Time for a woman to be President of the United States. Long overdue.
No not Hillary Clinton.
Why? Both are educated "elitely". Both have been "first lady." Clinton has traveled the world as Secretary of State, although accomplished few initiatives. Obama has never held elected office, whereas Clinton served in the US Senate and fought a hard presidential race. Looks like Clinton wins hands down.
But one of these two people knows how to connect with people and speak outside-the-beltway language. That's Michelle Obama. And Obama emotes more genuinely -- she can get angry, not a staged anger but really feisty. She can be emotional without planning the tears. Obama understands people, Clinton does not. Clinton seems to grasp bureaucracy but not the kernel of politics which is connecting. Obama, moreover, is absolutely untarnished by scandals in office or outside,
Further, Obama really has a human agenda -- health, for example -- and understands the dilemmas of minorities and those who live in poverty and people who know that governments, federal and local, must help. In other words, Obama understands the heart and soul of the Democratic Party as Clinton does not. Hillary Clinton is not from Hope and doesn't have a narrative that warms anyone's heart.
Clinton is a generation older, which is not to condemn her but rather also to mention that the Democratic Party really, really needs a leader of the post-boomer generation. I am of Hillary Clinton's generation so I'm not into casting aspersions on age! And, no, I don't feel over the hill or prone to retirement anymore than she should. But younger voters will not be galvanized by Hillary Clinton. They will be motivated by Michelle Obama.
I have no access to Michelle Obama, shook her hand a couple of times, but know people who do know her, and doubt greatly that she wants to enter electoral politics. Still, she is VERY good at the enterprise, has the spirit of competiveness within her, and won't take shit from anyone. I really like that, and so do most Americans. Look at her approval ratings compared to those of well, her spouse. Probably she would eschew any suggestion that she become a candidate for anything. Yet someone should try to convince her. This is no joke. She would win.
Barbara Bush famously said, recently, that we had enough Bush family members in the White House. She was responding to a journalist's question about her other son's, Jeb Bush, potential candidacy. Likewise, another Clinton. Perhaps the same for a second "Obama." We are not a country of leadership inheritance...well, unless you remember Adams and Adams, or Roosevelt and Roosevelt. But a fresh, popular, intelligent, tough woman -- who knows the issues, who has undeniable connection with the public of all kinds...gosh, tough to demean such an opportunity.
I understand that by writing this a President H. Clinton ain't gonna want me in any USG post. Fair enough. I wasn't planning on it in any case.
Daniel N. Nelson leads a consulting firm in Northern Virginia.