Home | Opinion | Brent Budowsky

Brent Budowsky: Hillary has big dreams, too

Getty Images

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHouse Republican group raised more than M in October Chaffetz says he'll vote for Trump Trump blasts Clinton for criticizing hotel opening MORE should respond to the results of the New Hampshire primary by finding her voice and sharing her dreams, as she did in her closing case to Granite State voters when she asked them to imagine the America that can be if we aspire to the great deeds that will make our tomorrows better than today.

It is not necessary to repeat here my concerns about the tone and tactics of the Clinton campaign, which are known by some who are close to the candidate and by those who have read my columns — except for one point.

The wonderful and inspiring speeches that the former secretary of State gave in the closing days of the New Hampshire primary were overwhelmed by the negative tactics of her campaign, eviscerating her message.

While Bernie SandersBernie SandersClinton: AT&T deal 'raises questions and concerns' A Berniecrat's Argument Against Jill Stein and For Hillary Clinton Trump and millennials: He might do better than we think MORE spoke passionately and sincerely about his dream, the Clinton campaign spent too much time talking it down; it did not spend nearly enough time talking up her own dream, so when she did speak passionately and sincerely about her vision, few voters heard her.

One thing the Bill ClintonBill ClintonMemo reveals interplay between Clinton Foundation, personal business The Trail 2016: Comeback in the works? Megyn Kelly is a top priority for Fox — especially after her scuffle with Newt Gingrich MORE presidency showed, which creates his greatest legacy and her greatest opportunity, is that an American leader can dream of and realize a presidency that makes this country a rising tide that will lift all boats. John F. Kennedy said that, and Bill Clinton, with Hillary Clinton by his side, made that happen for eight years during his highly successful presidency. His successful administration would give credibility and power to what would be a bold campaign promise by Hillary Clinton to meet with business and labor to enact a program to create 10 million high-wage jobs to rebuild America during her first 100 days in office.

Kennedy said that “here on earth, God’s work must truly be our own.” Clinton, a woman of deep Methodist faith, believes that too, and it comprises the core of her belief in social justice and equal rights and her dream of a land free of bigotry and hate. This is infinitely more important than the opposition research, campaign tactics and negative politics that are the stuff of political consultants who sell short the great aspirations of real voters.

Every voter should watch, and the Clinton campaign should widely distribute, the recent three-minute Web ad starring Bill Clinton talking about the real things Hillary Clinton has done to lift people’s lives and make their tomorrows better than today. It’s why he calls her — correctly — a change maker who matters and a human being who cares.

On one of the great issues of our day, the corruption of our democracy by money that is dirty on behalf of special interests that are greedy, which destroys our highest hopes for income equality and social justice and makes our voters seethe with anger, Clinton and Sanders fundamentally agree.

Clinton should make a centerpiece of her presidential campaign her proposal for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United case, which virtually legalizes the buying of our politics and prostitution of our government through massive secret donations that pollute and corrupt our democracy. On this she should offer to work with Sanders, to mobilize the majority of citizens across the political spectrum in all 50 states who support this change and mount a national campaign to make it the law of the land and take back America from the influence peddlers and profiteers.

Bernie Sanders has big dreams and Hillary Clinton has big dreams too, and in many areas they agree. Clinton should campaign as a dream maker and a change maker, in her own voice, sharing her own dreams, to answer the call of a country that wants a politics that is positive and uplifting and an America that becomes once more a rising tide where big dreams can still come true. 

Budowsky was an aide to former Sens. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Contributors blog and reached at brentbbi@webtv.net.