I would much prefer that someone else run on the Democratic ticket for the presidency in 2016, and not Hillary Clinton.
And my personal opinion is not at all based on the job she did as a previous First Lady, as a Senator from New York, or as the Secretary of State --- or her Benghazi "talking points" that has distracted too many of us from the more pressing issues that currently plagues our nation.
Nor does my opinion have anything at all to do with "Filegate", "Travelgate", the Clinton's multi-million-dollar blind trust or her support for bailing out the banks. I don't believe she should run simply because of her husband Bill. Although she might be the "better half" in her marriage, she would only be "the better of two evils" in the next presidential election.
Let's be honest, George W. Bush was a total disaster; but was his Democratic predecessor really all that much better? Sure, after 8 long years of George W. Bush, ANYBODY might seem better, even Bill Clinton. But has everybody forgotten all the harm that Bill Clinton has also caused this country?
And as a supporter of President Obama, even if he were allowed to run for a third term (like FDR), I can't say for sure I'd vote for him either. He too has surrendered too much to corporate interests, such as agreeing to more trade agreements and not prosecuting the bankers (and on many other issues). He's only had one good successful veto: The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010. Other than that, Obama has NOT delivered on his promise of "change". While although he "talks the talk", Obama has carried a very little stick (more like a tiny twig).
But if Obama could run for a third term, and if he were running against Mitt Romney or John McCain again, I would DEFINITELY have to go with Obama, especially if that was my only choice, but for no other reason.
I believe that for decades, greed, dishonesty, dishonor and corruption has run rampant in both major parties of our political system. And it has only gotten worse with Citizens United and super PACs. And if one isn't corrupt when first elected to office, they usually become quickly corrupted by those that are already in office and gaming the system. At the State and Federal level they are bribed by campaign donors and lobbyists to pass laws (that lobbyists write) so that the most wealthy and powerful individuals and corporations in this country don't have to break any laws to obtain their desired results. The tax code is but one of many examples.
And I'm not just being cynical, I'm only looking back at recent history. And if you agree, and you don't think that Bill Clinton was the perfect president, then why would you believe that his wife would be any better?
Let's take a short walk down Memory Lane...
The Draft Dodger
To avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War during his college years, Bill Clinton used the political influence of a U.S. Senator, who employed him as an aide. Col. Eugene Holmes, an Army officer who was involved in Clinton's case, issued a notarized statement during the 1992 presidential campaign: "I was informed by the draft board that it was of interest to Senator Fullbright's office that Bill Clinton, a Rhodes Scholar, should be admitted to the ROTC program. I believe that he purposely deceived me, using the possibility of joining the ROTC as a ploy to work with the draft board to delay his induction and to get a new draft classification." Although legal, Clinton's actions were criticized by conservatives and Vietnam veterans during his presidential campaign in 1992.
Clinton made it one of his goals as president to pass trade legislation that lowered the barriers to trade with other nations. He broke with many of his supporters, including labor unions, and those in his own party to support free-trade legislation. Opponents had argued that lowering tariffs and relaxing rules on imports would cost American jobs because people would buy cheaper products from other countries.
Following diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1986 among the US, Canada and Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed on December 17, 1992. George H. W. Bush had spearheaded and promoted the agreement, and had worked to "fast track" the signing prior to the end of his term --- but he had ran out of time. It was later ratified by Congress and Bill Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993. It went into effect on January 1, 1994. Clinton had stated: "NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement." (How many jobs have since went to Mexico so far?)
In November of 1993, David Hale had claimed that while Bill Clinton was still governor of Arkansas, he had pressured Hale to provide an illegal $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal, the partner of the Clintons in the Whitewater land deal. An investigation by the SEC did not result in a conviction of Bill and Hillary Clinton due to "insufficient evidence". But Bill Clinton's successor as Arkansas Governor was convicted for his role in the real estate fraud, and served time in prison. Susan McDougal later served 18 months in prison for contempt of court for refusing to answer any questions relating to Whitewater. (She was later granted a pardon by Bill Clinton).
Cigars and Pizza
In 1998 the House voted to impeach Clinton, based on allegations that Clinton had lied about his relationship with a 22-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky after the Starr Report was submitted. The two charges against Clinton were for perjury and obstruction of justice.
The perjury charge arose from Clinton's testimony about his relationship to Lewinsky during a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
The obstruction charge was based on his actions during the subsequent investigation of that testimony. (Can you understand Bill Clinton's double-talk?)
"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement. Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true."
Bill Clinton's silly and foolish double talk fooled no one, especially his wife Hillary. Many other wives (after all the public humiliation) might have left their husbands under similar circumstances. But Hillary, unlike John Edwards' or Mark Sanford's wives, put her self-respect aside and stayed with her husband. (Many people had credited Hillary for her "strength" during this difficult period of time in her marriage, but she had many more better reasons for staying than she did for leaving.)
China (Before the Hacking
The Clinton administration negotiated a total of about 300 trade agreements with other countries. Clinton's last treasury secretary, Lawrence Summers (who was also the director of the National Economic Council for Obama until November 2010), stated that the lowered tariffs that resulted from Clinton's trade policies were technically "the largest tax cut in the history of the world."
In the last year of his presidency Bill Clinton called on Congress to help him change China’s normal trade relations status with the U.S. to "permanent". The legislation was introduced to the house as H.R. 4444 on May 15, 2000 by Bill Archer, a republican Representative from Texas. Later Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) passed the House and Senate, and Bill Clinton signed it into law, granting PNTR to China and opening the way for the landmark US-China trade agreement --- and China's accession to the World Trade Organization. While job growth has always been touted during Bill Clinton's term in office, since signing the trade agreement with China, between 2000 and 2010, the U.S. has lost over 56,000 manufacturing facilities due to massive outsourcing.
Banks Over People
In 1999 Bill Clinton de-regulated the big banks by signing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which was also sponsored by a Republican from Texas (Senator Phil Gramm) --- and this bill was blamed for causing the financial meltdown and the subsequent housing crash during the latter part of George W. Bush's term in office.
And to put icing on the cake for the big bankers (and the most wealthy people in America), Bill Clinton also lowered the capital gains tax rate (the largest driver of inequality in the U.S.), lowering the rate from 28% to 20% --- before George W. Bush later lowered them again to 15% in 2003.
Clinton issued 141 pardons and 36 commutations on his last day in office on January 20, 2001. Most of the controversy surrounded Marc Rich (a multi-millionaire tax dodger with off shore bank accounts) and allegations that Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh Rodham, accepted bribes in return for influencing Bill Clinton's decision-making regarding the pardons. That, and many other Clinton pardons, still remain a point of controversy today.
After George W. Bush was elected, Bill Clinton spoke at his alma mater, Georgetown University on November 7th, 2001. Two days after the speech, Clinton submitted his resignation from the Supreme Court Bar, just hours before the deadline to disbar him. This was the culmination of the scandal in which he lied under oath about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
And now we have the Clinton Global Initiative, with the stated mission to "strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence." When I read that, I thought of globalization and the outsourcing of good American jobs to China, India and Mexico. (Imagine the crowds in the background shouting "USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!" when Bill Clinton was a guest on the Colbert Report.)
That was the Clinton legacy...
Now the Democrats want the Clintons BACK in the White House --- they want Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016. Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Do we really want another Clinton in the White House? Just how far does the apple fall from the tree?
"Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them." Maybe it's true, and Americans really do have short attention spans and they really do have short memories. So maybe they do deserve who they vote for in 2016 (such as those Tea Party radicals currently in the House).
I'm sick and tired of having to choose between "the better of two evils". Personally, I would like to see Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alan Grayson on the 2016 presidential ticket. But the powerful political machinery of the Democratic and Republican parties forces good people like this out of the mainstream political process --- alienating them and branding them as "radical".
We need a third party, a stand-alone Progressive Party, because too many Democrats (just like the Republicans) vote against the average American worker's best interests --- such as NOT raising the minimum wage, the watering-down of the Dodd-Frank bill and their nefarious ties to Big Oil.
We need new people (or new blood) in the White House --- not people like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush --- not the same old stale and corrupted dynasties from days past.
And if Hillary Clinton ever were to run for President (and lost), or if she doesn't run at all, like many other politicians after they leave public office, she might just end up being another lobbyist (for which she has many ties).
But if I only had a choice between Hillary Clinton and someone else, such as Mitt Romney, then of course I would prefer Bill Clinton's wife --- but only because she'd be the better of two evils.
* As an aside: If John F. Kennedy had lived, he stood to inherit his father’s $1 billion fortune. In today's dollars, George Washington would be worth more than $500 million and would be our richest president ever. Thomas Jefferson ranked #2 with a net worth of $212 million in today's dollars.
The only currently living president who makes the list is Bill Clinton, who now has an estimated net worth of between $55 and $80 million. Hillary Clinton has an estimated net worth of $21 million, which she mostly earned while serving as U.S. Secretary of State under the President Barack Obama. The Clinton's have done very well over the years under our current economic and tax system --- polices that they both helped shaped.
Here are some other Vietnam War draft dodgers that also became multi-millionaires: Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Karl Rove, Sean Hannity, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney (I'm unsure of Clarence Thomas' or Pat Buchanan's net worth.)