Before Hillary Clinton became my Senator, I made phone calls for her campaign. I wasn’t passionate about her even then, but she was (initally) running against Giuliani and talked a decent game.
When Hillary Clinton ran for re-election in 2006, I left that line of the ballot blank.
She voted for the war, and it took her three years to repudiate that vote. She failed to vote against the bankruptcy bill (and supported an earlier version) but showed up to reauthorize the Patriot Act.
If I call her office to find out her position on thornier issues, invariably the Senator “is still deciding.” When she finally does issue a statement and vote, I generally disagree with her position.
Granted, I lean to the left of many politicians, including Chuck Schumer, my other Senator, but the people in his office actually listen, or pretend to. I never have the sense that Clinton’s staffers are told to treat constituents’ opinions with any degree of seriousness. In fact, when I called three days after Katrina to suggest that if we can drop leaflets on Afghanistan, we could drop food and water to the stranded citizens of New Orleans, one staffer actually laughed at me.
Of course Clinton was not the one laughing, but her employee’s attitude speaks to her leadership style. Clinton doesn’t care about my opinion, she probably doesn’t care about yours, and she can’t be bothered to tell her office to fake it. She cares about poll results. Once she has charted the best course of triangulation, she will issue her decision from on high.
As a longtime constituent, my overriding feeling about Clinton is that there is absolutely nothing she believes in strongly enough to stand up for it if polls are suggesting the majority tilts the other way. Nothing, that is, except herself.