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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Baring Claws


Here's a snippet of John Dickerson's article on slate.com entitled "Obama Wins Split Decision." You can read the whole article here. Dickerson's words are far better than the rant I was conjuring up.

"When Hillary Clinton questioned Gen. David Petraeus last September, she famously said that to believe his description of progress in Iraq required "a willing suspension of disbelief." After the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, the same may now be true about her case for winning the Democratic nomination. It's not that she can't win, but with only 217 delegates up for grabs in the six remaining contests, the scenario for victory has become more fantastical, narrow, and painful.

Clinton won Indiana, but, as she pointed out repeatedly to Petraeus, individual victories—even a surge of them in Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania—don't change the whole story. The larger reality still holds. Barack Obama has the lead in elected delegates and the popular vote. Those leads increased Tuesday as he widened his margin by 15 delegates and roughly 200,000 more votes. For Clinton to move ahead in those numbers now, she must bring more states into the union."

It seems to me that Hillary is trying to claw her way to the top of a scratching post that has lost its carpeted sheath. This makes it even more evident to me that she's in this race for herself. To outdo her personal best. A mere check mark on her life's oneupmanship to-do list. I'm not seeing any gumption for the people, the issues, the paradigm shift that our country so desperately needs. After Hillary's plea for money in her Indiana victory speech last night, she just seemed pathetic. Hanging on to the shred of carpet that was worn off ages ago.

By the way, I am indeed on a first name basis with Hillary. She branded herself that way to seem more accessible and open. As with all brands, the promise must deliver. It didn't.

Now don't get me wrong. I started out a Hillary supporter. My family has a long love affair with the Clintons. When my mom shook Bill's hand at a book signing she called me and vowed to never wash her hand again. I too met Bill, sax in hand, when I was in college and first getting involved in and excited about politics. We all defended Hillary's universal health care proposal and thought she was not given a fair shake. We dissed the men who were so obviously threatened by her, for she is a woman who is undoubtedly bright, fierce, distinguished, and tenacious.

What tugged at my doubt in this campaign were the elements of warmth, empathy, passion, and earnestness that were clearly missing from her long list of values and attributes. I found myself supporting Hillary because she is a woman. And only because it would be amazingly cool and empowering to have a woman in the Oval Office who is not serving (or servicing, a la Monica) the President. I found myself moved emotionally, and into action even, when I learned more about Obama. He made me hungry to learn more and motivated to do more. That's when I shifted my allegiance. Simply having the X chromosome wasn't enough. I wish it were, for I still hope to see the day a woman rules this country.

But for now, let's just sew up the oozing abdominal wound in the Democratic party and move on. Let Hillary exit with grace and dignity. And a standing ovation for her efforts. But please, pass the baton to Obama, and let's kick McCain's war monger ass.
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1 comment:

pajamadeen said...

"It seems to me that Hillary is trying to claw her way to the top of a scratching post that has lost its carpeted sheath. This makes it even more evident to me that she's in this race for herself. To outdo her personal best. A mere check mark on her life's oneupmanship to-do list."

Well said! Yes, that's the sense I get too - This is a personal matter to her. Winning is everything. She's lost sight of the larger picture - what's best for the Dems and the country.