I know a lot of people who support Barack Obama because "there's just something about Hillary they don't like." Being kind of an asshole about these things, my response has often been, "Is it the fact that she has a vagina?"
For some reason people seem offended when I bring that up. Most of the folks I know get their knickers in a twist when it's suggested that they might possibly be a little sexist (especially since some of them are women). But when I ask what it is that they specifically object to, I get a lot of sound and fury (signifying nothing, I probably need not add):
* "She's moved towards the center."
Riiiight. Which is why there are almost ZERO differences in her platform and voting record, and that of my junior senator. People accuse her of this because they've heard it so often in the media, and nobody's bothered to actually look and see that it's, uh, NOT ACTUALLY TRUE. Hillary's positions on healthcare, education, taxes and the budget, foreign policy, etc., have been consistent since she became a senator.
* "There's something fishy about her. Whitewater, and that thing with the airfare, that dirty fundraiser she took money from, lobbyists, and Vince Foster, blah blah blah."
Uh huh. Was she found guilty of any wrongdoing in any of these situations? No? Why is this still an issue? I mean, Obama has shaken dirty hands, too....doesn't mean he's doen anything wrong. Same goes for Hillary. Plus, she's not pretending that lobbyists are going anywhere (unlike other candidates that keep beating the "special interests are running the show, but they won't buy me" drum....which I find unconvincing and have yet to see an actual plan for reform around), and frankly - that takes guts to be honest about.
* She's a Washington insider - he's a fresh faced outsider!
Okay, repeat after me: Washington Outsiders do not speak the keynote at Democratic National Conventions during presidential elections. Chicago Politicians are NOT fresh faced.
* She's too hawkish!
This one cracks me up. Hillary has consistently stood behind her original vote giving the President the leeway to go to the UN with the threat of unilateral military action behind him. She has stated since that she is eager to end the war and bring our troops home, but - like many politicians on both sides of the aisle - she has said she wants to do it cautiously and keeping the troops' safety foremost. (Remind me again how this is different from Obama's plan, in principle?) Furthermore, when Obama was asked if he would unilaterally send troops into Pakistan if we had reliable intelligence putting Al Qaeda operatives there, and were unable to get Pakistani support...he said yes. Doesn't that seem slightly more hawkish than her "NO" in answer to that question?
In addition to this horseshit, there's the constant drumbeat of how "she's throwing a fit" or "overreacting" or whatever. The standard "just calm down and be reasonable" misogyny that has been infuriating women since they stopped letting men run the whole show. Every pundit, every talking head is tossing around this sort of tongue-in-cheek, head-patting sexism that is really shocking in its blatant nature.
Do I think people in general are scared of strong, independent, intelligent women? Yes, I do (it's certainly been my experience in the dating world). Do I think some of that "something about her" stems from the fact that she hasn't hidden her strength, or apologized for her choices, or run on her husband's coattails (they disagree on NAFTA!), or any of the other myriad facets of her person and personality and platform and politics that rub certain people the wrong way because no woman has ever held such a powerful position in this country (and yes, that fucking includes Oprah!), and that is really frightening on some visceral level? Hell yes.
I'm just ranting at this point, because I'm annoyed, but there's information to be had that's slightly more objective: Obama's political positions (via Wikipedia) and Clinton's political positions (also via Wikipedia). One thing you'll notice: she has a longer track record to be judged by. I think that's a good thing.
Disclaimer: I like Barack. He's my senator, and I voted for him! and if he gets the Democratic nomination, I'll set aside my ire and happily pull the lever in his favor. But I still think Hillary is the better candidate, and not just because she's a woman. Though I'd be lying if I didn't say that was part of it!
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.