I am enthusiastically neutral among all our fine Democratic candidates — knowing that whichever one gets the nomination will be miles ahead (in my view) of the Republican. As noted a couple of weeks ago, that’s not blind partisanship; it’s recognition that their nominee would appoint Supreme Court justices like Bush 41 / 43 appointees Thomas, Roberts, and Alito; where ours would appoint justices like Clinton / Obama appointees Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor. And that their nominee would favor the powerful and wealthy at a time when the pendulum has already swung too far their way.
- During the 12 Bush years, net private-sector job creation totaled just 747,000 — versus 19.6 million during the Clinton years and 8.5 million so far under Obama — or 12.8 million if you don’t count the first few horrific months he inherited. So that’s: 747,000 jobs under the 12 most recent years of Republican leadership, as deficits ballooned*; 30 million under the 14.5 most recent years of Democratic leadership, as deficits were brought back under control.**
- Invested in the S&P 500 only during Republican administrations since 1929, and excluding dividends, $10,000 would have grown to only about $12,000 — versus about $600,000 if invested only during Democratic administrations.
So if any of our candidates is unfairly characterized in one way or another (as I think Kerry was, when he was swift-boated or Gore was on multiple fronts), I’ll be eager to offer my two cents — or, in this case, yours:
Tom: “I worked for many years at Reader’s Digest, on the business side. In 2005, the CEO, who was my boss, decided to re-institute a longstanding tradition of inviting politicians to a lunch at our ‘guest house’ on the campus. And thus he invited Hillary Clinton, our senator at the time (and neighbor just down the road in Chappaqua). As I recall there were only eight of us including Hillary and one of her aides. She spent three full hours with us and was amazingly impressive. Her grasp of policy down to the detail (she had a better handle on New Orleans geography, in this post-Katrina time, than my boss, who was from Louisiana), her openness, her passion, her wisdom, were all on display as we moved from topic to topic, driven solely by our questions. And beyond that, she was very gracious, easy to share a laugh, relaxed, the whole bit. Of the six of us Readers Digest-types on the management team who were there, I believe four were Democrats and two Republicans. I’m not sure who was more impressed among us, but the GOP guys were raving about her after the lunch. Whenever I read stories about how Hillary’s closest friends ‘wish everyone knew Hillary as they did,’ I think of that lunch. Perhaps the punchline is, I wasn’t gaga from then on. I voted for Obama ultimately. I thought he was the more inspiring leader of the two. But I still think that Hillary has what it takes to be a great President, easily.”
Bernie anecdotes, plugs for O’Malley, Webb, or Chafee welcome as well. As much as it matters which of our folks gets the nod, it matters 100 times more which party’s candidate wins the general election.
That didn’t used to be the case. But with the Republican Party now devoid of moderates — 17 candidates and not one moderate — it is now.
Have a great week-end!
*Including the $1.5 trillion “2009” deficit for the fiscal year that began four months before Obama even took office.
**Clinton left Bush a surplus. And under Obama the deficit has been cut more than two-thirds, such that the National Debt is back to shrinking relative to GDP.
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