Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thoughts on Hillary Clinton's Achievement

Presidential campaigning isn't my usual topic, but I can't let the end of Hillary Clinton's presidential bid pass without comment. I had been ambivalent about Hillary for years, but I made up my mind that I could not support her over the winter after reading Carl Bernstein's biography, "A Woman In Charge." He portrayed a passionate idealist who began to cut ethical corners as soon as she and her husband took power in Arkansas. The unpleasant traits and tendencies he described carried through her White House years and were already beginning to show in the campaign, and I decided that I didn't want the two of them and their psychodramas back in the seat of American power.
But now that her campaign is over, I feel nothing but pride. As a woman, I feel empowered by her courage, her stamina, her intelligence, her conviction. Sure, she made some mistakes, and she got me pretty riled at times, but now that she's ended her run, I'm enormously proud of her. She has made history. The gaffes and exaggerations and sneaky, line-crossing comments she made won't be what people will remember in 25 years. We won't dwell on those things, no matter how annoyed we were at the time; only the political historians will keep those mistakes in focus. What we'll remember, what will stand out as clearly and sharply in 2043 as it does in 2008, is the image of her powerful presence, her success in redefining presidential politics to include the clear possibility of a woman nominee. Bravo, Hillary.


Adrian Carrasquillo said...
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Erik Gunn said...

I was never enthusiastic about her candidacy. (I've spent the last year or so telling anyone who would listen that someone like governors Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas or Janet Napolitano of Arizona were far more qualified to be the first woman president.) But like you I do admire her accomplishment as the first woman to come within reach of the nomination, and I understand the way her candidacy spoke to millions of women and girls in this country.