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Conservative Republican Males for Hillary '08

HillaryclintonSince I like to "geek out" on office politics, one of my "governmentally" political friends asked me the other day whom I was favoring in the 2008 Presidential race.  Since he knew I'd been a registered Republican since I started voting (never mind what year that was), I think he was more than a little shocked when I told him that, if I had to vote right now ... today ... that in my opinion, the "best man" for the job was Hillary Clinton.

I guess I should explain here.  Let's put all pet projects and political platforms aside.  After all, the president (more or less) is still at the mercy of the whims of a very fickle Congress.  So, that being thrown out, the issue of party is no longer as relevant for me.  In this sea of mediocre candidates, we're looking at a bunch of people who basically think Bush stinks.  I'll admit, I've been less than enthralled by some of the antics of the Bush administration.  Granted, he was better than the alternatives in either 2000 or 2004, but still... there are a lot of things leaving many of us scratching our collective heads.  OK, so none of the candidates like W.  No big differentiators there.  And it's really not a great platform... "I'm better than the last guy."

Since I'm a business consultant, let's approach this using basic business principles.  The mood in America right now is hungering for something different.  And the current business benchmark for "different" would be Seth Godin's Purple Cow premise (those that stick out from the crowd are more likely to be noticed).  As a nation, we've always been run by older-middle-aged white males.  If we are to seek the "purple cow" in this election, that leaves two candidates:  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.  Sorry to say it, but Barack is too purple (and I'm not talking race, either).  Candidates with unusual names do not get elected (yes, Tancredo, that includes you, too.)  In our minds, we already know what "President Clinton" sounds like; it's a title-name combo we can get our brains around.  Also, she "looks" more presidential than many of the other candidates.  So, from a marketing standpoint, Clinton wins.

Now, let's take it from an HR standpoint.  The only person in this entire sea of candidates who has any experience in the White House is... um... Hillary.  She's been there.  She's lived it.  Granted her role was "First Lady" but you can bet that she knew what was going on.  Amazingly enough, she still wants the job.  Everyone else is a governor or a senator or ... well... miscellaneous.  If I were to hire a CEO, I'd want somebody who's been in the corner office before - on the same scale of company as mine.  Sure, the Clintons have skeletons, but none of them are in the closet anymore.  They're all out on display.  Bill is a philandering, skirt-chasing lug.  And... people who cross the Clintons wind up in jail or the morgue (sorry for the reminder, Webster).  These are known flaws.  But the fact remains:  they're KNOWN.  Yeah, Mitt Romney has nice hair... but what is he hiding?

Office politics are pretty much the same thing.  You can try to read the people around you, analyze them, discuss them, pontificate about them.  But in the end, it's a crap shoot and you hope you can trust the person you pick for your team.  After all... there are some really good actors out there (but we're not talking about Fred Thompson).  There are more than twelve months before I have to cast my ballot.  A lot can happen between now and then.  But since I was asked...

(Oh, and the scary thing is... I'm not the only Republican who's thinking this way.)


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Janet Green

Wow, Tim, this was interesting reading but I can't even begin to count the ways in which I disagree with your conclusions! LOL Hillary may have experience in the White House - but it's all been BAD experience, ranging from failed attempts at policymaking to breaches of public trust to stolen public property. I do not believe that's the kind of experience that should be rewarded, just because it's "experience". That's as bad as me saying I'd vote for her just because she's a woman, regardless of whether we share any values or opinions. I know the Republican field is pretty uninspiring, but this is one Republican who will NOT cast a vote to put Hillary in the White House again. She does not deserve the opportunity, purple cow or not. ~ Janet

ann michael

Tim - I find it interesting that none of your argument discusses her policies or views and why or if they are "purple cow" worthy. Remarkable isn't just about appearances. I love Barack. I don't care about his name (it's kind of cool actually), but IMHO he doesn't have enough experience to be the President. Come back in 8 years though, and he'd be a serious contender in my book (if in that time he also developed a hard stance on SOMETHING!).

However, I applaud that you are not a "party line" voter. I'm not either. I've been registered at times as both Republican or Democrat (just to vote in the primaries). I've voted for candidates in both parties. Party affiliation is meaningless - it's all about the person in front of you, what they can do, and how successful they can be.

I don't care the Hilary is female. I don't care that she's a sharp dresser and has a air of confidence. I need to learn more about the Republicans, but as of today, she'd have my vote too!

Bob McIlree

Like you, I am a conservative white male who typically votes Republican. Like you, I am deeply dissatisfied with Bush's performance and the takeover of the GOP by the far right, which to me is as bad as being taken over by the far left. Like you, I don't see any inspiring candidates on the GOP side of the house, nor do I think that we're going to get one this time around.

Unlike you, Hillary Rodham Clinton fairly shouts out one thing to me should she be elected president: disaster.Let's take a really critical issue that I'm passionate about: healthcare. Hillary claims that she 'learned a lot' from the 1992 debacle that she championed, but it appears evident that the only thing she learned from that is how to more properly apply lipstick to a pig to make it 'sell' better. Politicians either don't realize that there will be more than one 'fix' needed to solve the healthcare debacle in this nation, not one, and not one command-and-controlled by Mother Government.

No other issue has the potential not only to leave a lot of poeple sick and untreated, but to bankrupt the nation as well. She is completely unqualified to do that based on the past, and giving her another trip to the plate leads to one result: disaster.

Finally, think about being ruled by Clintonistas for not just 8 years, but potentially for 16, with the 8 years of GW Bush in between. Doesn't make me rest easy - at all.

Tom Haskins

Great analysis Tim! You've expanded my ability to make a wise choice by combining the obvious political choices with marketing and H/R criteria. Very creative! Thanks for writing this! I guess this post is a purple cow - look at all the cars stopping by the fence :-)

Jeff Hutton

Tim, are you sure you're a Republican? There's nothing wrong with actually admitting you're a closet moderate Democrat with liberal leanings.

Claire Celsi

Tim, I've always liked you and now I can honestly say that you are my favorite republican. Thank you for giving Hillary an honest and fair reading and not just reciting the party line. Not only is she "purple" but she is smart, tough and fair. Among other great things. If you would like to caucus for her, don't hestitate. Just change your registration at the door and you can change it back later.

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