This post is in response to the Economist’s most recent article on the Democratic presidential candidates, found here.
The Economist is a fine news magazine and I agree with most of what it says most of the time. However, in this article, they seem to believe that policy is more important than personality. I used to hold that view myself, until I realised that most politicians change their policies the minute they find an excuse to do so. I believe a politician’s personality, though difficult to ascertain of course, is a more accurate map to their tenure. Take, for instance, the Nixon-Kennedy race in 1960, and the famously televised debate they underwent. Many felt Kennedy had lost the debate because his policy was lacking. However, those who saw him on television believed he would be courageous, noble and decisive, and he was. Nixon appeared insecure and shifty, and his presidency turned out to be one of the most notoriously secretive and closed ever.
Mrs Clinton may have sound policy but she has certainly not persuaded me she is as honest or compassionate as Mr Obama. I expect her to cash in her chips of her political capital as soon as the tide turns against her.