Billy White Endorses Hillary Clinton
by Todd Bennett, Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:49:32 PM EDT
Today, this eighteenth of September, 2007, my wife and I had the most distinct honor to make the acquaintance of one Billy White of Canton, Texas. Mr. White is a 73 year old Korean War Veteran. He is genteel and friendly and outgoing. His living situation, as described to us, is not worthy of a man who has made the contributions to his country that he has.
When Mr. White started receiving Social Security, his Veteran pension was ended. I regret to say that I do not know if this is protocol or a mistake, but I can tell you that any country that expects a war hero to survive off of less than a thousand dollars a month in this day and age is not worthy of such war heroes. In our conversation, he mentioned with great fervor and intensity how Hillary had his vote. This is indeed a great endorsement for her. The kind of people that Mr. White represents are hard working and good hearted and any politician should be honored to have his endorsement. And I believe Hillary is thrilled to have the support, because she has worked for people like Mr. White most of her career. There are those of you who have noses implanted firmly into the whip cream of their latte who may be about to choke. "Low information voter" you might say, or, "uninformed".
One of the things we have noticed in our travels is that wise old men really do live up to their name. This man is smarter than you may think. He doesn't have the internet or even cable, but he knows the score. For those of you who don't, here's an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Marriage and family, law career and First Lady of Arkansas
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1992During her post-graduate study, Rodham served as staff attorney for the Children's Defense Fund in Cambridge, Massachusetts and as a consultant to the Carnegie Council on Children. During 1974 she was a member of the impeachment inquiry staff in Washington, D.C., advising the House Committee on the Judiciary during the Watergate scandal. Under the guidance of Chief Counsel John Doar and senior member Bernard Nussbaum, Rodham helped research procedures of impeachment and the historical grounds and standards for impeachment. The committee's work culminated in the resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974. By then, Rodham was viewed as someone with a bright political future; Democratic political organizer and consultant Betsey Wright had moved from Texas to Washington the previous year to help guide her career; Wright thought Rodham had the potential to one day become a Senator or President. However, helped by her having passed the Arkansas but not the District of Columbia bar exam on her first attempt, Rodham said that she chose to follow her heart instead of her head and followed Bill Clinton to Arkansas, rather than staying in Washington where career prospects were best. Clinton was at the time teaching law and running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in his home state. In August 1974, she moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas and became one of two female faculty members at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville School of Law, where Bill Clinton also taught.
In the summer of 1975, the couple bought a house in Fayetteville, and on October 11, 1975, Hillary Rodham and Bill Clinton were married in a Methodist ceremony in their living room. She kept her name as Hillary Rodham. Bill Clinton had lost the Congressional race in 1974, but in November 1976 was elected Attorney General of Arkansas. This required the couple to move to the state capital of Little Rock. Rodham joined the venerable Rose Law Firm in late 1976, specializing in intellectual property while working pro bono in child advocacy. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter (for whom Rodham had done 1976 campaign coordination work in Indiana) appointed her to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation, and she served in that capacity through the end of 1981. For much of that time  she served as the chair of that board, the first woman to do so. During her time as chair, funding for the Corporation was expanded from $90 million to $300 million, and she successfully battled against President Ronald Reagan's initial attempts to reduce the funding and change the nature of the organization.
In January 1979, following the November 1978 election of her husband as Governor of Arkansas, Rodham became First Lady of Arkansas, her title for a total of 12 years (1979-1981, 1983-1992). In 1979, she became the first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm. During 1978 and 1979, while looking to supplement their income, Rodham made a spectacular profit from trading cattle futures contracts. The couple also began their ill-fated investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation real estate venture with Jim and Susan McDougal at this time.
On February 27, 1980, Rodham gave birth to a daughter, Chelsea, her only child.
In November 1980, Bill Clinton was defeated in his bid for re-election, but returned to office two years later by winning the election of 1982. During her husband's campaign in 1982, Rodham began to use the name Hillary Clinton, or sometimes "Mrs. Bill Clinton", in order to have greater appeal to Arkansas voters.
As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee from 1982 to 1992, where she successfully sought to improve testing standards of new teachers. She also chaired the Rural Health Advisory Committee starting in 1979 and introduced the Arkansas' Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youth, a program that helps parents work with their children in preschool preparedness and literacy. She was named Arkansas Woman of the Year in 1983 and Arkansas Mother of the Year in 1984.
Clinton continued to practice law with the Rose Law Firm while she was First Lady of Arkansas. She was twice named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America, in 1988 and in 1991. Clinton had co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families in 1977, and served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services (1988-1992) and the Children's Defense Fund (as chair, 1986-1992). In addition to her positions with non-profit organizations, she also held positions on the corporate board of directors of TCBY (1985-1992), Wal-Mart Stores (1986-1992) and Lafarge (1990-1992).
First Lady of the United States
A new kind of First Lady
After her husband became a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination of 1992, Hillary Clinton received national attention for the first time. Before the New Hampshire primary, tabloid publications printed claims that Bill Clinton had had an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas lounge singer. In response, the Clintons appeared together on 60 Minutes, during which Bill Clinton denied the affair but acknowledged he had caused "pain" in their marriage. (Years later, he would admit that the Flowers affair had happened.) Hillary Clinton made culturally dismissive remarks about Tammy Wynette and baking cookies during the campaign that were ill-considered by her own admission. Bill Clinton said that electing him would get "two for the price of one", referring to the prominent role his wife would assume.
The Clinton family arrives at the White House courtesy of Marine One, 1993When Bill Clinton took office as president in January 1993, Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States, and announced that she would be using that form of her name. She was the first First Lady to hold a post-graduate degree and to have her own professional career up to the time of entering the White House. She was also the first First Lady to take up an office in the West Wing of the White House, First Ladies usually staying in the East Wing. She is regarded as the most openly empowered presidential wife in American history, save for Eleanor Roosevelt.
Some critics called it inappropriate for the First Lady to play a central role in matters of public policy. Supporters pointed out that Clinton's role in policy was no different from that of other White House advisors and that voters were well aware that she would play an active role in her husband's Presidency. Bill Clinton's campaign promise of "two for the price of one" led opponents to refer derisively to the Clintons as "co-presidents", or sometimes "Billary". The pressures of conflicting ideas about the role of a First Lady were enough to send Clinton into "imaginary discussions" with the also-politically-active Eleanor Roosevelt. Other segments of the public focused on her appearance, which had evolved over time from inattention to fashion during her days in Arkansas, to a popular site in the early days of the World Wide Web devoted to showing her many different hairstyles as First Lady, to an appearance on the cover of Vogue magazine in 1998.
Health care and other policy initiatives
In 1993, the president appointed his wife to head and be the chairwoman of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform. The recommendation of the task force became known as the Clinton health care plan, a complex proposal that would mandate employers to provide health coverage to their employees through individual health maintenance organizations. The plan was quickly derided as "Hillarycare" by its opponents, and did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although both chambers were controlled by Democrats. The proposal was abandoned in September of 1994. Clinton later acknowledged in her book, Living History, that her political inexperience partly contributed to the defeat, but mentioned that many other factors were also responsible. Republicans made the Clinton health care plan a major campaign issue of the 1994 midterm elections, which saw a net Republican gain of 53 seats in the House election and 7 in the Senate election, winning control of both. Opponents of universal health care would continue to use "Hillarycare" as a pejorative label for similar plans by others.
First Ladies (left to right) Nancy Reagan, Lady Bird Johnson, Clinton (then the current First Lady), Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, and Barbara Bush on May 11, 1994 at the National Garden Gala: A Tribute to America's First LadiesAs First Lady, Clinton hosted numerous White House Conferences, including ones on Child Care (1997), Early Childhood Development and Learning (1997), and Children and Adolescents (2000), and the first-ever White House Conferences on Teenagers (2000) and Philanthropy (1999). She promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses and encouraged older women to seek a mammogram to detect breast cancer, with coverage provided by Medicare. She initiated the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, a federal effort that provided state support for children whose parents were unable to provide them with health coverage. She successfully sought to increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma at the National Institutes of Health. The First Lady worked to investigate reports of an illness that affected veterans of the Gulf War, which became known as the Gulf War syndrome. In 1997, she initiated and shepherded the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which she regarded as her greatest accomplishment as First Lady.
In a September 1995 speech before the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, Clinton argued very forcefully against practices that abused women around the world and in China itself. Together with Attorney General Janet Reno, Clinton helped create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice.
This does not even take into account her record as Senator, a record which, contrary to popular opinion here, is more progressive than either Edwards or Obama. This woman that so many of you decry has been involved in everything from assisting in the impeachment of President Nixon to helping to implement, in response to a torrent of criticism mind you, a nationwide insurance program that 6 million children benefit from. Yet there are those of you who still question whether she is a progressive.
Now there are those of you who are really too young to understand what the Clintons meant to this country. Maybe in the midst of all this despair some of you forgot what it was like to feel hope and still others of you, and these are the ones I'm coming after politically, are just a bunch of over-educated know-it-all's who to be honest, lack enough common sense to pour the liquid in a boot onto the ground instead of drink it. You are the first to talk and the last to act. You take shots at a woman who has done nothing but try to improve this country and offer up as alternatives a talented but inexperienced young man, and proving my belief of your lack of common sense, a fake progressive from North Carolina.
Had you done your homework, you would know that Edwards is a fake progressive. This is not to say he is not a Democrat or loyal to the party. I believe fully he holds Democratic values dear to his heart. I also believe he is more of a yellow dog and his voting record shows that. Barack would be a great President, and should he succeed in his bid, I would be thrilled. However, neither of these two men to this point have offered any reason for me not to go with my instinct and support Hillary, which brings me back to Mr. White. Our party is one about rising from the ashes, about believing in a country that evolves, that grows, that learns, and ultimately prospers.
The Democratic Party of 2007 still needs a few of those old country boys to succeed. Mr. White is a good old boy. He is a good old boy who worked for 50 years polishing metal. He is a man who served his country during the Korean War and I have found that such honorable good old boys tend to know the difference between real and fake. They know fool's gold when they see it. David Mizner proposes that Hillary is taking money from people Democrats shouldn't take money from. Well, Barack Obama not two weeks ago took a lot of money thanks to a fundraiser held by Oprah Winfrey, who if you would recall, was one of Arnold's biggest supporters in his rise to the California Governership. So is Barack wrong for doing that?
You anti-Hillary people long ago crossed a line of decency with your ignorant, second hand, recycled recitations of GOP talk points. In doing so you have declared a form of political war on her and her supporters. You have declared war on me, and I am here to formally tell you on behalf of myself, the honorable Billy White of Canton, Texas, and millions of her supporters that your declaration of political war has been acknowledged and reciprocated and you have bought a fight you were not prepared for.
I understand fully that there are many good Edwards and Obama supporters out there. I respect you and your efforts and the above statement is not directed at you. It is directed at those Democrats or Naderites who too often have promised political cover fire for braver men and women than they and then cower at the sight of enemies leaving those brave men and women to fend for themselves. I am not concerned about defeating you as I know your type. The type that said Al Gore was better off without Bill Clinton. The type that said John Kerry should take the "high road" against the swift boaters. You have neither the courage nor when it comes down to it, the will that it would take to defeat Hillary. I am no longer interested in debating you, and I am no longer interested in listening to you. The only thing I really have to say to you, is see you in Iowa.