“I’m a Fighter” — Such a Tattered, Tired Paradigm

One word comes ringing clearly now when I think how the Democrats, my party, are about to hand yet another oh-so-winnable election to the Republicans.

Fight. I’m a fighter. I’ll keep fighting. And that’s so not what we need in a president now.

It’s not that Hillary should drop out. It’s that she should stop fighting Obama — trying to tear him down — and instead make the case for why she should be president. She won’t quit, and shouldn’t. But she needs to quit trashing the house.

I think all candidates should start their campaigns by shooting any consultant who comes within a block of them. It’s the consultants who tell you you have to differentiate your brand from the other guy’s. That you have to show you’re tough. That you have to fight back. What about just being yourself and seeing if anyone will vote for you?

Hillary’s only road to the nomination now is to tear Obama down, the pundits and consultants say. Horseshit. If she wants to win superdelegates and delegates, she should tell her story, show us what she’d do as president, lift her eyes to the horizon and let us know what she sees, let us know what she hears from us.

But what’s her greatest qualification? “I’m a fighter.” That’s so old, so tired, so 20th Century. We don’t need a fighter. Look what good fighting is doing us in Iraq. We need leaders who can pull people together, pull fighting parties together, understand and call out what connects us, help us get to a place that’s as good as possible for everyone. That’s what Obama was doing before he started fighting back in response to Hillary’s punches.

The problem isn’t that Hillary is still running. It’s that she has such an old-style-politics view of the world. She sees everything as a fight. And the reason Obama is ahead in this race is that, most of the time, he’s been calling us to something higher, something different. He consistently takes today’s small corner of an issue and broadens our view to help us see a wider context and greater possibilities. While Hillary, head down, just keeps punching.

— Bruce Benidt investment calculator kind