Been thinking about this for a long time, waiting to see if something would change my mind. Could still happen, but for now, I’m settled.
If the presidential primary were today, I’d vote for Hillary Clinton. With apologies to Bernie, to all of Bernie’s supporters in Vermont, and to those who believe theVPO is a “hyper-partisan, far left blog.”
Why Hillary? Glad you asked.
First and foremost, Clinton is much more electable than Bernie Sanders. The policy differences between them are less important to me than keeping the Republicans out of the White House. Especially with at least two Supreme Court seats likely to come open in the next five years. It’s just hard for me to see Bernie appealing to a national electorate, especially if the Republicans come to their senses, reject the absolute crazies, and nominate someone plausible like Jeb! or Rubio.
Clinton is the best person to take on the partisan snakepit of Washington. She’s been through the wars, over and over again. She can handle it. I believe she would accomplish more than a President Sanders, even though she’d have a less ambitious agenda.
Last Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd asked Bernie how he’d advance a Democratic Socialist agenda through a Congress that might still have Republican majorities. Bernie acknowledged that he couldn’t do it on his own — that he’d need a “political revolution” with masses of voters demanding change. Call me cynical, but I don’t see that happening. Most people can’t be bothered to do anything more than vote once every four years. Maybe a Sanders presidency would energize the masses, but I doubt it.
Gender definitely plays a role. When other factors are equal, I’ll vote for the female candidate because women are so grossly under-represented in American politics. There is value in having a woman President, in terms of personal connection to gender issues and in sheer symbolic terms. The more glass ceilings we can break, the better.