where she is—in the Senate. Obama, on the other hand, is a natural cheerleader (unlike Bush, who had to develop those skills at Andover), which, as Representative Kingston (I can’t believe I’m quoting a R-Georgia) said, is the essential function of the President.

The President can neither introduce nor pass legislation, nor can he/she/it approve or reject treaties or unilaterally deploy our military (no matter what Alberto Gonzalez may think). Aside from signing legislation, appointing the Cabinet, and commanding our military once Congress does declare war, he/she/it exists only to represent our government to us and to other nations.

So, which do you want to be our face to the world? This?

Or this?

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