So here's the deal. I love Hillary. That's a polarizing statement, I know. I also know that Hillary can be a polarizing figure. Though I feel that she is routinely maligned in the media and by politicos, and commonly the butt of sexist attitudes (overt or institutional), I can understand why some people dislike her. The sad fact is that most of the complaints against her are complaints that could easily be levied against any other--dare I say it--male candidate. She's bossy? She's self-righteous? Claims credit or exaggerates her role in world/political affairs? Gets her facts wrong? I don't know why it is that we've treated her differently than every other male candidate that's running for office. George W. Bush is notoriously stubborn in staying on point and sticking to his agenda. The role of the politician in society is to claim credit for his / her accomplishments. Misspoke? Misstates? Happens to the best--and the worst--of them. Nary a pundit blinked when John McCain needed Joe Lieberman to correct him that Iran was not supplying aid to Al Qaeda in Iraq, a mistake he repeated a few days later.
Further, I have to say this: there is no reason why America cannot or should not accept a woman president. Many democracies have had women leaders. And my favorite example is Israel. Regardless of your opinions of the middle east conflict, if Israel, a nation under constant threat, war, and terrorist attacks on home turf, can have a woman in charge, then why not America? Why not us?
Thus, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Passover, I am compelled to ask, "Why is this candidate different from all other candidates?" And I find no real response to the question.
That being said, the media and the pundit community long ago annointed Barak Obama the proper nominee. That has given both Republicans and Democrats the unbridled ability to engage in Hillary-bashing. And less and less attention or scrutiny has been directed at the Democratic Party which, in an effort to increase the role and visibility of minorities, allowed the early voting of some states, such as Georgia, but not Michigan or Florida. The mess, the fiasco, and the blame placed on Hillary Clinton (now referred to in some circles as "she-who-cannot-mathematically-win") was caused by the party. Although the party does get to pick its own candidate, and gets to play by its own rules more or less, today's populace can't reasonably be expected to divorce their presumption of entitlement of 1 person 1 vote from the primary process. In other words, it might be the Democrats' party, but it is the voters that count.
As of late, I've become one of the many who, despite my affection for Hillary Clinton the Candidate, has become ready to accept Barack Obama as our candidate and our President. Hopefully, come the convention, there will be some major fence-mending, and we can come together. This will be one of Obama's bigger tasks..if he can unite the Democrats, he can unite the nation.
I've never disliked Obama, by the way. Actually, I think he's pretty darn terrific. He usually speaks from the heart, calls it like he sees it, and stokes the fire inside the progressive soul. Unfortunately, the extended campaign season has withered the immediacy of his message, but he's still got it. And he's got a lot to offer this country. I openly wonder whether--and how--the symbolic gesture of electing an African American (with a rather ethnic name) to the presidency would affect not only racial discord across our country but change other nations' perceptions of America and perhaps help to regain our rightful standing in the world community.
Ultimately, we need to change the direction we're heading. We need to find a sensible long-term Iraq strategy that allows our withdrawal. We need to improve our economy drastically. Although I still hold out hope that Hillary can pull it together, I'm ready for President Obama.