Saturday, February 16


I have just read several posts in several blogs that reminded me of the furor (in '92) over whether or not Hillary Clinton was a traditional wife/mother or not. First, she said she wouldn't spend her life (just) baking cookies. Then, when she was forced to remake her image (not herself) to suit the MSM, she exposed that part of her life that took pleasure in mothering and hospitality, it was interpreted by the media as a false, calculated political move.

I just don't get the Hillary hatred. Libby Dole was a political wife who moved from the private sector to a Senatorial position. Why was her law degree and successes in the private sector so acceptable, but not Hillary's? Why is Margaret Thatcher, whose industrialist husband largely financed her political career, an icon to conservatives, but Hillary is thought of as a ball-breaker? Let me relate a personal incident. When The Sage and I, about six years ago, visited the UK and took tea with Lady Thatcher, we were supposed to also have dinner with her and Sir Dennis (her husband) at Parliament. It didn't happen (I won't go into our troubles that trip), but our traveling companion, the Thatcher's almost-adopted son, did sup with them that night. Our friend Chuck (a dyed-in-the-wool conservative Republican) related that the most memorable moment of the evening was when the Thatchers argued vigorously over the tip. My point is, married couples, political or NOT, are made up of individuals -- and when the female of the couple is a strong, independent woman, there are bound to be disagreements. These do not necessarily require a breakup of the marital, or family, unit. And one member of the unit does not necessarily define the other.

Hillary is not running as a surrogate for Bill. In fact, I think she might make a better president than he did. But the record of Democratic women is not good with the media. Former Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run on a presidential ticket (as running mate to Walter Mondale), was excoriated not for her own record but because the MSM portrayed her businessman husband as a mafioso. Since Nancy Pelosi ascended to the Speakership of the House, she has been attacked for her gender repeatedly, even demonized by the right-wing media. And the MSM hasn't been much better.

It's seemingly wonderful that the media appears to be so ready to accept and applaud the campaign of a multi-cultural (I think of it more that way than multi-racial) person such as Barack Obama ... but a media that is so demonstrably anti-Democratic-female (why us, I wonder?), I am convinced, is not to be trusted not to turn and blister someone like Barack, who is unconnected with the Washington party circuit. Just wait until the general election race begins. We won't hear race injected in an honest way in the media -- we'll hear the same kind of "is he ready?" arguments that while Clinton raised them were considered "race-based," but will get a pass in the MSM when the Republicans pose them.

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Since I decided to support Hillary Clinton's candidacy, I have spoken to as many people as I can about the relative merits of our two Democratic presidential candidates. I've divided my time in the past week almost evenly between Dallas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In Dallas I spoke to colleagues at work, primarily Democrats and women of all types (I count Republican men as lost). In Fort Lauderdale I was conducting a series of video interviews with the principals of large developers, architectural and engineering firms, and specialty contractors, and after the interviews as we made small talk I diverted the subect to politics. What I found, in the main, were undecideds. Other than declared Republicans, I encountered people who were wrestling with the Clinton-Obama decision. I discovered that one of my interview subjects, a renowned Florida architect, was also a Democratic mayor of a small Florida suburb. He told me that his wife and daughter were supporting Hillary, his two sons Obama -- but he himself was still unsure of what he should do as a superdelegate. I asked him how he voted in the primary, and he told me, "Hillary."

But nearly everyone I spoke to told me they get most of their information from the traditional media, and even when they said the Internet, they explained that they were just reading the traditional media ON the Internet (e.g.,, In both cases they seemed aware that with the MSM they learn mostly negatives about Hillary and are swamped with Obamamania, which they don't exactly get but can't deny that the results are very impressive.

So I gave them all my blog address (I don't often do that) and promised to list some blogs that either support Hillary, have some contributors who do, or whose reporting is relatively balanced. Frankly, the left blogosphere has mostly "drunk the kool-aid" for Obama, so outright pro-Hillary web sites are not pervasive. At this time, I have to appreciate those blogs that offer, at the minimum, some perspective or balance. I've also decided not to de-list from my years-old blogroll those progressives who have let their anti-Hillary or outright Hillary-hatred-based positions run amok, but at least here I can highlight those blogs that will deliver some fair and accurate information about the Clinton campaign. I'm sure there are many more that could be included (I wish I knew what they were), but this is the best I can offer:

Taylor Marsh
The Confluence
Suburban Guerrilla
No Quarter (Larry Johnson)
Open Left
The Daily Howler
Greg's Opinion
The Democratic Daily
Hillary's Bloggers
Women's Media Center
Talk Left
Digby (Hullabaloo)
The Left Coaster

I'll just add here at the end, that I'm terribly worried, almost alarmed, that the anti-Hillary contingent among the progressive blogosphere is showing evidence of a willingness to fracture the Democratic Party if their candidate, Obama, is not the party nominee, while seemingly all pro-Hillary adherents are making it clear that they will wholeheartedly support Obama if he is, in the end, our standard-bearer. Let me say now, as I remarked to The Sage a few minutes ago, that despite my wholehearted support of the Clinton campaign, I will comfortably and happily do everything I can to advance Barack Obama to the presidency if he ends up as our nominee.

Would you prefer John "100 years in Iraq" McCain? Grow up.

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Sunday, February 10


Well, I just sent Hillary Clinton the most money I've ever donated to a political campaign. I supported John Edwards until he withdrew from the race. Since then, I've been debating internally which way to swing, towards Hillary or Obama.

I think it's fair to say that since I supported Edwards, it's obvious I'm not influenced by identity politics. While thrilled by the historic possibilities of electing the first black or woman to the presidency, I based my support purely on issues, and Edwards' well-conceived populist policies were more appealing to me than the stances of the other candidates. In point of fact, on all the "candidate matches" available on the 'Net that I engaged in, I agreed more with Dennis Kucinich and Chris Dodd on the issues (John Edwards was third), but based on what I perceived as their relative electability, I chose Edwards.

Now that choice is not available to me. So I've struggled to find an alternative. I've not caught or even "gotten" Obamamania -- he's a fine orator, but when I listen to him I don't get the goosebumps that are characteristic when I spot the "next big thing" for me -- goosebumps I got when I first heard Harry Chapin or Melissa Manchester sing, the goosebumps I got in 1977 when we moved to Arkansas and I met Bill Clinton, or in 1988 when I first got to know Al Gore. And as a communications professional, words matter to me, superior speechifying can electrify me. When Obama speaks, I admire but don't feel my spirit soar. And I'm troubled by his seeming to run to the right of Hillary on healthcare and national security. Yes, he spoke out against the Iraq war when he had no skin in the game, but since then his voting record and Hilllary's on the war are almost identical -- he SAYS he was against Kyl-Lieberman, but then ... he DIDN'T VOTE.

As for Hillary, it's often been assumed by people who know me that I'd be an advocate for her because I'm widely known as a partisan Democrat in this prodigiously Republican Dallas business environment AND I'm an executive WOMAN. But nothing could have been farther from the truth. As I repeat ad nauseum, I'm quite a bit to the left of Hillary on policy issues. (For instance, I was firmly, and volubly, against the invasion of Iraq.) But I have been proud, as a woman, of how she's dominated the debates, demonstrating her total command of the issues.

But I've been leaning towards Hillary lately because I simply don't know enough about what Obama would actually DO as president. This nonsense about unity sounds good to so many, but after the hyper-partisanship Republicans have demonstrated for the past dozen years or more since Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America" Republican revolution, I say we could use a great deal more DEMOCRATIC unity and partisanship, not less. When people speak of bipartisanship, I cringe in the knowledge that what that actually means is Democratic capitulation.

Much has been written in the press and broadcast in the electronic media about Bill Clinton's supposed racial innuendoes. Much less has been mentioned about Obama's ungraciousness to Hillary. (Even my boss, a Massachusetts Democrat, has remarked on the dismissive "You're likeable enough, Hillary" comment and Obama's turning his back on Hillary at the State of the Union address.) And I've been completely turned off by the media's almost uniformly anti-Clinton bias and hit squads, for whom nothing is out of bounds. Hillary is "pimping out" daughter Chelsea for the campaign, when every single candidate throughout modern history has engaged his children in his drive for elective office?

That did it for me. I'm finally offended seriously enough to act as a woman. And no, I'm not what is considered Hillary's base. I'm a college-educated, upper-middle-class working woman.

I'm weary of the declarations that since she continued a marriage with an unfaithful husband she must have some kind of unholy ambitions that only that alliance can fulfill. I am a born-and-raised evangelical Christian, too, and we're taught that marriage is sacred, that forgiveness is not only possible but an imperative. I have many Christian women friends who have done exactly what Hillary did, forgave and continued to love not only for the sake of the family unit (which itself is a virtue) but for the sake of true, spiritual love. My own marriage is a similar partnership -- two strong, intelligent people who complement each other, who share ideals and goals and children ... and passion. I have no doubt that this is the basis of the Clinton marriage as well. Forgiveness is essential to an enduring marriage, and I challenge anyone to produce an example of a long-term marriage that has not required that.

So yes, I've finally succumbed to outrage about the gender card. It is unthinkable to bring up Obama's race (as it should be), but it is entirely the norm to demonize the woman. I don't relish the ugliness we'll confront when she is the nominee and gasp! the POTUS -- an ugliness that will be fostered by the Maureen Dowds, the Eugene Robinsons, the David Shusters and the Frank Riches. And these are supposed LIBERALS ... albeit the same liberals who trashed Al Gore in 2000.

Were Hillary's policies less acceptable to me, I wouldn't choose to risk it. But I'm human enough to admit that as a woman who has fought the glass ceiling for decades and confronts gender discrimination every day, I'm more than ready for Hillary to stick it to the pundits and talk show hosts who regularly call her "Her Thighness" and comment on every detail of her appearance (when they'd never think to mention John McCain's pervasive age spots), her speech patterns ("like fingernails on a chalkboard"), and her family relationships (how much have you heard about McCain's divorce in the MSM?).

So there it is. My mind and my heart have coalesced behind the Hillary campaign. And my money has followed suit.

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