1) My broad framework in politics is the Big Umbrella of the Democratic Party coalition: Each coalition group having its top agenda item its own --- civil rights, social justice, unions, humanitarian protections -- but down below on their lists of top one or two items, all groups in general consensus with those of all the other groups. The Democratic AGENDA is primary, not (generally) the messengers.
2) As a youth I looked for heroes and found them in Woodrow WILSON, Al SMITH, FDR, and HST. I was wary of JFK from the start and picked LBJ (not old enough to vote). With an older perspective, I learned that it is the AGENDA that matters, and that the AGENDA is separate from the personal drama of biographies, although fantastic personalities with the right direction can further the agenda immeasurably - or hurt it disastrously.
In my list, FDR and HST retain the high majority of my Personality Worship, with the others keeping somewhat smaller portions. The KENNEDYs were never on my list. Before CLINTON, they became my example of how Personality Cultism gets in the way of the party agenda, disastrously. How much of RFK's anti-war sentiment was deeply rooted in his own personal tragedies and hatred for LBJ and his own career decisions (prosecuting the Mob) that might have led to his personal family tragedies?
So it has been a long process for me NOT to be swayed by Personality Cultism. It would have to be somebody of FDR/HST or even LBJ levels for me to succumb, IF I could recognize them in real time.
3) As for the '08 primary and the future for Hillary: I was really really strong for her all the way until it was clear she had lost (when she finally conceded), and then I opened to giving a second look at OBAMA, and while my original doubts remained over the superficial faddism of the youthful supporters and the hundreds of promises within any given speech and "the heavens opening up" as Hillary put it, my ONE objective was to dump everything Shrub-CHEENEE in the garbage where they should always have been. What the one word "Change" was all about, despite being an elephant in the room, was ANYTHING AWAY FROM SHRUB. But as with all my Dem nominees, I thoroughly threw myself in OBAMA's support, and gloried in any shred of sticking it in the Rethugs' eyes. That's why the Nobel was important, not for what he had done (what?) but because his very election meant a rejection of all-things-Shrub/Rethug.
But to clarify my points about Hillary: She ran a totally INSIDE the box campaign, paying the career p.r. people millions, wasting the millions on conventional by-the-list things without originality or riskiness. As for everybody's saying what a fantastic Secretary of State she was, I will appreciate anybody's telling me what significant negotiation she facilitated. Her statements sound like soulless recitations of positions that have been totally vetted in a way that makes them "safe" and nearly uncriticizeable, and this goes for her recent statements on Women and Gay rights.
********Just to round out my making of more enemies, I've said here several times that McGOVERN was not my choice in that primary and I wrote him a letter saying that and saying that I thought he had NO chance to beat NIXON and that all that mattered was to BEAT NIXON. I wish I had kept the reply, which would be a historic document, whether it was written by staff or the signature was original, in which he said he himself DID think he could win and hoped I would give him a chance. I admired him for his character and beliefs and, of course, voted for him. My point in bringing him up is not JUST that ANY Dem is better than any Rethug, which is true, but that no amount of purity and nobility are good for the AGENDA if the candidate loses. And candidates who are incapable of assessing their own viability are already seriously flawed. They see 400 people at an airport rally and who wouldn't be personally thrilled, but they can't see this doesn't translate into a winning vote.
All of this adds up to, I love and support ALL Dems who are not personally corrupt. The point is that it be a Dem who appoints the Supreme Court and the thousands of policy making bureaucrats and being good-try effective in getting the Congress to follow. As ABBA says, the winner takes it ALL. And if the personal baggage of a Bill CLINTON detracts from the agenda, the personality is just not a help. (I stood by him, too, during that whole FAKE impeachment thing.)