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Hillary plays on the crying game

March 08, 2008|By JONATHAN R. BURRS

Did someone say challenge? There is nothing that captures my attention better than hearing two words: Smorgasbord and challenge.

I accept the friendly challenge presented to me in Sharon Womack's letter to the editor, "Hillary wept? So did Jesus." I appreciate all the feedback from those who read my columns. However, Womack's letter particularly resonates with me primarily because I agree with most of her points, with one particular exception.

As I explained in the original column, voters want to believe in the inherent good of their candidates and often do not recognize it when the "spin doctors" are at work. How do you think George W. Bush was elected not once, but twice?

I agree with all the other points made by Womack, even the part about crying in public. The reason I think Sen. Clinton's tears were manufactured is that some of her best qualities are her poise, confidence and strength.

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If indeed a reporter's question was so stressful that it caused her to have a sensitive moment, then it's fair for me to suggest that the stresses of being the U.S. president, the commander in chief, the inheritor of an unpopular war which requires leading a military she has never been a part of, will ultimately cause her to have a nervous breakdown. This is about the tenacity of the candidate, not the gender. However, considering where our society is today, being a first usually presents additional challenges that cannot be ignored.

Further, although as stated above, I do agree that crying in public is not necessarily indicative of weakness of inability to lead. However, crying because things aren't going your way are indicators of poor leadership skills. Her tears, if not manufactured, were for herself, because she was not winning! Would John Edwards have cried, if asked the same question? After all he had been in third place pretty regularly, and suffered the death of a child and his wife continues to struggle with cancer. However, I doubt the reporter would have garnished tears from him with the same question.

While I generally agree women are naturally intuitive, emotional and empathetic, I simply do not believe Hillary is that type of woman. How emotional and empathetic was she in 1994 during genocide in Rwanda where the Clinton administration showed no interest in wanting to stop the carnage unfolding on a daily basis? Did she even attempt to persuade her husband to get involved, particularly considering Bill often referred to her as the "co-president"?

What would Jesus have done? If Matthew 5:9 is any indication, Jesus would have made peace in Rwanda. Instead, the Clintons, both Hillary and Bill, four years after the fact traveled to Rwanda and offered a somewhat empty apology on behalf of the world's only "super power," for doing nothing!

As far as understanding and being sensitive to the millions of Americans in need of affordable health care, I do not believe gender is as much a factor as an individual's socioeconomic level. According to Hillary's biography, she was raised in a two-parent home. Her father owned a small business lucrative enough to support a family of five without Hillary's mother having to work in addition to sending Hillary and her brothers to prestigious academic institutions. To me, a person raised in a two parent, two-income home where my parents routinely made personal sacrifice for siblings I find it very difficult to believe that Hillary could identify with the modest lifestyles most Americans live. Let us not forget Hillary has proved during Bill's first term that she could not handle health- care issues!

The fact is, Hillary's primary successes in life have been academic exercises rather than achievements as a result of her having personally experienced hardship, achieving her goals through perseverance and overcoming trials and tribulations. From what I have seen, I cannot even say Hillary knows how or when to be humble; a characteristic missing in many politicians and in my opinion, a contributing factor to how the rest of the world negatively views the U.S. government.

I mostly agree with Womack's assessment concerning the need for a woman president who does possess the genuine characteristics she describes. I believe this would at least indicate to the world that change is happening in the U.S. and the American people as a whole are dissatisfied with recent and past performances of elected officials. However, based on the facts, I do not believe Hillary is that woman and I will always contend that those crocodile tears of hers were the work of Spin Dr. Bill Clinton, aka "The Comeback Kid" in the 1992 New Hampshire primaries. Hmmm, now that's food for thought.

Jonathan R. Burrs is a Hagerstown resident who writes for The Herald-Mail.

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