Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hillary the Healer?

Shortly (probably by the time you read this) Hillary Rodham Clinton will have “officially” ended her campaign and pledged her support to Barack Obama. The first article I was greeted with this morning was all about the supposed race between Obama and McCain to secure the female vote.

I’ll be shocked if more than 10% of females who voted for Hillary in the primaries will now go to McCain in the fall. Nearly all her supporters were in her corner for reasons beyond just that “she’s a woman”. Certainly, for many, it was a primary factor, perhaps even the main one. But they were still doing so from a certain political sensibility which, in the end, will bring them to the man who is most representative of their ideals. Hint: it isn’t a 71 year old, war loving, reproductive rights ambivalent, universal health care hating, Republican.

The first thing that we have to deal with is this, from early in the article:

Even the Democratic National Committee chairman is avidly trying to make up for accusations that he allowed sexism in the race to pass unchallenged.

“The wounds of sexism need to be the subject of a national discussion,” the chairman, Howard Dean, said in an interview. “Many of the most prominent people on TV behaved like middle schoolers” toward Mrs. Clinton.

Now, I have no doubt that there was sexism in the campaign. There was also racism. But ultimately Barack and Hillary secured over 35 million votes between them, while all the white male candidates were left in the dust. Furthermore, the sexism, as pointed out by Dean, had absolutely nothing to do with Obama. (I’ll leave the racism issue alone, in deference to the healing process. But lets just say – it wasn’t entirely from the media).

Once it’s made clear that Obama had exactly Z E R O to do with any issues of sexism that came up during the primary campaign, he will be well on his way to securing nearly all of Hillary’s voters. I hope when she makes her concession speech she goes out of her way to spell out that sexism was not used by the Obama camp. I’m afraid she won’t go quite far enough on this issue today. To be honest, the main reason we are at a point where healing is necessary at all is because of her - and I'll leave everything else alone and simply say that her speech last Tuesday was an awful start to the process. While I don't think she had to make a full concession on the last night of the campaign, she certainly should not have given such a combative speech. Based on everything that has happened throughout the campaign, I'm not convinced she'll go nearly far enough today towards healing the wounds. Since you’ve probably seen her speech already, you can tell me how wrong I am.


PhillyChief said...

What I find sexist is both the idea and the credibility it's given that women are so fucking stupid that they only voted for Clinton because she's a woman too, and that now they'll vote for McCain out of spite since Obama beat her. Not only should women be taking the media to task over this, but they should REALLY be giving hell to the women newscasters who, day after day, continue to repeat it.

John Evo said...

Let me beat everyone to it.

I was wrong. Happily!

Great speech by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Total support for Obama's candidacy, without reservation or qualification. She didn't say a word about the VP, and by doing so probably put herself back in to the running.

If Obama chooses her, I'd support his decision 100%. She'd be a ferocious campaigner, if nothing else. McCain wouldn't know what hit him.

PhillyChief said...

I wouldn't like that one bit. I think she hurts at least as much as she helps, and I don't like the idea of his campaign getting tainted with questionable campaign antics and "gaffes" which is what Hillary brings to the table. It also undermines his whole platform of change and progress. No thank you, I want her supporting from afar at best.

Let's not forget the issue of Bill. Didn't Obama have enough trouble with Wright? Soon then it would be about Bill not opening his books and so on and hey, let's not forget the blow job from fatty and that Whitewater thing. Bleh!

The Exterminator said...

Hillary Clinton would be a terrible choice for the VP spot. First of all, she brings a long tradition of sliminess and me-first politics. Second, she would keep alive all her own jabs at Obama: "Mr. Obama, even your vice presidential nominee says you're not fit to lead this country from day one." Third, the only thing she adds to the ticket is a tinge of Republicanism. Fourth, did I say that she's slimy?

There was nothing in Obama's primary campaign that even hinted at sexism. Clinton had a veiled message that everyone who didn't vote for her was a woman-hater. Of course, that's nonsense, the strategy of a loser. Some of us think she's a lying piece of shit with no thought whatsoever about her gender.

By the way, I don't think you can characterize McCain as "reproductive rights ambivalent." There's no ambivalence about his position; he's against women's right to control their own bodies.

John Evo said...

Ex - I used the word "ambivalence" there because it's yet another of his "flip-flop" issues. He has spoken favorable on Roe in the past and he has said he would put Justices on the court who would undercut it. But I agree with you. It's pretty clear that he is no friend to people in favor of reproductive rights.

To both of yuz -

I'm not saying I WANT Hillary as Veep. But if Obama weighs it all out (and I have to think he knows much better what he needs to win that we do) and says "I choose Hillary", I'd support that fully. I'm supporting Obama because of Obama. What technical decisions he makes in acquiring the White House, I leave to him without prejudice. Unless he does something illegal or unethical.

Anonymous said...

It was only a matter of time before Hillary did the inevitable. At least she did it with some grace.

John Evo said...

I agree Chappy. I've been pissed off at her for any number of things in the past 5 months. But today's speech was 100% on target, 0% off. I can't complain about her wording, tone, enthusiasm, or body language. I was a little worried for the first 5 minutes, but taken in full context, even that was fine. She deserves to toot her own horn, and she did it without marginalizing his accomplishments.