As much as I don’t want to keep talking about Senator Clinton, I feel compelled to say something about this. There are so many things that Harriet Christian said that came straight out of the Clinton campaign that are just plain wrong…I don’t even know where to begin.
I would like to suggest to women who are supporters of Hillary Clinton that being associated with this sort of thinking does nothing to advance the cause for women to be recognized as equals in all areas of life, including politics. This woman doesn’t think the Supreme Court nominations are important. Is that because she thinks it’s only a Roe v. Wade issue? When she starts rattling off the campaign talking points, I can’t help but think that SHE’s the one who’s not thinking.
And the worst is when she says that 99.9% of the black folks voting for Obama are only doing it because he’s black, while at the same time clearly stating that her unwavering support for Clinton comes from the fact that she’s female! Of course, the contention about black voters’ motivations is patently false, just a similar assertion about women would be. It’s as racist and sexist as any other blanket statement made during this campaign.
The reason I’m posting it or even giving it the time of day is because this is an opportunity for Senator Clinton to lead, to command that respect she claimed she wanted on Tuesday night. Her campaign suspension is being very carefully orchestrated to keep a far distance from Barack Obama, despite her behind-the-scenes appearance of support via conference calls and the like. However, if she does not stand up and say out loud that the nomination was NOT stolen, that any of her supporters who choose to support John McCain are turning their backs on HER, then whatever she says and does will be empty and her scorched-earth strategy is set in motion.
She must say these things, not because she will convince Harriet Christian and those who think like Harriet Christian. She must say these things because it’s her DUTY to lead. That’s what being a President is about. LEADING. That means pushing ahead through disappointment to do the right thing because it’s the right thing.
People vote for candidates for all kinds of reasons, but the main one should be policy, not identity-based. Because Obama and Clinton were so close together policy-wise, any rejections should be considered to be an identity rejection first and foremost, particularly when rejecting Obama, who has demonstrated clearly that he is ready to lead, that he has run a clean, above-board campaign where he attacked no one, and where she spent months pulling him down by labeling him an elitist, out of touch, and inexperienced.
Leadership is needed, Senator Clinton. You need to step up and tell folks that things are said in campaigns like this. You need to appear on the same stage with him, and you need to do it with sincerity in your heart. Sooner is better than later. Thank you.
Her inexperience argument is a canard that should die a rapid death. Senator Obama has demonstrated his ability to mount a strong and effective campaign while not abandoning his core principles of transparency and staying focused on the issues. He has demonstrated fiscal responsibility and an ability to reach out and build a strong coalition of support around the core principles guiding the Democratic party.
Make no mistake, the nominating process and campaign is a strong indicator of where the general election will go. Let’s call the church crap a draw, given that McCain’s got Hagee and Parsley repudiations under his belt. Barack Obama will end the primary season with millions in the bank, a nice nest egg for the general election, and a strong, empowered, grass-roots base to build his general election campaign.
ANY argument which suggests that Hillary Clinton is more capable than Barack Obama to be President of this country is based on intellectual dishonesty. Let’s talk about leadership in that context.
Leadership has more than one element. It is first, and foremost, the ability to exercise good personal judgment. Second, the ability to communicate a direction in a way that attracts people to your cause; and third, the ability to move that cause forward steadily and with purpose.
Just in the context of today’s RBC meeting, let’s look at leadership. The Obama campaign asked its followers to refrain from any demonstration or en masse appearance in Washington DC today, choosing instead to focus on their 50 state voter registration drive, intended to shore up the Democratic voter base in all 50 states. His supporters are just as passionate as Hillary Clinton’s, trust me. They could have appeared in front of that hotel with their own signs, but they DID NOT, choosing instead to follow the request of Obama and work on calling voters, registering new voters, and working on other aspects of the campaign.
Clinton’s supporters, on the other hand, disrupted the meeting (particularly the afternoon sessions), called for more division by stirring her Florida supporters with comparisons to the 2000 election, the civil rights movement, the suggestion that the compromise reached treats Florida voters as less than slaves (who received 3/5ths of a vote), aligned with slanderous and discredited characters for the sake of attention, and consistently continue to whine that the failure of her candidacy is somehow related to sexism, misogyny and unfair treatment.
The video linked above and the one embedded below are examples. Both are pathetic. I would never, ever in a hundred years do this. It’s a disgrace to Hillary Clinton. It’s a disgrace to every hard-working woman who manages to find their place in life as a self-actualized human being. As the daughter of an abusive father, I know what it feels like to be controlled by men. I also know it’s possible to be a woman in a man’s world without turning into a hater. This supporter’s hysteria and irrationality undermines Clinton’s legitimate, strong, hard-fought candidacy. I don’t hold her responsible for what one supporter says, but let’s be honest — when Clinton surrogate Geraldine Ferraro attributes her current position to nothing more than sexism, she undermines all of us who chose NOT to vote for Clinton because we did not recognize her as a strong, unifying leader. My impression of Clinton has been that she is a divider, not a uniter, and that has been obvious as the primary season has progressed. I’m a woman! I’m not anti-woman, nor do I feel bound by my physiology to vote for one candidate over another.
If Barack Obama loses in November (and the only way I see that happening is if the party is so hopelessly divided that it simply disintegrates), Hillary Clinton will lose the opportunity to advance her own agenda for women’s rights, reproductive rights, ending the war, and health care. She will have far more influence with a Barack Obama presidency than she would with a John McCain presidency.
If her motives are what she says — party unity and advancing an agenda of social reform — then it’s in her best interests to throw her support wholeheartedly behind Obama and lead her supporters to do the same. If her interests are purely self-serving, she should continue to encourage horrible behavior and paint herself as a victim. And a loser.
Clinton has the power to decide what she wants to do. Let’s hope she does it, and demonstrates leadership that is effective, outspoken and works to defeat the Republicans in November.