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Yes, this is a response diary.  But it will be long enough to stand on its own.  Every here is going crazy for a diary entitled I Refuse to By Into the Obama Hype.  It purports to compare Hillary's Senate record to Obama's and concludes Obama's is superior.  Why? Two reasons. First, in the diarist's opinion his bills are better.  Second his bills have more sponsors than hers, and that demonstrates "leadership."   Excuse me, but, well bullshit.  "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things.  As in, pass laws.  Can we look at what they both actually achieved?  

Neither Senator, to date, sponsored legislation that passed into law in the 110th Congress.  However, Clinton sponsored the only legislation between the two that passed both houses, and is awaiting signature.  That is Senate Bill 694,passed in the House as H.R. 1216, and is a bill to regulate safety of children around cars.  There have been a couple of heartfelt diaries about this one, and it was GREAT work.  The score for the 110th Congress? Clinton 1, Obama 0.

Okay, on the 109th Congress.  

Clinton bills passed as law:

S.272 : A bill to designate certain National Forest System land in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Personally, I have no opinion on that one, knowing nothing about the Puerto Rican national forest.

S.1283 : A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a program to assist family caregivers in accessing affordable and high-quality respite care, and for other purposes.

This is a good bill.  It authorizes grants and other funds to people with adults or children in need of respite care.  This includes hospice care, chronically ill, mentally retarded, and developmentally disabled children and adults, and allows people to be cared for in their homes, instead of in other facilities.

Okay, Obama's turn.

S.2125 : A bill to promote relief, security, and democracy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It's a good bill.  It authorized money to the Republic of Congo, and authorizes withholding of funds in certain circumstances, both from Congo and from nations around it.

That's it for the 109th Congress. Excluding ceremonial statutes, the score seems to be 2-1 for Hillary, a fairly inconsequential difference.  Obama's is international, which would seem to cut against the claim that is where he is weakest.  Hillary's is domestic, assisting in one of the difficult and tragic times a family can face.  Score it however you want.

Now for the 108th Congress.  From here out we can only look at Hillary, because Obama wasn't there yet.  

S.1425 : A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to reauthorize the New York City Watershed Protection Program.

The title of this one seems pretty self-explanatory, and this bill is a good thing.

That's it for 108.  As the previous diarist noted, it's actually pretty darned hard to get legislation through both Houses.

107th Congress

S.1422 : A bill to provide for the expedited payment of certain benefits for a public safety officer who was killed or suffered a catastrophic injury as a direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Again, self-explanatory, and this was a Senator truly taking care of the heroes and their families in her State.

S.1622 : A bill to extend the period of availability of unemployment assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in the case of victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

This is another bill to help New Yorkers after 9/11.  

S.2496 : A bill to provide for the establishment of investigative teams to assess building performance and emergency response and evacuation procedures in the wake of any building failure that has resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential of substantial loss of life, and for other purposes.

Again, Clinton showed REAL leadership after 9/11, not just play-acting standing on rubble leadership.

What is the conclusion from this?  Well, I'm not really sure. Hillary has certainly been in the Senate longer.  There can be little doubt she showed REAL leadership after 9/11, something often talked about but rarely seen.  It is also pretty clear that Obama really does have some chops in foreign affairs, at least in Africa, and that Hillary really does have serious chops when it comes to our most vulnerable, children and disabled or dying adults.  Beyond that, though, any attempt to compare their legislative record based upon co-sponsors or the words of an act becomes an exercise in partisanship.  You might think one bill is better because it seems broader, but its broadness to me shows naivete and an inability to focus legislation sufficiently to get it passed.  You might think more sponsors shows "leadership," while I might think it shows weakness and the need for others.  Alternatively, I might think it shows a strength, a refusal to back down from principles to make the necessary compromises to get people to join you.  STOP!  I know you are chomping at the bit to refute that last sentence.  If you are, you are missing the point, which is, quite simply, that any such comparisons are, BY DEFINITION, partisan and not, as so many seem to believe, unbiased.

As for bills sponsored but not passed, they both have hundreds, including ceremonial bills. BOTH have ceremonial bills.  The diarist in the other diary chose certain bills to compare.  I could choose others, and the comparison would go the other way.  At least in part, I would question the propriety of using the 110th Congress, rather than the 109th, since both were in full campaign-mode the whole time.  But again, that leaks partisanship into the conversation and I am truly trying to avoid that.

Just for fun, here is one such comparison. Do with it what you will.  I use it because the previous diarist claimed to be far more impressed with Obama's health care legislation than Clinton's.

Obama sponsored A bill to make grants to carry out activities to prevent the incidence of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among teens in racial or ethnic minority or immigrant communities, and for other purposes.  I got two co-sponsors, and provided grants, but just addressed to black and latino teens.  Hillary sponsored A bill to expand access to preventive health care services that help reduce unintended pregnancy, reduce the number of abortions, and improve access to women's health care.  It, too, had two co-sponsors. It was, quite simply, better legislation.  It not only addressed pregnancy among ALL teens, it also addressed availability of birth control, assistance in rape emergencies, accuracy in contraceptive information, and equality for women in insurance for prescriptions.  Using the same standard as the previous diarist, comprehensiveness of the bill, Clinton's is far superior.  Does it matter?  Well, no.  Neither passed.  Maybe Obama's was better, because it was more likely to pass, being better focused.  Maybe Clinton's was better because of its breadth.  Ultimately, neither one passed, hence neither was demonstrated actual SUCCESS in legislation or leadership.  To claim otherwise is to participate in an exercise is partisanship, not an exploration of honesty.

Both Senators have sponsored bills.  Both Senators have passed bills.  I post this not to attack Obama (and I sincerely hope I have not), but to attempt to inject just a bit of reality into the celebration of Obama that Daily Kos' front page and Recommended Diaries section has become.

And now, watch it scroll away.

Originally posted to Palate Press: The online wine magazine on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, quips, and sticks in the eye (28+ / 0-)

    because that's how it's done.

    If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

    by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:18:34 AM PST

  •   "Leadership comes from getting people to (14+ / 0-)

    follow you" instead of join you. That kind of thinking clearly defines the difference in Barack and Hillary.

    JustAThoughtThatsAll.com

    by Steve Everett on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:22:38 AM PST

    •  Crap, you beat me to it. See my comment below n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steve Everett

      Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

      by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 06:24:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup (0+ / 0-)

      it is the difference between throwing a party and leading a parade.  I don't care how many people will sit in the room and chat with you, if they won't follow you out the door at the end of the conversation, you are not leading.  Lead, you see, has meaning- "To be ahead or at the head of."  (citation below).

      If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

      by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 07:08:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At Least We've Moved Beyond (9+ / 0-)

    "Obama is all rhetoric and no substance".

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:27:39 AM PST

  •  People and communities have a certain ethos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philoguy, onanyes, leonard145b

    certain likes and dislikes, and certain points of view, shaped by their experiences.

    The DKos community by and large likes Obama better than HRC. It, like MyDD or the DLC, is under no obligation to remain neutral. It has a certain history which shapes it's outlook. By and large, Dkosers do not appreciate triangulation, waffling or parsing; neither do they like the wing of the democratic party that refuses to yield power to the grassroots.

    Therefore, by and large, Dkos likes Obama better than HRC. Deal with it.

    These provinces shouldn't even be "states":AL, AK, CO, CT, DE, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, LA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NE, ND, SC, UT, VA, WA, WI

    by Mr Bula on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:28:10 AM PST

    •  How is this attack (9+ / 0-)

      even slightly responsive to this diary?  And what do you mean "deal with it"?  Do you mean I must not post diaries that say anything other than "Obama is great"?  Am I not allowed to question diaries, or to post something from another point of view?  I know this place had a preference, but I was not aware it passed new rules.  If it has, show me, and I will "deal with it."  If it has not, then you, sir, are the one who must "deal with it."  If this is the sort of response a Hillary supporter gets for posting a factual and substantive diary, then you are actually making Obama and his supporters look bad, not me.  Is your goal truly to leave such a bad taste it the mouth of a dedicated Democrat that I simply can not bring myself to push the button for Obama, no matter what my sig line might say?  Really, is that productive?

      If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

      by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:33:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  post diaries, quit the "woe is me" attitude (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        onanyes

        and the assumption that Obama fans just like him cuz he's cool

        These provinces shouldn't even be "states":AL, AK, CO, CT, DE, GA, ID, IL, IA, KS, LA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NE, ND, SC, UT, VA, WA, WI

        by Mr Bula on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:38:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama has kept his distance from the netroots. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Psychotronicman

      and he's waffled on a variety of issues like the move on ad.

      "It's a race to decide who the British goverment will follow blindly for the next 4 years" Kennedy/Kerry '08

      by Salo on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 07:01:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  whereas HRC (0+ / 0-)

        is the most straightforward politician in Washington and has always supported the netroots and grassroots party activism

        These provinces shouldn't even be "states":AL, AK, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, LA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NE, ND, SC, UT, VA, WA, WI

        by Mr Bula on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 07:10:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  she defended Move On... (0+ / 0-)

          in a very straighforward way...but as it stands Clinton really isn't Obama's opponent anymore, barring a scandal he only needs to keep it close form now on and he's won the nomination.

          "It's a race to decide who the British goverment will follow blindly for the next 4 years" Kennedy/Kerry '08

          by Salo on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 08:07:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The dailyKOS is suppose to be a blog (8+ / 0-)

    that demands critical thinking. With many new members we have developed a bias, and the truth is not always at the forefront.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:38:29 AM PST

  •  I'll say this (8+ / 0-)

    HRC has done some good things; many of which you have outlined.

    And you know what?  Believe it or not, people are voting for her; in Wisconsin she got 50,000 more votes than all of the Republicans, combined.

    Many of us (especially at the Kos) prefer Obama.  But there is certainly nothing wrong with making the case for HRC.

    I do take issue with this:

    "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things.

    No.  Leadership, especially in this day and age, does come with getting people to join you.  HRC takes the "top down, follow me" approach.  If one is to judge the primary votes, it appears that the "join with me" approach is more popular.

    Cooperation is the key to success, at least IMHO.

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 05:41:10 AM PST

  •  Hillary is wrong on the war and torture. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Bula

    Leadership isn't caving to Bush by voting for an Authorization to Use Military Force against Iraq, and then claiming that somehow she didn't really support the rush into war, that she was 'misled'. Leadership isn't about wiggling out exceptions to torture for imaginary cases.  Leadership isn't repeating the same mistake for Iran as she did for Iraq, voting for what Webb said was the "defacto AUMF for Iran".  Leadership isn't keeping cluster bombs in our arsenal so you can be strong on defense.  Leadership isn't being "against torture" but carving out exceptions.

  •  Did he really just type this... (5+ / 0-)

    "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things

    Wow, that is a pretty incredible statement(not to mention she doesn't even really have a following, at least compared to Obama), but i guess that is where the thoughts of an Obama supporter and a Clinton supporter differ...

  •  Rec'd for keepin' it real (9+ / 0-)

    Research - Wow!
    Once again, thanks so much dhonig.  

    •  I agree, Hillary is an Asset to the Party (5+ / 0-)

      and I also believe she should stay in the Senate putting out wonderful bills like the ones sited in this diary.  I do not believe, due to her stand on the war, that she'd be a good president.  She's a War Hawk.  She claims to represent the millions who can't speak -- but yet, what does she think of the 100,000+ women and children in Iraq who not only can't speak but were denied life due to her careless backing of Bush's march to war.  What's scary to me is that unlike Edwards, she's not admitted any regrets about this.  To the contrary, not more than 6 months ago she voted for Kyl-Lieberman (Obama was against) this horrible bill that Sen Webb said "has the danger of becoming a de facto authorization for military force against Iran."   She's gravely misguided when it comes to her positions on American aggression.

      •  Umm, try one MILLION (4+ / 0-)

        One million people died as a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Lancet came out with a new estimate about a month ago.  I don't have a link, but I'm sure TheGoogle could help you out.

        Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

        by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 06:26:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  why isn't this a bigger issue? (0+ / 0-)

          it seems people just have a single check-box about this:

          [ ]  Gets us out of Iraq

          It's just quite stunning to me that so much loss of life can be shrugged off.  I was in D.C. in the run-up to the AUMF.  No one, I mean NO ONE truly believed the media spin, it was there to sell the war to the American Public.  Everyone in D.C. knew it was about securing oil reserves, the Democrats were afraid that it'd be a quick in-and-out like 1992 and didn't want to be left out of the fun.  Hillary continues to support the concept of preemptive wars is the unsung tragedy, it's instead reduced to a procedural problem --that she was "lied" to.  Continuing to permote these sorts of militant powers 5 years later in kyl-lieberman is simply stunning.

          •  I think we're going to find out later (0+ / 0-)

            how much MORE important this issue was to Dem voters than Hillary or the Beltway crowd believed.  It was a big deal to Connecticut Dems in 2006 with Lieberman, I'm not sure why Hillary and her supporters fell into thinking that the Iraq War was "just another issue" that people could be softened up on by talking about health care.  Or something.

            Last summer you could see a whole bunch of Beltway pundits were imagining that the Iraq War was "fading" as an important topic to discuss.  But as Markos (or somebody) said, it wasn't that it was no longer important, it was just that the discussion was over- the vast majority of Americans (and a huuuuuge majority of Dems) want to get the hell out of Iraq, period.  Again, I don't understand why some Dems (and a lot of Hillary supporters) think that Iraq could be swept under the rug.

            It's a big deal, and I guess it will take some time for people to realize that (again).

            Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

            by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 08:45:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Not really sure I follow your premise (4+ / 0-)

    But my opinion is that a few years in the Senate really isn't a very good measure of how you would perform as President. It's pretty amazing to me that we will elect a Senator as President this year.

  •  Here ! I'll Settle The Argument . (0+ / 0-)

    I'm pimping today . Check this out ......

    http://8ackgr0und-n015e.dailykos.com/
    8ackgr0und N015e

  •  "Real leadership" (4+ / 0-)

    "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things.

    Actually, I think this is some serious wordsmithing, perhaps due to an elitism bias.  Or it could be a serious philosophical rift between the Clinton and Obama camps.  To wit- what's the difference between having people "join" you and having people "follow" you?  If we're all heading in the same direction with the same goals, what does it matter?

    Ah, but if you're an elitist, you believe deep down inside that somebody (maybe you) should be IN CHARGE, and everyone else should just STFU and do as you say...because you know better or something.

    But that's definitely NOT the way it's supposed to work in a democracy, the last 8 years notwithstanding.  Democracy is supposed to involve and empower the people, and the "leaders" of our government are supposed to be serving the public.

    I think the diarist let slip his elitism when he said "leadership means getting [i.e. forcing] people to follow [submit to] you."  That's not what I want in my government leaders.  I want them to follow us.

    Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

    by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 06:23:06 AM PST

    •  Nope (4+ / 0-)

      let me explain the difference.  The previous diary noted that Obama had a lot more co-sponsors than Clinton, for legislation that did not pass.  That's not leadership.

      If I can get a whole bunch of people to sit in a room with me and chat, I'm not leading.  I'm having a party. If, on the other hand, after the chat I get up to walk out of the room, and everybody stands up to walk out with me, THAT is leadership.  

      I am sorry you see this as some sort of "elitism," and perhaps I'm just terribly old-school, but I have always operated under the theory that words have meaning.  "Lead," for example, means "To be ahead or at the head of."  Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary, REvised Edition, p. 392.  One who leads shows "leadership."  You are not "leading" if you are WITH, rather than "ahead or at the head of."  See how that works?  

      As for your attempt to twist the words from "lead" to "submit," well that is just invalid.  It is your attempt to alter what I said, not to interpret it.

      If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

      by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 07:06:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see the contrast (0+ / 0-)

        you're trying to make here.  Are you saying Obama isn't showing "real leadership" because his legislation isn't passing, or because he's got lots of cosponsors?

        Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

        by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 08:39:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm saying (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy, nonnie9999, cumberland sibyl

          merely having lots of co-sponsors is not indicative of leadership.  Co-sponsorship comes for many reasons- deals cut (you sign mine and I'll sign yours), friendship, partisanship, etc.  I do not mean to demean it, but also refuse to elevate it. The real test of leadership is taking everybody who agrees with you and moving FORWARD to actual achievement.  

          If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

          by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 08:45:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So is it because his legislation (0+ / 0-)

            isn't passing that you think that Obama's not showing "real leadership?"

            Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

            by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:11:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              splashy, nonnie9999

              and I really can't tell if I'm explaining poorly or if you are being obtuse.  If it is the former, I apologize.  I will try one more time.  The failure to pass legislation is not necessarily indicative of a failure of leadership.  However, and this is what I am trying to say, the ability to attract co-sponsors in unsuccessful ventures is not necessarily indicative of leadership.

              Additionally, the whole premise is inaccurate.  Clinton proposed 150 bills and amendments in the 110th Congress, to date.  Of those, 42 had no cosponsors, 64 had 1-5 cosponsors, 29 had 6-10 cosponsors, 10 had 11-20 cosponsors, and 5 had 21-50 cosponsors.  Hillary had cosponsors in 72% of her bills.  She had more than 10 cosponsors for 10% of her bills. She had more than 5 cosponsors for 70.67% percent of her bills.

              Obama proposed 113 bills and amendments in the 110th Congress, to date.  Of those, 31 had no cosponsors, 54 had 1-5 cosponsors, 16 had 6-10 cosponsors, 6 had 11-20 cosponsors, and 5 had 20-50 cosponsors.  Obama, too, had consponsors on 72% of his bills.  He had more than 10 cosponsors for 9.7% of his bills.  He only had more than 5 cosponsors for 23.9% of his bills.  

              So, what does this tell you?  Well, if cosponsors are a sign of leadership, they are pretty similar, though Hillary demonstrated a significantly greater ability to attract groups of 6 or more to her bills.

              If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

              by dhonig on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 10:15:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's both, really... (0+ / 0-)

                If you go back to my original comment, I was arguing about what the diarist considered to be "real leadership."  Specifically, I took exception to this statement:

                "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things.

                In a response, you then chimed in with this:

                The previous diary noted that Obama had a lot more co-sponsors than Clinton, for legislation that did not pass.  That's not leadership.

                And we've been going round and round since.  I'm being a little obtuse because I can tell pretty clearly what you DON'T think is leadership.  But what I'm trying to get you to articulate is what you DO think is leadership, as it pertains to this whole dustup about legislation and co-sponsors.  You haven't elaborated on that yet.

                It's not enough to sit around and point out how a certain legislator's actions do NOT demonstrate leadership, because you also have to include a test of what IS leadership in order to judge that legislator.

                Civic spirit drowns in a hurricane of mere survivalism - McKenzie Wark

                by cfaller96 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 12:49:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  laws make a difference in peoples' lives. (4+ / 0-)

    SB 694 was the product of hillary working with child safety advocates, one of whom was markw, who wrote a diary about losing his child and hillary's receptiveness to his child safety group's requests. that diary was well received here- of course, that was back in the era of relative civility.

    Hillary 2008 - Flying Monkey Squadron 283

    by campskunk on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 06:54:06 AM PST

  •  He may read better... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Psychotronicman

    But just WATCH THE DEBATE WITH AN OPEN MIND

  •  Lost it in the first paragraph bud. (0+ / 0-)

    "Leadership" doesn't come from getting people to join you.  "Leadership" comes from getting people to FOLLOW you, to DO things.

    Your usage of join and follow here causes them to have the same meaning.  In other words, you're saying "Leadership isn't leadership, it's leadership."

    Nice way to defeat your own premise.

  •  Good job (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you.

    I was simply looking at one year: 2007 and comparing them. I came away feeling much better about both, but preferring Obama. Others doing the same kind of research can come to different conclusions. I found that I liked Obama's approach better. But there is nothing wrong with what Clinton has done. She's trying to do some great stuff.

    Ironically, If Obama is elected, I think that Hillary would likely end up writing the Health Care Reform Act of 2009.

    One point. Obama's bill S.453 is scheduled for the Senate Calendar for 2/22. This is the bill that would make voter intimidation and deception about voting illegal. We need this bill to pass.

    God is busy somewhere else and left Chad Vader in charge of earth.

    by Grassroots Mom on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 07:43:12 AM PST

  •  Thank you for doing this diary. The other one, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nonnie9999

    while certainly a praiseworthy effort, left out too much and drew some wrong conlusions, IMO.  The true value of specific legislation is a very difficult to analyze.

    Buy a Boat. Save the Seed.

    by cumberland sibyl on Thu Feb 21, 2008 at 09:42:09 AM PST

  •  Two cents (0+ / 0-)

    I think this diary would have been better without the "Obama supporters are hopeless bullies" tone, but I commend any effort to refocus the debate around issues and specific legislative records. In my opinion, Clinton herself would be far better served by this approach instead of trying to peddle the "Obama is empty rhetoric" meme. (To be fair, I also think Obama and all his supporters have a major responsibility to speak more clearly and confidently on the issues.)

    Both candidates are highly intelligent people with passionate convictions and good ideas. Let's spend more time evaluating them side by side and everyone will be better off, because we'll have vetted the candidates on the basis of what really matters.

    I see much about Clinton here that I like -- passionate about health care and child welfare issues, for example. While I do not know much about Puerto Rico's forest resources either, I do see forest protection as an underlying sign of Clinton's interests in environmental policy (however, I don't see this as a particular strong suit).

    But what also jumps out at me is the way Clinton and Obama have approached their early years in the Senate differently. Clinton's first bill are obviously rooted in the post 9/11 moment, but they are also first and foremost the kind of legislation that focused on her home constituents in New York and helped her do what was necessary to build a case for a second term -- namely show that she wasn't just a carpetbagger but rather someone concerned with New York issues. (Also, it would have been politically unwise for her to dive back into the healthcare fray  given how badly things went during the first healthcare reform effort.)

    Obama, interestingly, has had no such baggage, given his track record in Chicago and his time in the Illinois assembly. That enabled Obama to focus from the start on sponsoring legislation on other kinds of issues--issues, I would argue, that are more broadly applicable beyond his home state. I don't want to minimize the national importance of Clinton's early legislative efforts nor the importance of serving the folks at home. But when I look at Obama, I do see more of an instant focus on doing the nation's business, more broadly defined.

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