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It's the Character, Stupid! By: Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, February 18, 2008


Though it may be too soon to write off the sinister force of nature known as Billary, the end seems near following Barack Obama's sweep of the Potomac primaries.

Obama is now the frontrunner and odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nod.

Betting on Hillary Clinton has collapsed in favor of her neophyte foe, dealing a stunning blow to the once-inexorable Clinton machine.

Obama deserves a lot of credit for threatening this upset. He's a classy, inspiring candidate who has run a strong, yet clean, campaign.

Billary has only made that impression clearer for voters, however. Even hoary Democrat loyalists -- who last decade apologized, scandal after scandal, for the eventually impeached head of their party -- have realized they don't want a rerun of the nasty Bill and Hillary show.

They were reminded during the Nevada and South Carolina primaries of just how sleazy things can get with Team Clinton. Their underhanded campaign tactics turned a lot of people off. Nobody (with the exception of gutter fighters like Paul Begala and Terry McAuliffe) wants to wade through another eight years of that muck.

My sense is that the left wing of the electorate is also fed up with the back-stabbing phoniness of the Clintons and their ruthless end-justifies-means morality, which includes going after with hammer-and-tongs even liberal blacks they once championed. It seems most everyone -- even Teddy Kennedy -- now recognizes their shallow character.

As former Clinton supporter David Geffen has said: "Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling."

In the final analysis, character still matters in politics, thankfully, and Hillary's lack of it may have proved her undoing.

Sure, she's hidden it better than in the past. But voters have seen – even through the saccharine smiles, cackles and serial tearfests -- enough of her mean-spiritedness, dissembling and shameless hypocrisy to know that she would, once in office, only reinforce the axiom that a leopard never changes its spots.

She claims, for example, that she's spent her entire career putting her Yale Law School degree to work for the common good, bringing "positive change to people's lives for 35 years."

Please, Ms. NonProfit spent the bulk of it -- 15 years -- pulling down $200,000 a year at the most prestigious corporate law firm in Arkansas, where she not only represented Wal-Mart and other big companies but at the same time sat on their boards.

Hillary complained Obama hasn't been "vetted." Whereas, "I certainly have no problem with whatever scrutiny comes my way." This from the woman who stonewalled investigators about her roles in the cattle futures and Whitewater sweetheart deals; the Travelgate purge; and the subpoenaed Castle Grande billing records that went missing until, conveniently, the statute of limitations expired in the case.

Her Nibs is so arrogant she can't even see her own hypocrisy. She knocked Sen. John Edwards for failing to "actually deliver health care for everyone," as if she did. The only thing she delivered with her ham-handed Hillarycare overreach was control of Congress into the hand of Republicans.

Obama, by comparison, was far more intellectually honest during the debates. For instance, Gov. Bill Richardson said he favored a cap-and-trade system over a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because a carbon tax would be "passed on to consumers."

Obama agreed that a "cap-and-trade system makes more sense." However, "I disagree with one thing Bill said," he demurred. "Under a cap-and-trade, there will be a cost. Plants are going to have to retrofit their equipment. And that's going to cost money, and they will pass it onto consumers."

He didn't have to say that. He could have demagogued the issue like Hillary would have. But he chose, refreshingly, to level with voters.

This stark ethical contrast is no doubt why even Clinton's 1992 national campaign manager is endorsing Obama now.

It was believed, in the natural progression of American mores and milestones, that the electorate would next be receptive to a woman occupying the Oval Office. That an African-American has more than likely leapfrogged the presumptive nod to that historic social mantle speaks volumes about the popularity and likability of this woman.

Though feminists have campaigned hard for Hillary, it's better for the advancement of women that she's denied her "inevitability." Hillary Rodham Clinton would be such a disaster as president that she'd risk ruining for decades to come the chances of other far-more-qualified, -trustworthy and-deserving women leading the nation.

And Lord knows we'd never try another First Gentleman after Bubba took a tour as First Ladies' man.

Billary's baggage may have finally caught up with them. This time around, it's the CHARACTER, stupid.


Paul Sperry, a Hoover Institution media fellow, is author of Infiltration and co-author of a forthcoming book on the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Email: Sperry@SperryFiles.com.


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