Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hillary & Barack


In a comment on my last blog post, Maxxo wrote:

hi nick. perhaps you could explain - in simple terms - the difference between obama and hilary clinton to us brits? and why you support the former ... perhaps it could be part of your next blog post. we get the coverage of the US elections on our news, but no-one bothers to explain what either candidate can bring to the mix. it just seems to drag on and on ...

I shall provide, as best I can, the differences as I see them:

Basically, there are few political and philosophical differences between the stances of Senators Clinton and Obama. The former leans a bit more to the political right than the latter. She also espouses the business-friendly centralist philosophy of her spouse (pun intended). I have heard her positions described as “same old same old.” That that “same old” rather died out during the seven and a half years of the present administration is, to me, a shame.

The latter is not only more liberal the former, but advocates a move away from “same old same old” stances of Senator Clinton. Andrew Sullivan’s observation below sums up, for me, the philosophy of Senator Obama:

He is not a traditional top-down big government liberal. He’s a pragmatist who believes in finding ways to empower people to run their own lives. No, he’s no libertarian. But his view of government’s role has absorbed some of the right-wing critiques of the 1970s and 1980s. Hence the lack of mandates in his healthcare proposal and his refusal to engage in racial victimology. This nuance is worth exploring. Unlike Hillary, he doesn’t believe he is going to save anyone. He thinks he has a chance to help some people save themselves.

I supported the candidacy of Senator Clinton from when the rumors began that she might run for the presidency until the past month or so when I became convinced that:

  • Senator Obama’s philosophy appeals to me much more than does Senator Clinton’s.

  • Senator Obama’s stance appears to appeal to a much larger cross section of Americans than does Senator Clinton’s.

  • Senator Obama has a better chance of winning the presidential election than does Senator Clinton.

  • And, finally, the rather absurd and vicious attacks on Senator Obama, his mixed racial heritage, and his religious faith (remember: I am an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, Barack’s denomination) by Senator Clinton’s campaign turned me off to her.


  1. What a great question Maxxo on behalf of us Brits!

    Thanks for taking the time to explain the differences Nick.

    I must say if I was voting it would be for Obama simply because I could never trust a woman who would stay with her husband after he had publicly humliated her, he would still be in charge!

  2. I could not agree with you more!

  3. I like your summary here, Nick. Good job!

  4. This is good and I liked how Sullivan described Obama. I like Obama and I'd take him over any other choice (since we can only choose from a two-party system), but the fact is that corporations rule our country. Anyone in office will have their hands tied by big business.

    We need a huge paradigm shift.

  5. I hear what you’re saying, Nick, but I’m still with Hillary. There are too many questions regarding Obama.

  6. Nick,let me jump into this with both feet stuck in my mouth.
    Ms.Clinton sounds a little too much pro business,after all pres clinton favored obama sould a little niave. Either one would still be better than the republican mr. McCain.It would be 4 more years of the same old thing screw the poor.Oh I forgot there is no such thing in the great country of the United States of America. This is my story and I'm sticking to it. I hope I did not ruffle too many feathers.

  7. AKELAMALU: Maxxo did ask an excellent question, I’m glad he did and I could put my two cents worth in.

    ANGUS: I’m glad you agree, my friend. Of course, our politics have been similar for the past 45 or so years.


    CAROL: I fear you are right. After all, wasn’t it President Hoover who said “The business of America is business”?

    EX-LOUISVILLE GUY: I’ve no problem with that.

    MIKE: Your comment is almost exactly the same as my mother’s! And, as far as I can remember, this is the first time my mother and I have agreed on politics (she’s a Republican and was a party worker) in 40+ years!

  8. I follow Rush Limbaugh on this one: "We are so screwed."


  9. hi nick, thanks for this! it does make things a little clearer. i see you take a very practical approach to your politics. in the UK it's an interesting situation as people are beginning to turn away from the labour government in favour of the conservatives once again ... to be honest, there's not much difference between them. they both suck.

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