By: Cody Boteler, Senior Editor
(Apologies for anyone looking for The Climate Corner. Regular programming will resume next week.)
It’s been awhile since my byline has appeared under this banner. Normally, I like to focus on state-level elections in this column…but with the announcement on Sunday that Hillary Rodham Clinton is officially running for president (surprising nobody), I felt like I had to write something.
I am not quite ready for HRC to be the next president of the United States. I am not ready for her to breeze through a Democratic primary and then undergo a coronation on Election Day.
Yes, she is supremely qualified. I cannot think of that many people in the country’s politics that are as qualified or more so than her. She was a good senator and an excellent secretary of state.
Qualification, however, does not necessarily mean the best for the job – or that a job (especially the job of commander-in-chief) should be handed over without scrutiny.
Don’t get me wrong. If Clinton wins the Democratic primary, she’d crush the national election. It’d take a major scandal to bring her chances down. She’s got good favorability numbers, and it’d feel nice for a Democrat to have such a major victory nationwide.
Besides. There isn’t a single Republican who’s being taken seriously as a contender that I’d consider voting for. Republican primaries and the Tea Party have dragged the GOP way too far to the right.
Will I cast my first presidential vote for Hillary Clinton if she wins the primary? Almost definitely.
I’m not ready to say that Hillary will win the primary, however. I want the race to be vibrant. I want it to be difficult. I want some real progressive voices to be heard. I want and our country needs a competition.
I want HRC to have to give a firm answer on where she stands on the Keystone XL pipeline. I want her to have to defend her actions to expand fracking globally (or, better yet, I want to hear her apologize for it and admit that we have to do more for green energy).
Yes. It would be incredible to finally have a woman serve as president of the United States. Yes, Hillary Clinton has done a lot for women’s rights around the globe. She’s an inspiring figure. I’m not denying that.
But inspiring figures should not be handed the keys to the White House on the sole basis that they are an inspiring figure.
Clinton has a storied past that she should have to detail and explain. I wouldn’t feel comfortable voting for her unless she’s got to fight her way through the primary.
I want her to be challenged by Martin O’Malley and Joe Biden. I want Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders challenging her from the left.
If the 2016 general election is going to be yet another Clinton v. Bush adventure, I want both sides to have been thoroughly vetted.