Beyond Likability: Five reasons why I am excited for Hillary Clinton to be President

My answer to the question “but do you like her?”

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A few nights ago, in the midst of watching the DNC speeches, my mom called and asked me a pointed question. “I know you are going to vote for Hillary, but do you like her?” I bristled at the question. I don’t want to vote for a candidate who acts like my friend, I want to vote for a candidate who I believe will do a good job as president of my country. But I take the point. Most of the conversations (and Facebook posts) out there have been about the shortcomings, and “unlikeability,” of the presidential candidates.

Instead of defending Hillary’s likability, I am going to give you five reasons why I am excited for Hillary Clinton to become President.

  1. She gives complicated answers

The world is a complicated place, and we need a president who understands the complexity of problems, domestically and internationally. Hillary isn’t willing to simplify the issues for a sound bite, and I like that. When Hillary talks about policy ideas and how they might be achieved, I see a candidate who not only understands the issues, but also puts forth possible pathways for making change. Frankly, I want a candidate who knows more about the political process than I do, a candidate who doesn’t revert to one-size-fits-all solutions, and a candidate who has experience shaping policy in this complex world.

2. She tells the truth

Despite the absurd refrain from her opponents (on both sides of the political spectrum), Hillary has proven to be the most truthful of the candidates in the election. Doubting women’s honesty is a deeply entrenched reality in our culture. Hillary’s opponents are capitalizing on our many unconscious biases in order to encourage us to doubt her credibility.

3. She changes her mind

This one is big for me. I want a leader who is responsive to the preferences of constituents, the opinions of trusted advisors and (gasp!) research and evidence. A leader who sticks to his or her opinion even when presented with convincing contrary opinions or facts seems like a dangerous person to run our country. Besides, things change, circumstances change, the disadvantaged groups that need protections change, and the parts of the economy that are a problem are different in a period of growth than in a period of recession. Hillary has proven that she is willing to listen to her opponents, critics, friends, and regular Americans, and develop policies that respond to their needs.

4. She’s got baggage

The reason Hillary’s opponents have the ability to critique her record is because she has one — 40 years of public service, that is. She fought for women’s rights before it was mainstream, and advocated for healthcare reform before it was cool. She’s worked in two branches of government, and worked closely with two presidents (so she knows what she’s in for) .

5. She knows how to manage

All this talk about a candidate’s personality seems overstated. When we elect a president, we don’t hire a person, we hire a manager. We know that Hillary can surround herself with brilliant staff and from what we know, she is a great person to work for.


Still not convinced? Here are a few more.

6. She’s a mother and a grandmother, so she understands women and women’s issues (think about it, she’s probably had a pregnancy scare, been catcalled, been afraid to walk home alone, and been offered a lower salary…)

7. She’s openly stated that #BlackLivesMatter (see #3), has LGBT rights on her platform, supports humane immigration reform, and has a plan to tackle climate change.

8. She has some incredible advisors, and she’s willing to ask them for advice (President Obama and Former President Clinton are only the first names on a very long list of high-powered confidants).

9. She reads (it’s shockingly not a given).

10. If she’s president, a bigoted narcissistic bully will not have the nuclear codes.

Still want more reasons? Here are 65 more.

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