Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's Not All About Hillary Anymore

It's now more about Chelsea and Her Generation
I sat down to watch Hillary's big speech this morning feeling angry that she had waited so many days to deliver her very necessary concession speech. Why necessary? To let the public know that she had (finally) seen reality: that Obama has won, fair and square, the right to be the Democratic Presidential Nominee who will run against McCain.

When it was clear that she would arrive more than thirty minutes late, I felt irritated. Given her Tuesday evening performance, I was already anxious that her trumpeted "endorsement" of Obama would be half-hearted, and that the speech would be devoted more to self-congratulatory rhetoric and continuing distortions of the truth than to a convincing and ringing endorsement of Obama.

Imagine my shock when, early on in her speech, I found myself moved to tears. Those heartfelt tears fell, in part, because I, too, am a woman who understands that she is deeply indebted to all those suffragettes who so courageously and pro-actively marched and spoke out against the denial of equal rights for all women. I am a woman who appreciates that those courageous actions eventually obtained, for all women, the right to vote and to have more choices in decisions profoundly affecting our lives.

I listened with a growing appreciation for each of the differing, but essential, sections which make up her speech. She began and concluded by thanking her supporters and family, and spoke about (some of ) what motivated her in seeking to become our nation's first female president. She allowed herself some self-congratulatory comments, but, to her credit, she avoided repeating the untrue statement that she had received more votes than any other candidate. And, she included a few sentences devoted to rehabilitating Bill's legacy, while making the case for electing Obama. But, throughout the speech and with ever increasing conviction, intensity, and passion, she pledged her support for Obama. And, she convincingly and urgently invited her supporters to join with her in accomplishing the hard work necessary to assure that Obama is elected.

In the end, she delivered a speech that was all that it needed to be. It has helped to assuage a bit of my anger at her for the hostile, hurtful, and unnecessarily destructive attacks she increasingly made upon Obama during this far too long campaign. She did give a truly awesome speech - and I thank her for that. I don't believe she has transformed herself from the narcissistic, ambition-driven person that she revealed herself to be throughout this campaign, but I respect and appreciate that her endorsement of Obama was strong, convincing, and believable!

Finally, I want to acknowledge that I recognize that for Hillary to arrive at a place, emotionally, where she could deliver this gem of a speech, had to be an enormously painful and difficult journey. I find myself wondering if she was enabled to find the emotional space needed to deliver today's speech by picturing Chelsea as that first female president to inhabit the Oval Office. Such wonderings aside, I think that Hillary's speech demonstrates that she could be a terrific running mate...but...Sadly, I remain concerned about how sincerely supportive she and Bill could/would prove to be over the long haul of a national campaign and throughout the eight years of an Obama Presidency, which I so hope our country will get to enjoy.

I wish I could want to see her as the perfect choice to be Obama's running mate. Regrettably, I cannot.

17 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Vigilante said...

Emily, great post. I have to cop to having teared up a smite when she said "Yes. We Can!" I also grabbed on to the part where she said the glass ceiling is now fractured in 18,000,000 places! I agree with you that Hill is not a perfect choice as a running mate for Barack Obama. But after today's speech, I have to concede that she is a choice.

6/07/2008 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh Vig, thanks so much for underscoring Hillary's comment about the "new" fractures in that glass ceiling which still oppresses so many women. Despite the fact that it is another example of her proclivity for issuing self-congratulatory comments, I must confess that l really enjoy picturing those 18 million cracks!

I also want to mention that I thought Hillary's exhortations to her supporters to focus on the future, rather than to wallow in "what might have beens", was constructive and helpful to the difficult process of fence-mending that must occur if the Democrats are truly to achieve unity within their Democratic Party.

6/07/2008 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Anonymiss said...

I wish I could want to see her as the perfect choice to be Obama's running mate. Regrettably, I cannot.

I agree. I wouldn't have minded that they run on the same ticket but the campaign was so bitter. And they don't even complement each other.

6/07/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cold War Vet said...

I felt it to Em.

I have been mindful from the outset to not trash Hillary. She is a great ally.

There is a lot to be said for the grilling she gave Barack. To do 23 debates with the Clinton machine and come out smelling like a rose, goes a long way toward preparing him for the GOP.

Thank You Hillary.

Obama '08

6/07/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Great post Emily, But I do not think it would be possible for her to be his running mate. She has promised over and over to work her heart out to ensure a democrat is elected. It would make him look weak after her disgraceful performance Tuesday night, and all the maneuvering she did to try to force his hand. He needs to have a running mate he can trust. I don't think that's HRC especially with Bill along for the ride.

6/07/2008 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

On the day Hillary Clinton endorsed his historic run for president, Barack Obama acknowledged Clinton’s own historic campaign, saying she

shattered barriers on behalf of my daughters and women everywhere....Our party and our country are stronger because of the work she has done throughout her life, and I’m a better candidate for having had the privilege of competing with her in the campaign.

Clinton comes off as a winner.

6/07/2008 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Petrosexual said...

Was Marc Rich in the audience? Howabout Monica? I didn't see them. I'm sure they were in the teevee audience, anyway. I'm sure of that.

6/08/2008 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger Yellow Dog said...

Petro-Shock, The next concession speech you hear will be John McCain's. Just so you'll be prepared! There'll be lots of lobbyists in the audience for that one.

6/08/2008 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger Soros' Proxy said...

Hey! There was another speech made yesterday!

6/08/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

Emily, Vig, my friend the history professor has made a suggestion for Barack Obama's Cabinet and Vice President. Come weigh in on the idea, will you?

6/08/2008 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger MacDaddy said...

Though late, the concession speech was good and necessary. I doubt if she'll be picked for VP, but she'll be placed highly in an Obama administration. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; a member of the Supreme Court are two that come to mind. Good discussion.

6/09/2008 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

I see putrid-assual still can't let go of his talking points. You'd think that after countless lives, jobs, and dollars, he could find something better to talk about.

Please, putrid-tell us all about the accomplishments of the wingtards. They had the country for 6 long years; surely there is something (not written by the RNC) that you can point to as an actual success?

6/09/2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger K McKiernan said...

And for all of you who think she acted so abysmally Tuesday night... one question.

You said her speech "moved" you, and some of you went so far as to say you had new respect for her. Do you really think Hillary 'coulda' given THAT speech primary night? Is it fair to expect anyone who just spent 16 long months fighting so hard to give the perfect speech the moment you Obama supporters wanted it?

Come on. She took a few days... crafted a brilliant speech, and hand delivered millions of vote to Obama. Kiss her ass, literally... kiss her feet.... Stop bashing.

Funny, if she would have given a speech that night and it had not been carefully crafted with enough "induce tears" moments or if she had not sounded grateful enough to each person she needed to thank, of if she had not "soundly" endorsed YOUR candidate, then you would have bemoaned her for that.

She cannot win. She did not win. But again, she hand delivered millions to Obama. Show more gratitude.

6/09/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Urban Pink said...

Geez, this last post is so angry and supplicating. That kind of Hillary-trust/love scares me. It's one thing to be pro-woman, it's another thing to be pro-Hillary at all costs. I agree, though, that I think we can all understand that she needed a few days to accept the loss, and she really put together a good speech while she was at it. A good speech and official endorsement it was, but it will not allow me to forget how she and her husband used racial prejudice, false abortion issues, possibly vote suppression and fear to try to crush their own party's other candidacy.

6/10/2008 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Wesley Clark for Vice President!

The General states his case better than I can! Excerpts:

"I know [McCain]'s trying to get traction by seeking to play to what he thinks is his strong suit of national security. The truth is that, in national security terms, he's largely untested and untried. He's never been responsible for policy formulation. He's never had leadership in a crisis, or in anything larger than his own element on an aircraft carrier or [in managing] his own congressional staff. It's not clear that this is going to be the strong suit that he thinks it is.

..... McCain's weakness is that he's always been for the use of force, force and more force. In my experience, the only time to use force is as a last resort. ... When he talks about throwing Russia out of the G8 and makes ditties about bombing Iran, he betrays a disrespect for the office of the presidency.

..... Republicans like to focus on the threat, on fear, on insecurities. It's what motivates their base. As Democrats, we focus on hope and possibilities in the future. So the two parties are asymmetrical. And because the two parties are different, it makes the national security [issue] play differently to both parties. But I think we have to point out the failures and shortcomings of the current approach. In the foreign policy arena, John McCain has pretty much bought the central thrust of the Bush administration's foreign policies: relying on threat and bluster [and] isolating people we don't agree with instead of engaging them.

..... My take is that Senator Obama has been very clear ... As he said in his recent appearance before AIPAC, he is strongly committed to America's allies. And it would be a mistake for anyone to assume he won't use force when it's necessary and appropriate. ... I think it's a question of whether you believe all intercourse with an enemy must end in conflict or not.

..... I think Iran has come out of the Bush administration as a much stronger power. First of all, we eliminated the primary blocking force to their west in Iraq. Secondly, we have been ineffective in using the broader tools of U.S. diplomacy and moral suasion in the region -- and that's allowed Iran to capture Hamas, displace Fatah and strengthen [its] grip on Hezbollah. ... Without effective diplomatic engagement of Iran, we've allowed them to pursue a nuclear program that is likely aimed at achieving nuclear weapons. But we've refused to sit down and talk to them about it. ... I still favor an effort to engage Iran, but the clock is ticking on their probable nuclear program. This makes everything much more complicated and difficult now.

..... I think that there was a window [for diplomacy]. Maybe two or three windows of opportunity. They might or might not have been fruitful. There are never any guarantees with diplomacy. But there are never any guarantees with force, either. John McCain should know that. He and I, along with many others, were caught up in an inconclusive war in southeast Asia."


Wesley Clark may be playing hard to get, but even Generals can be drafted. If anyone can draft him, Obamacan!

6/11/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

I voted for Clark in 2004, but he's not the only candidate I think would be good as VP.

This is a great idea, macdaddy: Clinton as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare; a member of the Supreme Court. The conservative Congress raised hell when Bill appointed her to improve health care in this country. Accordingly, they had to back down.

I think she'd be great and may finally shatter that damn ceiling.

6/11/2008 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Welcome to corporatist, fascist America.

6/12/2008 12:41:00 PM  

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