Shaheen’s Leadership: Its Nowhere To Be Found
October 5, 2008
It is amusing that many of the same people who angrily shout insults in the direction of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, dismissing her as merely a small-state governor who mindlessly toes the party line, are so enthusiastically screaming their support for Jeanne Shaheen -- a former small-state governor who mindlessly toes the party line.
Granted, Jeanne Shaheen is not running for vice president of the United States. But she is running for U.S. Senate, where she would have to vote on immensely important issues, such as whether to raise or lower taxes, whether to go to or retreat from war, and whether to undertake billions of dollars in new debt to rescue the economy.
Shaheen has shown in this campaign, just as she did in her last one six years ago, that she has no ideas of her own. She merely parrots what Democratic Party officials in Washington tell her to say. And to cover for her own lack of substance, she drowns her opponent in a steady flow of misleading attacks, many of them downright false.
For instance, she accuses her opponent, Sen. John Sununu, of opposing sensible regulations that would have prevented the mortgage meltdown. But Sununu co-wrote and co-sponsored bills to restrain Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which would have done more than any other legislation to prevent that catastrophe. In contrast, Shaheen actually signed a bill to take away consumer protections from credit-card holders when one of her biggest political contributors, Providian Bank, asked her to.
Shaheen has a long record of shamelessly and relentlessly distorting both her opponent's record and her own. Why? Because if the election were decided on a fair assessment of each candidate's records, she would lose in a landslide.
Shaheen is a doctrinaire big-government liberal who has never met a spending increase or a tax hike she didn't like. While she was governor, state spending doubled! And after having pledged for years to oppose a sales or income tax, she proposed a sales tax and said she would support an income tax.
Shaheen's flip-flops are legendary. In addition to changing her position on a broad-based tax, she has changed her position on the Iraq war (she was for it before she was against it), on drilling for more oil (she was against it, then said she was for it), on nuclear power (she was against it, then for it), and on the federal bailout passed last week (she was for it, then against it).
Here is the only guide to predicting what position Jeanne Shaheen will take on an issue: If John Sununu is for it, she's against it, and vice versa.
Shaheen has proved throughout her career that she is no leader. Her positions are guided by political expediency. If this is the type of politician New Hampshire wants, then Jeanne Shaheen is it. But if New Hampshire wants a politician who stands on principle whether the position is popular or not, and whether that position is endorsed by his party or not, then John Sununu is the one.