Sunday, May 11


Many of you know that I'm the mother of five and the grandmother of four toddlers. If you include our "adopted" daughter and her three young'uns (which we do) and the sons-in-law, we have a pretty large brood. I've played a lot of roles in my life, but none has been more satisfying than motherhood. Less than two weeks from now our oldest daughter will become a bride, and yesterday, as we shopped for her lingerie shower, with the cell phones ringing merrily between me and our four girls, I thought how amazing the bond is between mothers and daughters when founded on love, trust, and respect. Whenever I'm low and feeling as if I haven't accomplished all I wished to in this life, I look at my daughters and two sons and know that I've had a part in creating an amazing legacy of young people with good values, bright minds and strong wills that will enable them to make contributions to society far beyond what The Sage and I have done.

Hillary Clinton has faced more bad press and confronted more unreasoned animosity during her life and career than any public figure in my memory, yet she has produced a superior child, Chelsea, and her success as a mother is practically unquestioned. Hillary has been an example to us all in the way she has carved out of an incredibly burdened schedule of working for the betterment of ordinary people, an inviolable space for her responsibility and pleasure in guiding, educating and mothering her daughter. And adding to her personal success in that role, she has fought for other people's children throughout her entire life. So she is to be celebrated today, and every day, as an extraordinary mother, and an example for all the rest of us.

For years there has been a meme that declared Republicans as the "strong father" party and Democrats as "nurturing mother." There's nobody better than Hillary to represent the latter, yet she's demonstrated she qualifies for the former as well. She's our iron lady, our Margaret Thatcher, only with more brains and more heart. Lady Thatcher, with whom I have an acquaintance and intimate knowledge of through our mutual close friend, has had much less success as a mother, producing a spectacularly flawed son, whom she has doted on and thoroughly spoiled, and a somewhat estranged daughter that nobody even seems to remember she has (though her son's twin sister). Hillary is resilient, tough, focused and pragmatic, yet she is also and always a wise and devoted mother. I believe from the depths of my being that the nation is in great need of such a character as Hillary's to lead us through the monumental challenges we face.

So Happy Mother's Day, Hillary. This mother salutes you and is inspired by you. God bless you. And keep fighting the good fight for all of us.

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