Kristin Palitza
Kristin Palitza

Why I hope for Hillary

The race to become the Democratic presidential candidate is drawing to a close — with Barack Obama as the current front-runner. Yet, I hope Hillary will be first through the finishing line.

It’s not because she, like me, is a woman (although it would be nice to have the most powerful person in the world be a woman for once). And it’s not that I don’t think much of Obama. In fact, I think I prefer Obama to Clinton … he is not only smart (they both are) but he also has the ability to connect with people, while Clinton’s addresses sound too rehearsed. I also like his ideas on affordable, quality healthcare, progressive education policies and, of course, his opposing the war in Iraq.

But still, I hope that Hillary will eventually outrun him. My main reason for wanting her to come out tops is purely strategic: I believe she will be the stronger candidate against McCain. And while I would be happy with either Clinton or Obama as president, I know one thing for sure: we simply can’t have another Republican US president, especially not a John McCain who unwaveringly supports the war in Iraq and is more than likely to continue George W’s invasion spree.

And not only that: he is anti-abortion/pro-life; he wants to spend more money on defence and homeland security; he supports the death penalty and the rights of US citizens to carry guns; he is for civil unions, but no marriage between same-sex couples … you get the picture: the classical, conservative Republican.

McCain also pushed through one of the worst pieces of legislation ever to come out of Congress: the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which violates the First Amendment by limiting political speech by every organisation except newspapers within 60 days of an election.

McCain will be bad news not only for the US but for the rest of the world, too. Let’s not kid ourselves; the US is a superpower, after all, and if it sneezes the whole globe catches a cold. And that’s why I am for Hillary — because I believe she will ultimately have the better chances against McCain.

If you look at US voters in general, there are those who are staunch Republicans and those who are devoted Democrats — their votes are practically already cast. But there is also a huge contingent of Americans who waver between parties, who sometimes vote Republicans, sometimes Democrats, depending on the candidate. They haven’t made up their minds yet and can still be drawn towards one camp or the other. And it is precisely those undecided voters who will ultimately decide the fate of the nation.

I believe that these maybe-Republicans-maybe-Democrats will identify better with Hillary Clinton than with Barack Obama. They will think that Hillary is not as moderate as Obama; she is an experienced politician and relatively conservative — not old school but not too liberal either; if we did well under Bill, Hillary just can’t be a disaster — she was one of his closest advisers, after all.

I somehow cannot see that maybe-Republicans-maybe-Democrats will give Obama the benefit of the doubt — he is too left-liberal, too new to the game, too inexperienced, too idealistic. So if it’s Obama against McCain, I see the Democrats’ chances dwindle. And as I said before: that simply can’t happen.