It had to happen sooner or later, and yesterday afternoon it did. I received my first campaign call in which a human, not a machine, was on the other end of the line, so I spent about forty five minutes chatting with a lady who was urging me to support Hillary Clinton. Except for interrupting me several times early on, once she got her planned talking points out of the way she was polite, respectful, and willing to settle down and talk issues.
I told her that I am an undecided voter, but that I will support whichever Democrat wins the nomination in the general election. I also told her that I am a B-list political blogger, but she did not seem to know what a blogger is.
I asked her why Hillary has not supported a single-payer health care system. She said that her brother has had problems with the VA and that she thinks it may be because government health care isn’t that good. I explained that we can leave the care private, but make the coverage public, cutting the insurance industry out of their obscene profits and coverage decisions. I told her that health care decisions should not be left to greedy corporations for whom profit trumps care. She agreed that was a better idea, and suggested that Hillary might switch to such a plan after she was elected. She went on to stress that Clinton’s plan was superior to Obama’s. I asked her in what ways it was superior. She didn’t know the details but knew that it was.
I asked her whether or not Hillary would pursue criminal charges against Bush and his minions for war crimes and other crimes while in office. She did not know. I pointed out that Obama had committed to have DOJ investigate them. She said she hopes that Clinton will too, and suggested that, although they should be tried for their crimes, it might take a long time, like it did with Pinochet. I pointed out that Pinochet had been charged, but never tried.
I asked her why Hillary had never admitted her error in voting for the Iraq war. She said that was Bush’s fault, because Clinton was going on what she thought was reliable intelligence. I told her that I knew and had documented, before the war, that the intelligence was was flawed with far less resources than a Senator enjoys. If I could find that out, why couldn’t Clinton. She didn’t know.
I told her that I was displeased with some of Hillary’s campaign tactics. She said that politics is a dirty business, and I should be glad to have a candidate who can do that well, because those skills will be needed against McCain.
At the end of each of these discussions, she kept coming back to one central theme. The party needs a candidate that can win in November, and that although Obama is a wonderful person, Clinton is the candidate who can win. After ignoring that several times, I rose to the bait. I brought up the last debate, and asked her if Clinton had not said that Obama could win too. She replied that Clinton had to say “Yes, yes, yes”, because she was on the spot, and the media would have roasted her, if she had said anything else. She repeated that Clinton really is the electable candidate, and Obama is not. So I asked, “So are you telling me that Clinton lied when she said that?” Dead silence. Then she said that it wasn’t really lying, it was just saying what she had to say at the time, and asked what she was supposed to do when put on the spot like that? I said, “Well I’d hope she would have realized that the American people deserve the truth, even if that truth is not what we want to hear.”
That undid the poor lady. I could almost hear her thinking that she wished she had never called me, as she said she had to get on to the next person she had to call. She asked me if I would vote for Clinton, and I told her I am still not committed.
I was not impressed with her knowledge of the issues, and frankly, turned off by her insistence that Obama is not electable. After Clinton committed herself publicly that both are electable, that issue should be off the table.
In fairness, I have not yet received a similar call from the Obama campaign, and when I do, I will be just as hard on that person as I was on this poor lady, who remained personable and respectful throughout my inquisition.
On the other hand, if McConJob’s people call, the crapola is going to hit the fan… big time!!
All articles cross-posted from Politics Plus