Hillary And Barack And The Politics Of If Only

Posted by | August 22, 2011 10:17 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

I supported then-Senator Obama over Senator Clinton from pretty early on in 2008.  I believed that Obama would be the more effective candidate in the general election and that Clinton was too aggressive on foreign policy.  Now, as the president’s approval ratings sag (temporarily I believe), many are pining for what might have been.  This is silly as Clinton supporter Rebecca Traister writes.

Rather than reveling in these flights of reverse political fancy, I find myself wanting the revisionist Hillary fantasists — Clintonites and reformed Obamamaniacs alike — to just shut up already.

I understand the impulse to indulge in a quick “I told you so.” I would be lying if I said I didn’t think it sometimes. Maybe often. But to say it — much less to bray it — is small, mean, divisive and frankly dishonest. None of us know what would have happened with Hillary Clinton as president, no matter how many rounds of W.W.H.H.D. (What Would Hillary Have Done) we play.

Things would have been different under Clinton but not better for Democrats.  Traister goes on to point out that Clinton might have gotten more of a stimulus passed but at the price of health care reform.  This is not to say that the Secretary of State would have been a bad president, I think she would have been a good one, much as I think President Obama has done a very good job.  But thinking things would have been electorally different is naive and guilty of “grass is always greener” thinking that Democrats love.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

Leave a Reply