Mrs. Clinton discovers women with needs
By Michael M. Bates
Forget about your soccer moms, security moms and NASCAR dads. If Hillary Clinton has her way, 2008 will be the year of women with needs. According to a campaign spokesperson, New York's junior senator is a veritable magnet for "women with needs."
The theme emerged after a recent Washington Post – ABC News poll disclosed New York's junior senator garners "especially strong support from lower-income, lesser-educated women."
At first blush it may seem curious that she so mightily connects with commoners. I mean, she is the world's smartest woman, right? (Flunking the Washington, DC bar exam doesn't count.)
One of the women surveyed, a Hillary admirer boasting some college, said that Mrs. Clinton "ran the country for eight years, so I feel like she could do it again." Silly me. I didn't realize Hillary was running the country all that time. I had supposed that's what Bill was elected to do, when he could fit it in his demanding schedule.
It seems to me that Mrs. Clinton spent much of her husband's administration trying to shove socialized medicine down our throats. As well as feverishly searching for those Whitewater-related billing records that were misplaced for years and ultimately found in the White House book room with her fingerprints, literally, on them.
Hillary is assiduously courting the women with needs vote. My guess is what many find alluring is her enthusiasm for redistribution of wealth schemes. Last month she sketched her economic vision and proclaimed:
"It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few and for the few, time to reject the idea of an ‘on your own' society and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity. I prefer a ‘we're all in it together' society."
This is reminiscent of Mrs. Clinton's statement back in 2004 that "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." The emphasis on seeking the "common good" while diminishing individual rights has been tried before. Red China, the USSR, North Korea and Cuba are but a few of the jolly places where it's been implemented.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs was a notion advanced by Karl Marx. Hillary Clinton has dusted it off and is running on the old class struggle prattle.
It's enticing to think that the females Mrs. Clinton is exciting solely want their needs satisfied with government programs. Yet an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the other day suggests some of the women's needs are more problematic than that.
Senator Clinton was in Fort Worth to hit up Democratic fat cats for money. A supporter, not able to attend, waited in the rain outside one such event for hours simply to get a glimpse of her heroine.
Many politicians generate that level of loyalty. What struck me about this particular devotee is what she was quoted as saying:
"I just love that woman. I'm a nobody, but when she becomes president, I'll be somebody."
Addled thinking like that is wearisome. That there's a single person who believes putting a particular individual in the White House will make her, hesto presto, a "somebody" is a sad commentary.
Is such a conclusion typical of those backing Mrs. Clinton for president? If so, those folks, or presumably at least many of them, must have had a similar feeling about Mr. Clinton. So how did that work exactly?
Were Clintonphiles nobodies before Bill was elected, then became somebodies at his inauguration, and once more reverted to nobody status the day he left office? That must've been very depressing. It helps explain why psychiatrists' offices were filled with liberals after the election. More than usual, that is. Maybe they could have maintained their somebodyhood if Al Gore had succeeded the impeached president.
All in all, viewing yourself as a nobody and believing only a politician has the capacity to make you a somebody – if he or she wins an election - is truly puzzling. Then again, I'm not a Democrat.
Campaigning for the critical men with needs vote would be a natural follow-up for Mrs. Clinton, but it won't happen. Her husband's name would end up being the punchline, just like back in the day.
This Michael Bates column appeared in the June 21, 2007 Reporter Newspapers.