How Do I Feel About Hillary Clinton? It’s Complicated

Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton paradox, voters on the fence for Hillary Clinton, 2016 election Hillary

Hillary has all the traits I value in a leader. She’s intelligent, strong, experienced, knowledgeable, and the list could go on and on. Hillary Clinton would be an excellent president of the United States. The trouble is this: Hillary may not be the best candidate.

Facebook offers choices for indicating relationship status. Married, single, in a relationship, or “It’s complicated.”

Complicated – that’s how I feel about Hillary Clinton running for president.

I’ve admired Hillary since she spoke up on 60 Minutes and refused to stay home, bake cookies, host teas, and be the little woman standing by her man.

I read her first memoir – I didn’t bother to read Bill’s.

I mourned her loss in the primaries of 2008. I had to grieve the fact that her party was over before I could support Barack Obama. And support him I did, with my vote and my blog and my volunteer time.

Now I’m feeling very conflicted. Hillary has all the traits I value in a leader. She’s intelligent, strong, experienced, knowledgeable, and the list could go on and on. Hillary Clinton would be an excellent president of the United States.

The trouble is this: Hillary may not be the best candidate.

She has baggage. Lots of baggage. Benghazi. Email-gate. Her age and gender (damn, I wish those didn’t matter). Her outspokenness.

I’m really stuck, people. Bernie Sanders may be the stronger candidate. He supports the issues that matter to me. He is intelligent, strong, knowledgeable, and more. He doesn’t have the experience that Hillary does, but neither does he have the baggage. And yet …

To leave Hillary’s side after following her through thick and thin and Monica Lewinsky feels disloyal. I feel like leaving her now is like kicking her when she’s down – at least when her polls are down. It’s a paradox, that’s what it is.

I didn’t aim to write a review for Joanne Cronrath Bamberger’s book Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox. Indeed, I haven’t ordered my copy – yet. But I am definitely feeling that paradox. I admire Hillary Clinton to the moon and back, but I can’t quite yet put my vote in her corner. She would be a great president. I have no doubt of that. But first, she has to be electable. And no matter how high her pedestal in my opinion, I’m not sure she can will the general election.

And that, my friends, is my dilemma.

Tracy Ostwald Kowald is a teacher by trade and writer by nature. She started blogging in 2006 as a way to express herself and deal with everyday stresses. Using the blog as an outlet, she documented her journey through a deep and frightening clinical depression. She continues to blog as a supplement to therapy and an outlet for the creative writer that still raises its hand now and then and says, “Me! Call on me!”

Image via Flickr/World Economic Forum/CC License

  • Helen

    You share the feelings of many of us. As you said, hence the paradox. #HillaryParadoxBook

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