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Am I a Hillary Cheerleader?

Sadly, much of my initial opinion about Senator Clinton was based on the filth I had heard about her lack of character and private behavior.
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Several have asked who I am backing to be the next president. I have not decided on a final choice because, to be candid, I have little say in the matter. I live and vote in Maryland. By the time primary season rolls around in my neck of the woods and bay inlets, the die will be cast.

Of the current field of democratic candidates I like three in particular -- Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards. If I were participating in an Iowa caucus or voting in New Hampshire, I'd go for Joe. But he is not getting any traction. So that leaves me with Hillary and Edwards.

I favor giving Hillary more coverage at No Quarter for a very simple reason -- no other candidate for president in my memory has been subjected to as many vile, baseless attacks as this good woman. You don't have to be a rightwing nut to know or believe some of this garbage. According to these critics Hillary is a murderer, a practicing lesbian who is getting it on with her Saudi chief of staff, a swindler, a cheat, and a cover-up artist. Oh yeah, her and Bill employ, so we are told, their own hit squad who run around silencing critics.

What I find amazing is how inept that Clinton "hit" squad is? If they were worth a damn (or REAL) then critics like this bozo in Texas, Robert Morrow, would be a worm buffet by now (I will not link to anything written by Morrow). Ain't it amazing that Bill and Hill are known to kill their opponents and yet so many opponents and critics are still walking around unscathed?

The evil witch, bitch caricature of Hillary is a lie readily embraced by many in America. But it is not the Hillary I have met. I am not a good friend nor a close advisor. And I am not lobbying for a slot in a Clinton administration. I'm not ready for a pay cut and I like to sleep until 9 a.m. But I have been in her office twice and briefed her on issues concerning terrorism and Iraq. If you had asked me before my first visit in 2005 if she could be president I would have said, "There are two ways -- no way and no way in hell." Sadly, much of my initial opinion about Senator Clinton was based on the filth I had heard about her lack of character and private behavior.

The briefing occurred shortly after I had testified on the Hill about the harm done to Valerie Plame. Senator Clinton was aware of my testimony and congratulated me on standing up for Val. The senator was very gracious, engaging, and charismatic. And she does not have fat legs (the number of guys who have dissed her for not having great gams is obscene). She is an attractive 60-year-old woman. But that was not what stood out for me. She is scary smart.

I was not alone at the briefing-there were two other participants who are well-known experts on the Middle East and Iraq. We had not submitted our briefings in advance. We made our respective presentations and had a genuine, in-depth discussion about viable options. She asked us tough questions and could think on her feet without having to look at notes. She focused on what could be done to achieve U.S. interests in Iraq without bleeding our country's treasury and military.

As we talked about the limits and efficacy of using military assets to go after terrorist targets, the senator brought up the book, Not a Good Day to Die by Sean Naylor. She did more than bring it up. She described in detail the challenges that special operations military forces actually face on the ground. I was stunned. This is not an easy book to read. It is an excellent work and provides enormous detail on special operations and CIA military activities in Afghanistan during Operation Anaconda. But it is tough sledding for folks not familiar with military terminology. She had it nailed, and it was not a mere pre-planned politician's trick. She knew what she was talking about.

I came out of that meeting and realized I could be seeing the next president. If people could always see the real Hillary she would win in a cake walk. I admit her main failing is to over-think the politics of every situation and, as a result, she has at times appeared rigid, robotic, and programmed. But that is not the real her. She's funny, quick, and can think and talk on her feet without choking on a pretzel.

So if No Quarter appears to be a pro-Hillary site, it is simply me trying to balance out the mountain of shit tossed her way.

I also like John Edwards. But he has not tasted even a hint of the personal and political attacks that have been launched against Hillary. Therefore I do not feel as much of a need to "defend" him. However, I have given my friends -- Wayne Williams and Brad Parker -- full permission to publish any John Edwards piece they want. They are rabid Edwards promoters.

Who would be the strongest national candidate for the Democrats? I think it is Edwards. That's my analytical conclusion. I worry that the hatred and prejudice against Senator Clinton is so deep that it will be a tough obstacle to overcome. But then I think back to a time when I had accepted the anti-Hillary propaganda and what subsequently happened to my thinking after meeting her. The Hillary I saw behind the closed doors of her office is a genuine, smart, very likable person. If America is permitted to see that woman then she has a chance.

I also believe that Americans, not just Democrats, can afford the risk of Obama. If you think that Obama has the seasoning and the smarts to be president, please watch Obama turn in a Bush-esque performance, brought to us originally courtesy of Taylor Marsh. We are talking moron territory here, people. I have not seen a performance this lame since George Bush struggled to name a foreign leader. Obama cannot provide a clear, cogent answer to why he declined to vote in favor of allowing sexual abuse victims to have their court records sealed and their privacy protected. My god, folks. Can we afford another dummy in the White House?