I’m filing this one under the “Say, what?” category:
Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a top Clinton fund-raiser, telecommunications entrepreneur and member of the Democratic national convention’s platform committee, said she had questions about Mr. Obama’s trustworthiness. If he does not answer them, Ms. de Rothschild said she would at least consider voting for Mr. McCain or even working for him.
“I love my country more than I love my party,” said Ms. de Rothschild, who said she had been receiving entreaties from both Mr. Obama’s and Mr. McCain’s backers. “I can’t just fall in line.”
Can this woman be serious? She’d cut off her nose to spite her face. What does McCain support that Clinton supports? Abortion? Fuhgedaboutdit. Gun control? Never. Women’s Rights? Hah. Maintaining a moderate Supreme Court? Are you kiddin’? Restoring the rule of law and appreciation for civil liberties? Nah.
If she supports McCain she won’t be loving her country, she’ll be acting out of spite and bile for Hillary’s loss. I’ve got news for her. I’ve been on the losing end of so many progressive political electoral battles going all the way back to 1968 I can’t begin to count. You don’t give up on your party because your idea of the perfect candidate failed.
People like this woman have lost all perspective and possibly their mind if they would do something as dumb as deserting their party for McCain. McCain has no major advisors who are women except the token Carly Fiorina. Obama, on the contrary, is a candidate who “gets” women’s issues and will fill his presidency with appointments of capable, competent women to key policymaking positions. There is something seriously wrong with those of Hillary’s supporters who don’t “get” this.
When the media said that some percent of Hillary supporters would vote for McCain rather than Obama, I figured they were making that up. Recently I met one such person. She was a gung-ho Hillary fan, and after Obama clinched it, I asked her who she was voting for. When she said McCain my jaw dropped, and I am still trying to figure this phenomena out.
The way I see it: either they were never [small d] democrats to begin with, they were going for Hillary only cuz she’s a woman, which makes no sense to me.
Why would you vote for or against someone based on their genitalia?
or they are voting out of pique, which is so outrageous with some much at stake, as to be loathsome.
or…? (just plain ignorant and irrational and they have no idea about their own motives?)
Richard, I’m a Clinton supporter (and please, why do you call them “Hillary,” “McCain,” and “Obama?”) who will be voting for Obama, albeit not particularly enthusiastically. But I think your post here revealed some assumptions or biases on your part that demonstrate why some Clinton voters are feeling so alienated right now. In particular, the issues you raised were all “women’s” issues. A lot of us supported Clinton because we felt she’d be a lot stronger on broader issues, like healthcare, the economy, job creation, and so on. I know you mean well but it does feel trivializing to bring it all down to gender, and people (including women people) tend to react negatively to being trivialized like that. So, a little more respect, please.
And incidentally I’m not surprised that a telecom entrepeneur could support a Republican candidate, and you shouldn’t be either if you look at Republicans and telecom deregulation. She might not be willing to put her party before country but if she put her personal wealth before country she would hardly be the first.
Dan Sniderman says
Melinda – I honestly find your comments unfathomable. The difference between Clinton and Obama on those issues you specifically mention (to quote you “healthcare, the economy, job creation, and so on”) are negligable, and in fact, from a liberal perspective. Most of the so-called “differences” are in fact creation of Faux News and other Right-Wing elements to divide the opposition to the Right-Wing.
I think if there is any trivialization going on it is from these elements (and the paid staff of Clinton that was hungry for power as opposed doing what is best for the Country let alone the party).
Perhaps your position is that of a so-called “Centrist” and not a progressive and that is what your commentary is. But the reality of the Clintons is not that of liberalism but that of the Democratic Leadership Council. Their efforts in moving the Democratic party to the Right is one of the things that I think is profoundly wrong right now. No Republican could have succeeded in dismantling the safety net with the so-called “Welfare Reform” that was accomplished by the Clinton Administration.
Anyway – the bottom line on the next election was made clear yesterday by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on the Gitmo detainees. Justice Kennedy was the swing vote – and his health is so poor that it is clear his seat will be filled by the winner of the next election. If Clinton supporters decide to sit out or vote for McCain we can expect The Scalia/Roberts/Thomas/Alito faction will gain a fifth vote and the change to this country will be profound.
Dan, to provide some context I quit the Democratic party about a decade ago because of DLC policies and some specific policy decisions on the part of Bill Clinton. Welfare “reform” was the last straw. However, I’m also a Hillary Clinton constituent and I can assure you that she’s no Bill Clinton (why do you assume she is? women have independent lives/minds/souls of their husbands). I haven’t agreed with every vote she’s made or everything she’s said but she’s created jobs here in rural upstate and she’s worked to keep people on their farms. And the differences between her and Obama are not negligible – Obama’s kind of handwavey about things like insurance risk pools and he’s not proposing universal healthcare. He’s also kind of an oaf about labor, and I think that the Jason Furman appointment should give us all pause.
I do take very strong issue with having my support for Clinton mischaracterized as being about gender. I pay close attention to the issues, I strongly identify with labor, and I’m not an uninformed voter. As I said I’m going to be voting for Obama, but I understand Clinton supporters who won’t be, especially given the way that we’re being treated by the Obama “community.” Perhaps, if you’re trying to build support for Obama (you know, get him elected) you might make more headway by treating us like thoughtful, informed voters who care about the issues.
Jim S. says
In re above: sorry, but Hillary kept on aligning herself with her husband, his administration, and his times. She kept on talking about how great the 90’s were, she listened to husband’s failed advisors (Rubin, Greenspan, Penn), etc. I used to think of her as more liberal than her husband (and still blame him for the health care debacle) but she failed to draw the distinction. All through the campaign, instead outbidding Obama, she resorted to tricks. Finally, her foreign policy seems more warlike, globalist, and interventionist than either Obama or her husband, as well as being more dogmatically pro-Israeli.
This said out of disappointment from a Hillary-backer.
P.S. Calling her by her first name instead of her last may be an attempt to differentiate her from another well-known Clinton.
Richard Silverstein says
Because to call her “Clinton” would confuse her with another Clinton who has already been president. And I don’t generally use full names when writing about the candidates, hence “Hillary.”
As for “women’s issues:” you are wrong. I highlighted other issues as well like the composition of the Supreme Court, gun control, & civil liberties. But by any standard on any relevant issue whether it be considered “women’s” or not McCain is inferior. If you don’t like the issues I chose replace them with any others & you can make the same comparison. And I don’t think you should minimize the importance of those particular issues (abortion, women’s rights) I chose. They are important indicators of the political health of our society.
Richard Silverstein says
Melinda, Jim is right. Many of us who support Obama could’ve supported Hillary had she adopted a diff. foreign policy agenda. She chose to go the hawk route and that turned off enormous numbers of Democratic primary voters. It was her calculation that a hawkish approach would appeal more than the approach Obama adopted. She turned out to be wrong & paid the political price.
Hillary Clinton’s supporters shouldn’t see this reaction to her as gender-based. For me at least, it’s policy-based. I would love to support a woman running for president. But not just any woman (not that Hillary IS just any woman). A woman with policies compatible w. my own vision. Or at least somewhat compatible.
Her policies regarding Israel & the I-P conflict are just flat out bad news fr. my perspective. I couldn’t go there. AIPAC is powerful enough w/o giving them the keys to the White House & U.S. policy toward Israel.
Richard, do you really think that writing “Clinton’s loss” would have been ambiguous?
I can see disagreeing with Clinton on Israel and the Middle East. I do, myself. But I don’t expect a candidate to be perfect, and right now I think domestic issues are somewhat more pressing and Clinton is more likely to improve things on that front than Obama is. But please, let’s stick to that, and not assume that when a woman supports Clinton it’s because Clinton’s a woman, too, or that the first things that that woman should care about are “women’s” issues.
And as I said, I see nothing surprising about a telecom entrepeneur supporting McCain. He’s far more likely to support the telecomm agenda than Obama is. Look at the warentless wiretap immunity question, for starters.
Richard Silverstein says
@Melinda: Domestic issues are important. But if you consider the subject of this blog you’ll forgive me if I find that the I-P conflict is a critical issue that informs my own decision about whom to support.
The article I commented on dealt with Clinton’s female supporters. I didn’t choose the subject. I only commented on it.
There are plenty of progressive telecom entrerpreneurs who would be aghast at the warrantless wiretap program. You forget that Qwest was adamantly opposed to the entire thing which is why I’ve switched my phone service from Verizon, a willing stooge, to Qwest.
Norman Weinstein says
My wife and I are New Yorkers who enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton’s senatorial candidacy even though at that time we suspected she was using her new-found New York citizenship as a mere means to a far more important end, the Presidency. We admired her boldness, intelligence and articulateness, and, yes, we were both eager to be able one day to vote for a woman for President – the right woman, who we thought she might well be. We believed her far superior to her equally intelligent husband who in so many ways moved the Democratic Party to the right, damaging labor and the poor and helping an already very conservative society become more so. In spite of our desires, however, we changed our minds, and changed them without reservations. As senator she has remained quite undistinguished and has accomplished little for our state. We realized she was no less me-me than her husband. But more than anything was her vote to authorize this obviously horrible administration to wage war, and this without her having bothered to study, even read, the 90-page Iraq intelligence report. Then there was her Kyl-Lieberman vote, then her vote against the banning of cluster bombs, and, yes, her pathetic boasting that she had gone duck hunting with her father and had shot a duck in what, she would have us believe, I suppose, was during a state of testosteronic enthusiasm. We of course considered that much of this was her attempt to prove how mannish she could be, except that we began to realize that she might actually be more militaristic and right-wing than her husband. Her Israel über alles stance with its declaration about bombing Iran hardly endeared her Presidential candidacy to us. As to one Lynn Forester de Rothschild’s stated reactions to Barack Obama’s victory, especially if they are truly sincere, I can only say that she is far more than foolish, she is a boldfaced liar in declaring that she loves her “…country more than I love my party.” To say this in light of what John McCain stands for, or at least claims to at the moment, is to assume that those who listen to Ms. Lynn Forester de Rothschild’s words are utter fools. She loves her own obviously adolescent vision of herself. Nothing more ably justifies my wife’s and my decision to endorse Barack Obama over a Hillary Clinton than such statements as those of Lynn Forester de Rothschild (wow, aristocracy is alive and well!), and what such statements represent, because John McCain, despite his fulminations to the contrary, is even more enthusiastic over war and such than Hillary Clinton, to say nothing about the rest of his reactionary stances. We, my wife and I, can only hope that former supporters of our senator who espouse such bullshit (pardon the vulgarity; sometimes one must resort to simple, clinical Anglo-Saxonisms) as Lynn Forester de Rothschild represent a tiny minority of moronic souls unable to cope with the terrible tragedy of Senator Clinton’s having to return to the Senate, there to sit until the end of time, or at least until the end of her term, on her stepping stone that led her only to, yes, the Senate.