Thursday, August 7, 2008

Vice-President Clinton-A Humble Opinion

By Gabriel Buelna

While I do not believe that presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama really knows who his vice-presidential nominee will be, if ever there was a time to give an opinion on the matter, it is now. Who knows, someone may actually be listening.

The choice for President of the United States is perhaps one of the most important choices that will affect each American in recent years. From health care, national security, spending on roads, mass transit and negotiating for peace throughout the world, most Americans generally believe in the same goals. It’s the specifics we get caught up in.

As Americans, we know this too well from the 2000 election, determining the direction of the War on Terror and Iraq, to a non-existent energy policy that continues to affect our pockets each day. Presidents matter! This is why the 2008 election will determine the type of fuel we use in our cars, the types of jobs available to us and our children and the next war we fight. For those that disagree with the current administration, electing Senator Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States is the strongest protest to the policies of the current administration.

For many of us that supported Senator Hillary Clinton, supporting Senator Obama is easy. For others, however, supporting Obama is not so easy. Senator Obama faces the obstacles of his youth and the unspoken, de facto racism that may not show up in the polls. This is similar to the obstacle of sexism that Senator Clinton faced when she was a candidate. Some people wouldn’t vote for her because she is a woman as some will not vote for Senator Obama because he is African American. As sad as this reality is and writing these words makes me, this reality exists.

While Senator Obama has some good choices for running mates, he needs a candidate that does not need explaining. He needs a candidate that will motivate women to overwhelmingly come to the polls. The Democratic Party needs to seize the once in a lifetime opportunity to put forward two historical candidates to win a once in a lifetime election.

Without Senator Clinton on the ticket, Senator Obama wants us to believe his wit, charm and qualifications are enough to win. Essentially tied at the polls with both political party conventions still to occur, Senator Obama has the responsibility to the next generation not to take any risks which could cost him the election. To lose without Senator Clinton would mean eternal “what ifs” for the young Senator. What ifs are bad news for such an inspiring candidate. Yes, he will have to put up with Bill Clinton. So what? Be a hero to us all and buy President Clinton a round of golf and get on with your historical responsibility of being the first African American President who had the courage of telling every little girl watching television, including my own three, that “Yes you can.”

Gabriel Buelna, Ph.D., MSW is Executive Director of Plaza Community Services in East Los Angeles, a faculty member in the Chicana/o Studies Department at Cal State Northridge and co-founder of The Nonprofit Network You can visit his blog at

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John Ahrens said...


I respectfully disagree with you. Obama already has a lead over McCain (47%-41%) and he already has a majority of women, African American, Hispanic/Latino and Asian voters. Obama needs someone on the ticket who can balance out his weak areas, particularly foreign policy and military issues/experience. I would recommend someone like Wesley Clark over Hillary Clinton to fill the role of VP on the ticket. (


Marc Echo Park said...


I believe that Hillary Clinton is the worst possible choice.

For starters Obama represents changing the way we do government while Clinton represents the very government he wants to change.

Obama wants more government oversight and taking corrupt money out of the process, Senator Clinton is on the recieving end of more of that dirty money than most of the people across the isle even.

Besides these two fundamental differences upon which everything else grows they are very similar on many of the issues. But again the root and how they go about their business couldnt be any more different.

Also Senator Clinton while very popular with Washington insiders, and the core of the Bill Clinton supporters has negative numbers almost off the charts with many other groups. Not that all these bad feelings are deserving but some have certainly been earned... Her tragic voting record, a history of not leading til the polls back her position, her ties to dirty money. All of this to say nothing of the disgraceful campaign she ran near the end of the primaries creating the very problem the party faces today. Had she not framed Obama as the enemy out of desperation for a failing campaign, 40% of her supporters wouldnt be running around the country harboring such ill feelings.

Senator Clinton as the one who broke the party has a responsibility to help fix it. Rewarding her for her disgraceful acts is absurd however.

Los Angeles

hotspur said...

Hi Gabriel. I also disagree with you.

Hillary Clinton's "kitchen sink" campaign against was disgraceful and desperate. By May, she was telling the world "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists" -- in other words, with experts in their field. We've had 8 years of a president who proudly disregards experts; we need to keep Hillary as far away from the White House as we can.

I say this as someone who in December 2007 planned to vote for her.

Furthermore, please do not do anything more to advance the pandering meme that Hillary was somehow treated unfairly during her campaign. I can think of few projects less likely to be rewarding than Howard Dean's call for a “national discussion” of sexism, and we don't need more fatuous op-eds like Gloria Steinem's January 8 jeremiad. Keep in mind that when Geraldine Ferraro asked Harvard's Shorenstein Center to study the role of media sexism in Hillary's tanking campaign, the Center concluded the press did not give Obama an easier ride. Read their report here:

Lastly let me note that it was Hillary who during the primaries said "John McCain has a lifetime of service to bring to the White House, and Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002." Effectively stumping for the GOP candidate in preference over her own party -- that is more than an error in judgment, it suggests a lack of character that I can not overlook.

Hillary for VP -- never. Please rethink your idea.

Rick said...

As a Republican who will respect the choice of the people for President, I feel strongly that choosing Mrs. Clinton for V.P. would be an unmitigated disaster. Just because someone might look good in your wedding pictures doesn't make them someone you want to go into a long term relationship with. You mentioned President Clinton. considering his globetrotting networking exploits depicted in Vanity Fair, as well as his penchant for ladies without his last name, that would be a tremendous distraction, waiting for the other shoe to drop either during or after the election. As far as the Senator is concerned, she has not shown any true sign of letting go of her desire for attention that should currently be flowing toward the presumptive candidate. I believe Bill Richardson would help with Hispanic voters and is seen as as an early supporter of Senator Obama as witnessed by the verbage spewed forth from the Clinton crowd when he supported Obama in the spring. He has served his country well and is deserving of this opportunity. This would place him in line to eventually run for President.

Anonymous said...


I have to agree with all 4 posts before mine.

Pushing for Hillary as a VP candidate rewards her bad behavior toward the end of the campaign that has helped divide the party. Additionally, she has 'high negatives' -whether this is deserved or not, it remains a fact. And finally, there was that comment where she suggested that any thing could happen - like Obama could get assasinated, as a reason for continuing to plug along in her quest for the nomination, despite the arithmetic showing that it was a lost cause. If I were Obama, I would feel like Kennedy with Johnson in the wings praying for my demise.

All of this is not good. We should get over the fact that Hillary lost the nomination for president. She was definitely not running for vice president. We should make peace with that, and stop looking for consolation prizes. If she needs a consolation, then she should be proud that she was part of a historic campaign that will be etched in all of the history books.

On the other hand, there are many good candidates to choose from. General Wesley Clark has been mentioned, and I would recommend former Senator John Edwards and Governor Bill Richardson as great candidates. Edwards is from the south and can help with that voting block, and Richardson is from the southwest and could help with that region and it's large latino population. Both have shown to share or support Obama's idealogy.

That's my humble opinion.