Hillary Clinton again has been challenged by a surprisingly popular left-wing senator promising massive change.
The U.S. embraced change in 2008 and chose Obama. I myself switched from Clinton to Obama, even though such support had little meaning as I'm Canadian and didn't vote. With Obama elected president (as Clinton would also have been against McCain/Palin), I'd say the U.S. ended up getting pretty much the same kind of government that Clinton would've provided. On some major issues like Guantanamo, drone attacks in the Arab world, Wall Street, Obama's been no real change at all. Although Obama has a great liberal legacy with health care and hundreds of other initiatives. His crucial place in history is cemented as the first man of colour to win the U.S. presidency. He's going to be very popular in retirement.
I think Hillary's the better candidate this year. I just can't picture Bernie Sanders running the White House.
I like that Bernie Sanders has managed to get his very progressive causes (like universal health care, free university tuition, getting the odious amount of money out of U.S. politics) onto the political agenda. I can see why his message is so appealing. I was tempted to support him in this race, for maybe about a minute. Then I realized that Hillary is still the better candidate and shares many of the same policies. Sanders has pushed Clinton to the left and now looks likely to get many of these great ideas added to the Democratic Party's platform. That's a great thing!
But the Democratic party seems split between idealists and pragmatists. Hillary will want to bolster her populist appeal to disgruntled Caucasian voters and stop them from gravitating toward Trump in the fall. If Hillary's smart, and she is, she'll have to consider making Sanders her running mate to unite the party and help ensure his followers come out to vote for her. If not Sanders, someone else who will be sure to have great appeal with Sanders' supporters, like Elizabeth Warren perhaps, or someone with equal credibility with progressives.
But Clinton's VP choice will depend entirely on how the Republican convention goes first. I did hope that John Kasich would come on stronger but he keeps losing to Trump in the GOP primaries. Thus it does look like Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination. This is horrifying. We'll see if Cruz can miraculously snatch the nod on the convention room floor. We'll know better after the Indiana primary coming up soon if that's even possible.
If Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee (and after winning 4 out of 5 primaries Tuesday night, it looks pretty much certain now that she will be), it's probably a good idea for progressives backing Sanders and others to lay off the personal attacks on her. Those attacks have become more repetitive, even when information has refuted the claims. I think history shows that Clinton's a decent person working hard and is motivated here to help people and make a difference in people's lives. She's come a long way and I think she's ready for it. I like her better than Bernie Sanders. She's pragmatic. I also think the symbolic importance of a woman winning the White House is something to celebrate the world over.
To Bernie supporters, I say: "Hillary might not be your first choice, but against Trump, she's the best choice! Please come over when you're ready."