Hillary and Bill stop by my work
Within one week, Hillary and Bill Clinton stopped by my work. For Hillary, it was a campaign stop, where she outlined her platform and talked about what she would do as President. For Bill, it was a chance to talk about his foundation. This was the second time I'd heard both of them speak, and, as usual, I was impressed.
Hillary has convinced me that she has what it takes to be President. She spent 8 years in the White House as the First Lady, and she's spent another 7 years as a U.S. Senator. She understands how things work, and how you get things done in Washington.
I like that Education is one of her top priorities, as it's one of the places the U.S. has fallen behind. The last time we fell behind like this, as she pointed out, was when the Russians launched Sputnik. She said she still remembered when her teacher told her she needed to start learning more science -- a directive coming directly from the President of the United States. What she didn't say, but what I've read, is one of the reasons the U.S. fell behind the Russians was that science wasn't being taught in schools. Instead of Evolution, many schools taught Creationism. It was at this point that Evolution replaced Creationism in U.S. schools. And then we went to the moon.
<soapbox>The Bush administration has perpetuated a similar scientific slide that we saw prior to Sputnik. Whether it's their ignoring the facts on Global Warming, pretending that Evolution didn't happen, or banning stem cell research, we must stop this slide or the U.S. will not be part of the technology leadership in the 21st Century. Only this time, instead of the moon, the United States' economy is at risk. </soapbox>
The other area that resonated with me was that Hillary said if she's elected president, she'll send out envoys to all corners of the globe to tell the other leaders that "cowboy diplomacy is over." I think many Americans are tired of being viewed in this light by our fellow citizens in the world. Any change isn't good enough. We need a radical change.
Finally, a note about the polarizing effect of Senator Clinton. One conversation I had with an older woman on a flight from Detroit, MI, to Buffalo, NY, is a good example: this woman, a life-long resident of New York, said, "Hillary does what's good for Hillary." When I told her I'd actually seen Hillary speak, and that I was surprised how warm, funny, and smart she was, this seemed to take her by surprise. I said to her, "You should really go see Hillary in person -- especially since she's your senator." She agreed. And I guess this brings up a good point about Hillary: She doesn't come across that well on TV. The media always seems to find a way to use her sound bites against her -- which is true for any candidate. But there's this perception that she's this selfish, power-grabbing woman who's just in it for herself. All I have to say is go listen to her in person and see what you think.
We'll see what happens...