DELEGATE FORUM -- DAY 3
August 28, 1996
The delegates responded to these other questions:
What role is foreign policy playing in the election?
What would happen if the Democrats won both the Congress and the Presidency?
Has the poverty of the area around the convention hall shown through Chicago's recent cosmetic surgery?
Is Evan Bayh the next Bill Clinton?
A question from Margaret Ringold of Brookline, MA:
Style and Substance of the Candidate's Wives
Hillary Clinton's speech last night made it clear that she plans to take an active policy-making role in the next term, should the Clintons win it. What did you think of her speech and the idea of another First Lady face-off with the Congress?
Also, I think Liddy Dole is giving Hillary much more of a run for her money than Barbara Bush did. Please compare and contrast Liddy Dole's style and substance with Hillary's.
The delegates respond:
Sally Beitia, American Falls, IN
I thought Hillary's speech was very well-received and that she spoke with great sincerity to a community and a group that she feels a part of and that welcomes her intellect and ability to accomplish things. I don't believe that there will be a "face-off" with the Congress; Hillary's goals are the good of the whole, and she doesn't appear to me to have any desire to waste time and resources on a counter-productive fight.
Liddy Dole is a well-respected, intelligent and strong woman, as is Hillary. Hillary, however, is an extremely thoughtful, insightful and straightforward person who is able to identify a problem and take productive action towards a solution. The example for young girls of two, strong, intellectual and nurturing women in positions of power is encouraging and valuable.
Jason Bolt, Baton Rouge, LA
When President Clinton is reelected, his wife Hillary, will be right at his side. Hillary Clinton's active role scares some people, but look at her credentials. She is a bright, well-spoken, well-educated lady who, if not for being Bill Clinton's wife, could easily be elected to Congress herself. As far as a face-off with the Congress, there is no guarantee that any new initiatives would meet with as much resistance as she was greeted with the last time. As far as Liddy Dole giving Hillary a " run for her money," Bob Dole and Bill Clinton are running for President, not Hillary and Elizabeth. I don't believe the two ladies should be paired up as such a rivalry, as they have been thus far by the media. Both ladies love their husbands and want to see them succeed.
Jennifer L. Brunner, Columbus, OH
I am glad you want to talk about Hillary Clinton. I did not see another First Lady face-off with the Congress in listening to her speech. I am disgusted with the deliberate Republican rhetoric to demean her character and to vilify her. What Hillary Clinton did last night took a lot of courage. She was ridiculed at the Republican convention by Bob Dole about her book, "It Takes a Village." She dealt with it directly, head on. She spoke of valuing family rather than the glib, "family values." I, myself, am a mother of three, an attorney, and a wife. I work hard. I worry about spending enough time with my children, and also about making enough money to do things for them and to further their education. When she described the responsibilities of working parents today, she described my life.
Having listened to all the speakers without station breaks, but rather in the convention hall itself, Hillary's theme was consistent with the "Family First" agenda of the Democrats in Congress. Hillary more than once referred to the President as "my husband." I think that is a response, in part, to Elizabeth Dole's role in her husband's campaign. In short, I do not think that Hillary will be in an "out front" position as she was on the health care proposal, even though she is an accomplished lawyer and a leader in her own right. I believe that she will feel free to pursue the issue near to her heart, and that was very evident from her speech last night. I believe she will promote children's issues for the remainder of the Clinton Presidency, including a second term.
As for as comparing her with Elizabeth Dole, I respect Mrs. Dole for her accomplishments. But when I've seen her watching her husband on television, especially before the Republican National Convention in San Diego, I've sensed that she wasn't really buying into the campaign 100%. Watch her sometimes. Her smile looks forced. I understand from people in North Carolina, where she is from, that she is a lovely woman. I just wonder if she is selling herself short for the purpose of expediency. I also wonder if she's supporting a wish for the presidency that seems to come more from her husband and his advisors than from herself. In comparing the two, I believe that Hillary is more true to herself, and showed that at the convention last evening. I agree with you that Elizabeth Dole will give Hillary more challenges than Barbara Bush did.
Clifford Hudson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I thought her speech was very strong and effective. While it was far more focused and narrow than I expect the President's speech to be, her speech served a different purpose than the President's will.
Hopefully the next Clinton presidency will not include a Congress that has been as personally abusive toward the President's family as the last has been. It may seem na´ve to hold such a hope, but I believe the claims her detractors have made do not hold water. I also believe that a growing number of people are of the view that this abusive conduct is degrading for our society generally. There is every chance that this abusive conduct will, in fact, backfire on its perpetrators and, as a result, inhibit their behavior in the future.
Sue Rochne, Zumbrota, MN
For the life of me I cannot understand why seeing a woman walk and talk at the same time is so mind boggling. Every mother I know can do at least three things at a time - listen to a three year old, talk on the phone to the plumber and stir the chicken soup, and all without a speechwriter.
Liddy talks family with a syrupy southern drawl that gets thicker every day, and yet has never had a child, and never given up her career to FOLLOW her husband or abandon her career entirely as Hillary has. THAT IS LIVING FAMILY VALUES, NOT JUST MOUTHING THE WORDS. I wonder if Liddy has ever changed a diaper?
If anyone thinks Liddy is not going to be an active influence if, God forbid, Dole is elected, is living in never-never land with Peter Pan. As a former Cabinet secretary, she knows how the White House works, he doesn't. She is also an Ivy Leaguer, as is Hillary (and so am I), which means we do not sit idly by and let the "guys" run the world, especially if they are stupid and about to make huge mistakes. About the only difference I see is that Liddy has decided that she will be anti-choice, while Hillary understands a woman's right to choice, i.e. identifying herself as a woman.