Sunday, June 08, 2008

18 million cracks

It was hard listening to Hillary Clinton (D-New York) on Saturday when she finally conceded the Democratic nomination to Senator Barak Obama (D-Illinois). Up to this point in time I was slowly letting go of the hope that she would make it to the White House as the first female president of the United States of America. I cried and I've been mourning ever since Tuesday when it became certain that Hillary wasn't going to make it to the Oval office. By the time I shed my tears, my friends had already cried and were painfully moving on to either begrudgingly vote for Obama in November or just taking time off from what has already been a dramatic and dually historic Democratic primary race.

Yet, being the ever optimistic "you can do it" girl that I am, I still hold out hope that Obama will select Hillary as his running mate so that for the first time in history a black man and a woman can enter into leadership together. I can't bare the thought of being told, "You will get your turn," one more time. If history has taught us nothing with the abolitionist and civil rights movements where women stepped aside for black men is that we've been told to be "good girls" and wait patiently for generations for far too long. Can't we step through the doors of the White House together?

Hillary knows this well and finally, finally as she stepped down she drew on those historic roots not only to support Obama's candidacy as the Democratic president, but also with the 18 million cracks, referring to the voters who cast their ballots for her, in the highest glass ceiling in the nation—the Oval office. Why, I wonder, couldn't she have been more candid about gender and race and about the history that was being made during these past 18 months? Was it so bad, her tears being shed in New Hampshire, to use her feminine attributes a bit more in her race for the Democratic nomination? Why did she have to fall back on the clich├ęd and out of fashion--just as much as big hair and padded shoulders--pantsuit and "woman operating in a man's world" toss back to second wave feminism? Couldn't Chelsea have given her clues as a third wave feminist that it is okay to be feminine and lead as a woman in the modern age?

The realization comes all too late, but as I mentioned before I hope with Hillary's realization of history, girl power, and shedding the mechanical cloak that weighed her down throughout her campaign that Obama will see that in spite of her outdated campaign tactics that she is a modern girl who has been a trend setter for change for 40 years. Hillary's experience is invaluable and should definitely be seriously considered as an asset to the vice presidency.

Photo credit: courtesy and copyright AP.

2 comments:

Free Your Mind. The REST will Follow. said...

Heather,

Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt, and forward thinking commentary about having
just-missed-the-mark-by-this-much to elect the first woman President of the United States of America. Many tears are still being shed.

It would be something to see an Obama-Clinton ticket. From all indications, it would appear that Obama is determined to get a fresh start without the Clintons back in or anywhere near the White House. I predict that Obama is more likely to select a military type white guy (Jim Webb, Clark) to really handle Iraq). However, under the circumstances of the outcry for a first woman President, he at last has to appear that he is considering a (white) woman. I really doubt this will occur, but this would be part of Hillary's legacy -- even if it is not her, the magnitude of her most popular voted campaign forced the issue of having a woman on the ticket.

Should Obama NOT select a woman as VP-nominee, I am afraid that McCain just might take up that banner and select a moderate Republican woman as VP (someone appealing to those 22% of Hillary Supporters now vowing to vote for McCain, as well as Republicans less concerned that he is not a true conservative) to create his own historical moment.

It could all get very interesting by the Democratic National Convention starting August 25.

Bi Girl Friday said...

Hi Free Your Mind,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my post about Hillary's concession to Barack for the Democratic nomination.

I think you're right. As my tears dry up and emotions turn toward logic there are some serious considerations coming our way by both Democratic and Republican nominees.

I won't vote for McCain, even if he does select a moderate Republican woman v.p. candidate. I won't throw my party to the wolves over gender...I will opt out over bad policy, leadership, and more important issues that don't have to do with gender or race. I just can't tow the Republic party line. It's not in my liberal Irish Catholic SF Bay Area upbringing.

August 25 is bound to be very, very interesting.