Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hillary Clinton used New Yorkers

From the 07 July 2008 Greater Niagara Newspapers

By Bob Confer

If you watched any of the Tim Russert tributes of the past few weeks, no doubt you saw a montage of his back-and-forths with politicians regarding his favorite question: “will you run for president?” One of these classic moments involved Hillary Clinton back in 2002. When asked that question she became incredibly uncomfortable, even while knowing it would be asked. Her mannerisms and body language told us an answer that was quite different from her repeated “no.”

Despite her statements to the contrary, both before and after that interview, people of any political mettle knew better. When Hillary Clinton first ran for the US Senate in the 2000 election it was obvious to them that she was using New York State for her own political and personal gain, not as an outlet for public service that one would hope from a Senator. She was a carpetbagger extraordinaire having never lived in New York, and knowing absolutely nothing of its economy, its history, and, most importantly, its people. Her only attachment to the Empire State was a Chappaqua home that she and Bill purchased in 1999 to make a claim for residency. Unfortunately, for as many people who saw through her ruse, there were many more people who were sandbagged by the carpetbagger. She claimed a 55% victory in 2000 and won again in 2006 with over two-thirds of the votes.

That misplaced trust has come back to haunt all New Yorkers. This presidential election cycle has been longer than any other, beginning before January of 2007. Not 2008, but 2007. For the year and a half prior to her finally conceding to Barack Obama last month, Hillary Clinton had been a senator in name only, using the illustrious title only as a means to propel herself into the Oval Office. For the most part she has been absent from her senatorial duties.

To be fair, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama have been guilty of the same lack of active participation. But, neither of those men came to office with expectations of immediately acquiring the presidency. McCain has been toiling in Congress since 1983 and Obama was a virtual nobody up until his stirring speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.

Hillary came on to the scene in 2000 with the ultimate goal of winning the 2008 presidential election and that quest has dominated her attention. In just this year alone Clinton managed to take herself away from her tireless campaign of self-promotion to vote on only a scant 63 of the 162 items that came to the Senate floor. By choosing to do her job just 39% of the time she ignored the Farm Bill. She did not vote on the 2009 federal budget. She didn’t offer her opinion on improved educational assistance for our armed forces. She didn’t give her “yea” or “nay” to the Foreclosure Protection Act. She didn’t vote on extension of tax credits for renewable energy development. She never gave the time to recognize the men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, she didn’t want to help define our strategy for battling al-Qaeda. Basically, by failing to act on these and other bills she let down her constituents.

Clinton’s part-time efforts come with full-time pay. She’ll earn the base $169,300 plus all the perks. In the real world she never would have earned that wage. As a matter of fact, she would have been fired for dereliction of duties. The office of US Senator comes with great expectations. It is supposed to be a means to make everyone’s lives better, not a means to make that Senator’s life better. Hillary doesn’t understand that. She let us down by abusing her power and she let herself down by never reaping the presidential rewards hoped by her selfish master plan.

What makes this so horrible is the simple fact that we have only two senators. With such power it’s vitally important that we get the most out of our “investment”. Because of her desire to achieve greatness on the backs of others while turning her back to them, Hillary Clinton has failed all New Yorkers, those who voted for her and those who did not. We deserve an apology….or someone who truly wants to be our senator.

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