Politics

Action vs. Words

There was an exchange in last night’s Democratic debates where Hillary claimed she was the candidate of "action" and that Obama was just a candidate of "words."

She has reprised that line again this morning:

“There’s a big difference between talking and acting, between promising and performing,” Mrs. Clinton said, noting her efforts to expand child health insurance and ease adoptions as first lady and a senator. “Spread the word that this election is about who can deliver real results for the American people.”

She is so wrong about this. To really deliver the big things — health care for all, a significant new energy policy — you need someone who can rally and inspire voters, who can create a new and durable governing majority.

Does anyone really think Hillary can do that? I have no doubt she is competent (but it’s not clear at all she is more competent than, say, Edwards or Obama).  But I haven’t seen anything in this campaign to suggest she could rally a significant majority of Americans to her cause. Obama does hold out that promise — and could be the first President since Kennedy and Johnson to build a strong movement and government majority (when we passed the Civil Rights Acts, went to the moon).

Hillary seems to think that being a good president means getting elected, and then making smart decisions.

She’s a manager, not a leader.

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