Is Hillary Our Nixon? Some Reflections on New Hampshire 2008
As an aging boomer, I came of political age during the political career of Richard M. Nixon. Nixon suffered from political scandal early in his career but became Eisenhower’s VP during the 1950s. He suffered political setbacks in the early 1960s (losing the presidential election of 1960 and the
Nevertheless, he was a masterful party politician and there was something about him personally that attracted the core Republican base of his time. Perhaps it was because he was a self made man who could articulate the Horatio Alger myth that Republicans hold so dear. As a candidate, he ran for nomination and election as a conservative but governed from the center. Both his domestic and foreign policies were centrist to moderately liberal. Nixon’s last years in office were marred by political scandal, namely “Watergate,” that led to an attempt to impeach him and his eventual resignation.
I find the parallels between Richard Nixon and Hillary Clinton numerous. Like him, she is uncharismatic with a personality that puts off many Americans but is very effective in intra-party politics. She played a VP like role in Bill Clinton’s administrations and, along with him, experienced numerous political ups and downs, particularly associated with various scandals. The
The parallels that I see between Richard Nixon and Hillary Clinton are among the many reasons why I support Barack Obama over Hillary. The relevant parallels for Obama are ones with Robert Kennedy, a genuine progressive who could bridge racial and class gaps among the American people. An Obama administration would not be a “restoration” with a rerun of similar policies and personnel from the 1990s, but something more genuinely liberal and better. Granted, Hillary Clinton would be an improvement over Republican rule, but, if you’re a progressive, an Obama presidency promises so much more. -----