2008 Presidential Corner:Clinton, Giuliani become early frontrunners in race (Part 1)

By JP Krahel

I’ll admit, I had a hard time keeping a level head while researching and writing this piece. After all, she’s Hillary Clinton, right? There’s got to be something for everyone to dislike. Maybe you don’t like her because she essentially “became” a New Yorker within 35 seconds of the time she announced her Senate bid. Maybe it’s the way she handled her husband’s extracurricular activities. It’s a tough job to try to isolate her views and actions as a politician from her behavior as a human being, but it’s the responsible thing for any voter to do.

Hillary’s had a whole lot to say since the campaign started, and she’s had a six-year stint in the Senate to scrutinize, not to mention eight years as First Lady, so let’s take a look at what she’s been up to and where she stands on the issues.

Like a lot of other Senators, most Congressmen, and anyone else with a pulse, Hillary is against the war, and she’s got a plan to get us out. She is also fervently in favor of health care reform, having drafted an incredibly detailed, though ultimately defeated plan to give Americans universal health care during her tenure as First Lady.

We all knew this already. The problem is that we’re college students, most of us, which means that politicians don’t pay much attention to what we say or what we want. That’s probably because we don’t really, y’know, vote, but her campaign is centered on the concept of a “Conversation with America,” so I suppose the ball is in our court now. How does she feel about issues important to us?

Sen. Clinton has introduced the “Student Borrower Bill of Rights” in an effort to stem predatory practices employed by student lenders, affording students such liberties as the right to make affordable loan payments, get timely information about their loans, and to pay at reasonable rates of interest. Section 8 of the rather lengthy bill is titled “A Right To Not Be Exploited” and requires schools to publish, among other things, job placement information for any student who wishes to read it.

Keeping with the higher education tack, I should mention that Affirmative Action and Title IX are also darlings of the Senator. During the “quota” fiasco, Clinton joined with other senators in supporting the University of Michigan’s race-based policies, which essentially gave applicants varying numbers of “points” based on, among other things, race.

She is massively supportive of Roe v. Wade, and even more so of contraception. She wants low income families to receive family planning assistance through Medicaid, reasoning that “$1 spent on family planning … saves $3 in pregnancy and birth-related costs.” Fair enough; it’s quite a deft maneuver to justify support for an essentially moral issue with a practical explanation.

Goodness, gracious, I’m almost at the end of my allotted space. If you’ve read this far, I can only hope you’re interested in the coming primaries and the subsequent Presidential election. Do yourself and your country a favor by learning as much as you can about the candidates’ views on issues of interest to you. It couldn’t be easier: go to clinton.senate.gov and click the “On the Issues” tab. She’s got an opinion on just about anything, and you can even write her on anything you like. Just don’t ask her what state she’s from; she still gets confused sometimes.

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