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Home / Articles / / /  Mullen | With Hillary’s Help: Obama did a fine job. And Clinton helped make it so

Mullen | With Hillary’s Help: Obama did a fine job. And Clinton helped make it so

By Holly Mullen
Posted // June 4,2008 - I wanted Hillary Clinton to win.

Badly.

I still believe she has the greatest depth of political and real-world experience to help pull us from the bog George W. Bush will leave us in. I respect her grit, the determination she showed in staying put and winning just one more primary race every time a talk show host or Barack Obama strategist counted her out.

Even with her out of the race, I believe Clinton showed millions of young girls that power in politics is well within their grasp. She is the first female to ever get this far in a U.S. presidential race. I have to watch Clinton settle for some sort of consolation prize this time. But, for the first time in my life, I know the trophy is within reach.

Her harshest critics jumped all over Clinton for what they perceive as arrogance and brashness. People blasted her for her ambition, and for having the gall to set her sights decades ago on the presidency. I never quite got that. When I was a kid in grade school, every little boy was encouraged to “grow up to be president.” It was right up there with being an astronaut. If boys were being groomed from age five for the job, why would it be so offensive that a woman might spend her life in pursuit of the same goal? Actually, it should take a lifetime to make a run for the presidency. That’s partly why the Constitution sets the minimum age for the office at 35.

Clinton forced dialogue among Democrats. She had a big hand in helping a wounded party find new meaning over the past eight years, starting with the day the Supreme Court handed Bush the 2000 election.

She has pushed Obama into framing his issues as something more tangible than the pithy pull-quotes of “got hope?” and “change we can believe in.” She may yet convince him of the urgency in adopting a serious approach to health-care reform—and that can’t come soon enough. Obama needs to offer us a plan that, like Clinton’s, makes health care universal. That means everyone. No more waffling, Barack, please.

As I write this column, it’s early Tuesday afternoon. It’s a curse of our Tuesday evening deadline for City Weekly that we never know for certain the outcome of any election day, ever. But news services, pundits and the top advisers to the Clinton campaign have been reporting all day that she’ll concede to Obama after the Montana and South Dakota primaries. Even with a handful of undecided Democratic superdelegates clinging to secrecy, Clinton just doesn’t have the delegate math to win. She hasn’t for weeks. Clinton is saying she would run as Obama’s vice president if he asks.

I wanted her to win.

Badly.

But not as badly as Donald Dunn, the chairman of the Clinton campaign in Utah. I called Dunn, I’m guessing about 10 hours before Clinton will concede. Dunn said the uncommitted superdelegates still hold the final outcome in their hands, and of course, they don’t have to decide on a candidate until the national convention in August. Still, he all but acknowledged it was over. And then, like all good liberals, the two of us decided to take heart and spin this thing forward.

With Obama finally in charge, I asked, what do you think he can learn from Clinton?

For starters, “He needs her worse than she needs him,” Dunn said. That much is clear in Obama’s remarks leading up to the June 3 primaries. Obama knows Clinton made his a race worth running. Each time he scored a win, she was there, beating him at the next one. He could never take her for granted.

Obama told national news media of a phone conversation he had with Clinton. “I emphasized to her what an extraordinary race that she’s run and said that there aren’t too many people who understand exactly how hard she’s been working. I’m one of ’em because she and I have been on this same journey together, and I told her that once the dust settled I was looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing.”

Dunn believes Clinton can advise Obama on how to win over the Rust Belt states—the working class voters she impressed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan. Political cartoonists had a field day lampooning Clinton for the “brats, shots and beer” persona she played up in those states. But it worked. “They’re called the ‘Reagan Democrats’ for a reason,” Dunn said. “They have felt that the Democratic Party left them behind in the ’80s. Obama has to win those states to beat McCain in November. Sen. Clinton knows how to do that.”

He needs her on health care, Dunn said. She can help him stay on message about the miserable economy and, as gas prices climb to $5 a gallon, the lack of any sound energy policy from Bush that combines innovation and conservation.

After this week, the Obama juggernaut should be unstoppable (while not in Utah, at least nationally). He did a fine job. And Hillary Clinton helped make it so.

 
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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // June 9,2008 at 04:09 ABC.nAnybody But Clinton.nNot because she’s a woman.nBecause she’s Hillary Clinton.nWe don’t need Joe Lieberman in a pantsuit in the White House.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // June 5,2008 at 18:38 Bill, thanks for sharing the above. Really good.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // June 5,2008 at 12:37 As the presidential primary season ended Tuesday and two fine-tuned, road-tested, presidential juggernauts (with supporters at least as passionate as Donald Dunn, who has been an unrelenting force in Utah for President Clinton and Sen. Clinton for more than a decade) are joining forces; as the president’ former spokesman confirmed what his harshest critics have been saying for six years; as Karl Rove, a “political genius” from Utah whose legacy is a GOP in shambles, prepared to testify before Congress; and as their presumptive nominee John McCain struggled (Even after locking up the Republican nomination, nearly a third of Republican voters in Idaho last week voted for another Republican candidate. Nearly 38,000 voters came out for another candidate, 6 percent voting uncommitted and 24 percent supporting Ron Paul), our Republican friends have every reason to be dismayed and disheartened.nnThey’re worried that the country is heading toward a very bad place they don’t want it to go: An election every bit as transformational as the 1980 election, across the country but also in Utah. Their Republican Revolution has ended (although it may take several election cycles for a Democratic majority to emerge in Utah). They’re in a funk.nnWell, cheer up Republicans!nnMichael Moore, who brought us “Farenheit 9/11” and “Sicko,” has a pledge he’d like to make to Republicans because he values them as fellow Americans. They deserve to know what Democrats plan to do with their newfound power - and, to be specific, what they will do to Republicans and for Republicans.nnHere’ his Liberal’ Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives: nnDear conservatives and Republicans, nn1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you unpatriotic simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us.nn2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be different or immoral. Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love -- it’s a wonderful gift.nn3. We will not spend your grandchildren’s money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It’s your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you. nn4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie. nn5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we’ll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too. nn6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water. nn7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you. nn8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived. nn9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren’t much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours. nn10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you -- and your employees -- that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too. nn11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don’t put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs (Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the peacemakers, Love your enemies, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn’t just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism -- starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world. nn12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition. nnI promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans - and for the rest of the world.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // June 5,2008 at 12:26 Ms. Mullen,nYou didn’t mention that she voted for war authorization in 2002.nEven a non-political guy like me realized at the time that invading Iraq was about politics and defense contractor graft.nnMrs. Clinton has an eerie, Bush-like quality of not admitting mistakes.

 

REPLY TO THIS COMMENT
Posted // June 5,2008 at 07:29 to c.cardon. Some years back, Holly married Ted Wilson, former SLC Mayor.nnIt was a vicious, unwarranted comment. I’ve never known Holly to trade on that connection. In the marketplace of ideas, particularly as represented in her former column in the Trib and her editorship of the CW, her incisive mind, good writing skills, and informed perspective got her where she is. And I say that as a conservative that disagrees with her about 60% of the time.nnAs for the original column, I disagree with Holly’s assessment. Hillary would be too independent and agenda minded to work well as a VP. And having Bill Clinton as the spouse of the VP would be a train wreck for Obama’s administration, if he wants to avoid loose cannons during his 4-8 years.

 

 
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