To hear Hillary Clinton talk, she’s spent her entire career putting her Yale Law School degree to work for the common good.
She routinely tells voters that she’s “been working to bring positive change to people’s lives for 35 years.” She told a voter in New Hampshire: “I’ve spent so much of my life in the nonprofit sector.” Speaking in South Carolina, Bill Clinton said his wife “could have taken a job with a firm . . . . Instead she went to work with Marian Wright Edelman at the Children’s Defense Fund.”
The overall portrait is of a lifelong, selfless do-gooder. The whole story is more complicated — and less flattering.
Clinton worked at the Children’s Defense Fund for less than a year, and that’s the only full-time job in the nonprofit sector she’s ever had. She also worked briefly as a law professor.
Clinton spent the bulk of her career — 15 of those 35 years — at one of Arkansas’ most prestigious corporate law firms, where she represented big companies and served on corporate boards. [complete article]
Kennedy bet his campaign on, as he put it, “the single assumption that the American people are uneasy at the present drift in our national course” and “that they have the will and strength to start the United States moving again.”
For all the Barack Obama-J. F. K. comparisons, whether legitimate or over-the-top, what has often been forgotten is that Mr. Obama’s weaknesses resemble Kennedy’s at least as much as his strengths. But to compensate for those shortcomings, he gets an extra benefit that J. F. K. lacked in 1960. There’s nothing vague about the public’s desire for national renewal in 2008, with a reviled incumbent in the White House and only 19 percent of the population finding the country on the right track, according to the last Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll. America is screaming for change.
Either of the two Democratic contenders will swing the pendulum. Their marginal policy differences notwithstanding, they are both orthodox liberals. As the party’s voters in 22 states step forward on Tuesday, the overriding question they face, as defined by both contenders, is this: Which brand of change is more likely, in Kennedy’s phrase, to get America moving again? [complete article]
See also, Maria Shriver backs Obama (NYT).