Time for Hillary Clinton to step aside

By Lee Feder

Rumor has it that there’s a primary election under way. This is odd given that the calendar says April and those elections are usually over just after Super Bowl Sunday. However, the 2008 election, as every conscious American is well aware, is not an average election.

Months ago, around the time the Bush administration made its 500th serious miscalculation, pundits decided the president from 2009-2013 would be a Democrat. As I have long argued, these “experts” know nothing, and right now, the Republicans hold a significant advantage over the Democrats: They have a candidate who can fundraise and rally his power base while the Democrats are still campaigning to be the presumptive nominee. This situation is extremely unfortunate not merely for the Democrats but for the American population because John McCain, despite being a generally decent person and politician, still draws support from the party that managed to undermine the greatest accomplishments of the executive branch of the last 20-odd years. To let said party continue in power follows the adage of insanity: doing the same thing repeatedly yet expecting different results.

The media cast the contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as a battle between experience and hope, pragmatism and idealism. Those characterizations, though, understate the critical juncture of history in which we live. Very rarely, very rarely can people recognize that they live in a historic moment. Those of us who were old enough to understand Sept. 11 already had such an experience. Now, we are on the cusp of another, and I do not mean because one year from now we may have a black man or a white woman as our commander in chief.

Instead, this primary is actually a referendum on us, on America and what our place shall be in the 21st century. Sen. Clinton is an extraordinarily well-qualified candidate. While she most certainly exaggerates her “experience” from her time as first lady, her policy proposals appear to benefit the most people at the least cost. She is certainly more of a “Big Government” person than McCain, but she hardly qualifies as anything approaching a socialist, despite conservative protests to the contrary. Every story from those close to her or her campaign suggests that she actually cares about people, though her media facade demonstrates that she struggles with appearing “too feminine” or “too tough,” as if those are opposites (really, are our mothers not tough enough after putting up with us?).

Obama, on the other hand, has “it.” His charm and charisma is unmatched in recent politics by any, even the great schmoozer, former President Bill Clinton. His policies, while populist in nature and more or less well formulated, lack the precision of Sen. Clinton’s. In contrast to her detailed explanations, Sen. Obama talks in grandiosity and paints vivid pictures of a post-modern America. He manages to subjugate details to a second tier of conversation, describing instead his vision of a 21st century United States such that individual policies seem insignificant. Historically, many candidates have promised change similar to the type Obama proffers, but none have ever made it seem so credible and achievable before Obama. His campaign grew from average people who looked at the Democratic candidate landscape and were dissatisfied. They saw the black senator from Illinois with the funny name and said, “Why wait?” Sen. Obama eagerly answered the call and in a Kennedy-esque way, he now asks more from Americans, promising more in return. We must be the change we seek, he argues.

In all reality, either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama would likely make a fine chief executive, especially given the act she or he has to follow. The problem is that they are so dynamically different that their contest needs to be a general election, not a primary. Unfortunately, McCain is already circling the wagons and devising a strategy to take down the Democratic nominee. Sadly, the need for either Clinton’s or Obama’s leadership is so strong that the time has come for the race to be over. In the interest of America and in the name of the ideals she supports, Sen. Clinton needs to step aside and let us brave the winds of change in the 21st century with a black man at the helm.

Lee is a senior in mechanical engineering and suspects that the last several weeks of school will be absurdly busy. Oh well … at least there’s the five-peat/sweep in the books.