NIXON ... When it comes to experience, I want you to remember I've had 173 meetings with President Eisenhower, and 217 times with the National Security Council. I've attended 163 Cabinet meetings. I've visited fifty four countries and had discussions with thirty-five presidents, nine prime ministers, two emperors, and the Shah of Iran...
CHOTINER (privately) Jesus Christ, has he told them how many push-ups he can do yet? What the hell happened to him?
In last night's debate in Austin Texas, Senator Clinton sounded like the scene from the film Nixon.
Don't get me wrong. I like Hillary, but last night in the Austin debate with Obama, she bombed.
Hillary suffers from the malaise of resume-itis. It's what books like, "Getting into the Job Market Past 50" warn us about ... we have too much experience, most of which won't resonate with the young and restless who are interviewing us. Moreover, if she's got all this experience, "where's the beef?" It's all so passive voice, with her, without technically being passive voice. All these things she's worked on, in, with, and through. To what end?
I am old enough to remember JFK when he ran against Nixon who had been Vice President under Eisenhower, and thus Nixon campaigned on having more experience than did the challenger, Senator Kennedy. The more Nixon told of his accomplishments, the more satisfied Nixon seemed. Kennedy did not question Nixon's "resume," but rather underscored that this was more of the same-old, same-old, whereas we needed a New frontier. He said in the first debate with Nixon, "I am not satisfied ..."
This is a great country, but I think it could be a greater country; and this is a powerful country but I think it could be a more powerful country.
I'm not satisfied to have 50 percent of our steel-mill capacity unused.
I'm not satisfied when the United States had last year the lowest rate of economic growth of any major industrialized society in the world--because economic growth means strength and vitality. It means we're able to sustain our defenses; it means we're able to meet our commitments abroad.
I'm not satisfied, when we have over $9 billion dollars worth of food, some of it rotting even though there is a hungry world and even though 4 million Americans wait every month for a food package from the Government, which averages 5 cents a day per individual.
I saw cases in West Virginia, here in the United States, where children took home part of their school lunch in order to feed their families because I don't think we're meeting our obligations toward these Americans.
I'm not satisfied when the Soviet Union is turning out twice as many scientists and engineers as we are.
I'm not satisfied when many of our teachers are inadequately paid, or when our children go to school part-time shifts. I think we should have an educational system second to none.
I'm not satisfied when I see men like Jimmy Hoffa, in charge of the largest union in the United States, still free.
I'm not satisfied when we are failing to develop the natural resources of the United States to the fullest. Here in the United States, which developed the Tennessee Valley and which built the Grand Coulee and the other dams in the Northwest United States, at the present rate of hydropower production--and that is the hallmark of an industrialized society--the Soviet Union by 1975 will be producing more power than we are.
These are all the things I think in this country that can make our society strong, or can mean that it stands still.
I'm not satisfied until every American enjoys his full constitutional rights. If a Negro baby is born, and this is true also of Puerto Ricans and Mexicans in some of our cities, he has about one-half as much chance to get through high school as a white baby. He has one-third as much chance to get through college as a white student. He has about a third as much chance to be a professional man, and about half as much chance to own a house. He has about four times as much chance that he'll be out of work in his life as the white baby. I think we can do better. I don't want the talents of any American to go to waste.
When Hillary cites her resume, she seems satisfied with where things have gone and the implication is that we can expect her to dish up more of the same.
Obama's supposed inexperience is going for him since he can say that he's not satisfied, no matter how lofty Hillary's resume makes her.
But let's face it, Obama has the power to attract. Again from the film, Nixon, when he speaks of RFK,
Bobby's got the magic, like a goddamn rock star. They climb all over each other just to touch his clothes!
Obama has that magic. He is not running on his resume. He is running on his vision and frankly he comes off looking more presidential than Senator Clinton.
I could see Hillary as a CEO of one of the Dow Jones Industrials, but not of the United States. She defends her ability to get things done, but what things need doing? A set of programs is not inspiring when there is no vision.
Her high point in the debate was when she did not let go of the topic of health care. Kudos to both candidates, especially Hillary. Her low point was the plagiarism argument against Obama. Hardly presidential.
Hillary does not have a vision. She has facts at her fingertips and plans that are ready to go. Yet, does the United states need a Strategic Planner, or does it need a leader who can rally everyone? Not as long as her resumes lacks real accomplishments.
Hillary does not have the tragic flaws of Nixon, but I close on one last scene fro the film,
PAT: You want them to love you ...
NIXON (interjects) No, I don't. I'm not Jack ...
PAT But they never will, Dick. No matter how many elections you win, they never will.
Unlike Nixon, at least the fictional one, Hillary could get to be loved, but she's got to get away from the resume, and the past, and her satisfaction with things as the were and the looking backward ... the question remains, has she run out of time to show us that side?