Omakase

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sen. Clinton: "I'm running on 35 years of change."

Senator Clinton is trying to fuse her main tagline (experience) with what voters are asking for (change). Let's scrutinize her "35 years of change" from age 25 to today (60).

I'll fuse several biased and unbiased view of HRC's life into one timeline for you to decide if she's an agent of change (feel free to skip the detail to see the summary at the bottom). My sources for this analysis are:

wikipedia
NYT: "Milestones: Hillary Clinton"
Online study guide: "Life History of Hillary Clinton"
"Arkansas connections" - anti-Clinton website


1973: graduates Yale law school; does post-graduate study on children & medicine; turns down Bill Clinton's request to marry him.
1974: serves on Nixon impeachment inquiry staff, House Judiciary Committee
1974: fails Washington, DC bar exam.
1974: moves to Arkansas to take a position on the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Law
1975: marries Bill Clinton
1977: joins the Rose law firm. Her primary focus is patent and intellectual property law, but her primary clients become banking and business ventures of political cornies (Jim McDougal, etc.) Also performs pro bono child advocacy work.
1977: starts 'Arkansas Advocates for for Children and Families.
1977: appointed to the Board of the Legal Services Corporation, a Congress-funded vehicle to provide legal services to the poor. Eventually served as Chairperson of the Board
1978: buys "Whitewater" land in the Ozark mountains
1978: turns $1,000 cattle futures investment into $100,000 in 10 months.
1978: becomes first lady of Arkansas
1979: named a partner at Rose law firm.
1979: makes $44,000 on a $2,000 investment in a cell phone franchise
1979: lobbies on behalf of the Nicaragaun Contras
1980: daughter Chelsea born.
1981: no longer first lady of Arkansas with Bill Clinton's electoral defeat.
1981: writes "If Reaganomics works at all, Whitewater could become the Western Hemisphere's Mecca."
1983: first lady of Arkansas again.
1983: named Arkansas woman of the year.
1984: named Arkansas mother of the year.
1988: named as one of the most influential lawyers in America
1993: First lady of the USA. She becomes the first First lady to ever be subject of a criminal investigation, and first to be subpoenaed
1993: Initiates what becomes the White House travel offices scandal. Fires 7 longtime WH employees with charges of mismanagement and embezzlement with the intent to outsource business to an Arkansas campaign supporter.
1994: authors Clinton Health Care plan developed in secret with Ira Magaziner. Thankfully, this single-payer approach is quickly shelved. As the plan was exposed, HRC's approval rating as First Lady fell to 35% - the lowest ever recorded for a First Lady. Opposition to the plan became a centerpiece of the Republican's 1994 Congressional election, and the Republicans picked up 53 seats in the midterm election.
1996: Publishes "It Takes a Village."
1996: appears before the Whitewater grand jury
1996: in a TV interview, says that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mt Everest. However, Clinton was born 6 years before Hillary summitted Everest, when Edmund Hillary was working as a beekeepper.
1997: helped establish SCHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program) and the Adoption and Safe Families Act.
1998: on the Today Show, attributes the Lewinsky controversy to a "vast right-wing conspiracy."
2000: runs for US Senate
2001: Senator from NY
Senate record: characterized by her votes on important issues, but virtually no iniatives of her own; voted for war in Iraq and the Patriot Act; supported military action in Afghanistan; voted against Bush tax cuts; called for the FTC to investigate sex scenes in a video game; voted against prohibition of same-sex marriages
2006: wins re-election to the US Senate
2007: Democratic candidate for President
2007: disclosed that the Clinton's net worth is in excess of $50,000,000

dates uncertain or ranges::
1985-1992: served on TCBY's board of directors. (Yes, the yogurt store.)
1986-1992: served on Wal-Mart's board of directors.
'80's: chair of Arkansas 'Rural Health Advisory Committee'
'80's: chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee, by which a statewide system of teacher testing was installed
1987-1991: chaired American Bar Association's Commission on Women in the Profession.
1986-1992: chaired Children's Defense Fund.
'90's (as First Lady): advocated many health initiatives (more mammogran and prostate cancer testing, etc.)

Summary:
15 years as a corporate lawyer
heavily involved with corporate interests and definitely some very shady people and deals.
19 years as First Lady of Arkansas or the USA
6 years as a US Senator without much impact.
consistent and prominent voice for children and families

In conclusion: not only can I not see anything close to 35 years of change, I really don't see much of an impact in 35 years. Can anyone argue otherwise?

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