Monday, January 8, 2007

The Contenders

Over at Slog, Eli Sanders has a running series on the people who are running for President. It's been an interesting series for the most part. Hillary Clinton is today's entry:

No one, Democrat or Republican, has generated more ink in the run-up to the run-up to the 2008 presidential election than Hillary Rodham Clinton — and she hasn’t even declared her candidacy (although everyone assumes she will soon).

For political journalists and pundits, part of the attraction to writing about Hillary Clinton is that she’s such a rich topic: She’s an automatic front-runner if she enters the race; she’d be the first woman president ever; she’s a “polarizing personality” who has nevertheless won fans in the red parts of New York State; she’s smart as hell and, by the admission of many Republicans, a formidable force in the Senate; and she’s married to Bill Clinton, ex-president, ex-philanderer, current international do-gooder, and constant object of fascination, demonization, and idolization.

Can she win? Should she run? Is she a selfish distraction from better candidates? Does Obama have a better chance? If you’re hanging out with Democrats, you’re hearing all of these questions and more, constantly.

Then some background that everybody knows. Wellsley, Yale Law, Bill Clinton, Chealsea. And then on to some more specifics:

Something of a feminist, Hillary only began attaching the surname “Clinton” to her own name during her husband’s second gubernatorial bid, in 1982. She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984, and throughout her time as First Lady of Arkansas continued to practice law with the Rose Law Firm.

When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, Hillary became the first first-lady to hold a post-graduate degree and the first to have a successful career of her own. Even more ground-breaking, Bill Clinton appointed Hillary to the powerful Task Force on National Health Care reform. However, the body’s recommendations failed to gain traction in either the House or the Senate, resulting in the well-known “Hillarycare” debacle.

Hillary won a race for the U.S. Senate in New York in 2000, and again in 2006. As senator, she sits on the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on Environment and Public Works; the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and the Special Committee on Aging.

Clinton voted for the war in Iraq but has been critical of the way the war has been conducted. She’s pro-choice, in favor of domestic partnership rights for gays and lesbians, and against the Federal Marriage Amendment. She supports three-strikes sentencing, the Kyoto Protocol, and gun control. She’s against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Anyway, there's a bit more including some video (her answering questions about electability and John Stewart making fun of her). As a mini action item, go there and leave a comment.

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