Jul. 29th, 2016

heron61: (Gryphon - emphasis and strong feelings)
I've seen many posts, including some by people I like and respect, talking about how much they'll miss Obama as president. I absolutely will if (by some ill-fated chance) Trump becomes president, but I really won't if Clinton does.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are essentially identical in their policies & in the Senate, Clinton's voting record was very slightly more liberal than Obama's, so there's no difference there. Sure, Clinton isn't as progressive as I want, but neither was Obama, and I don't believe that someone much more progressive could get elected.

It's clear that Obama is more charismatic and he clearly has a very loving family, and that's all wonderful, but it doesn't make me more impressed with him as a president. Charisma isn't one of the features I value all that much in a politician – it's nice, but far from essential from my PoV. I'd vastly prefer with boring, drab bureaucrats whose policies I agreed with to impressively charismatic individuals whose policies I don't. Also, when confronted with two similar candidates (like Clinton & Obama), the one who is more charismatic is not necessarily the one I prefer.

Also, I think Clinton will handle Congress somewhat better than Obama. One of president Obama's main failings was how much he underestimated the degree to which congregational Republicans were willing to deadlock Congress or even actively weaken and harm the US as long as they could deprive him of any sort of victory. Mitch McConnell actually said this before Obama was even sworn in, and the GOP stuck to this. Obama clearly didn't expect this and it took him most of his first term to understand just how hostile the GOP could be.

Clinton vividly knows this fact, and I believe that she'll be better at delivering ultimatums and learning to work around congressional Republicans. It's tragic that US politics is in that sort of terrible shape, but it's also true, and short of some sort of major transformation of the Republican Party, it's going to continue being true, and I'm convinced that Clinton will be better than Obama at dealing with this sort of hostile obstructionism.

I also think she has an excellent grasp of foreign policy and can be counted on to work to support the rights and lives of women and people of color – she's been doing both most of her adult life. In short, I don't think she'll inspire the same sort of affection as president Obama does among people who don't believe he's a Kenyan Muslim, but I do think she'll be both as progressive and also at least as good, and perhaps a bit better, at crafting policy and handling Congress.

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