Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

Hillary Delivers

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

Hillary Clinton did what she was supposed to do. And more. She brought the Democratic National Convention to its feet on the second night with a rousing, electrifying speech calling for party unity and unbridled support Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton reached out to her “restless supporters” and thanked them for their support.

Hillary Clinton called for unity in the Democratic party.

Hillary Clinton blasted John McCain and insisted that this country, especially the economy, can not afford another four  years of Republican leadership.

Hillary Clinton responded to those who criticized her of being selfish and running a self-absorbed campaign.

Hillary Clinton spokely openly and proudly about being a woman and used the occasion to contextualized her run for office and talk about what it meant to be at a place  in history when a woman could aspire tp and make a credible run for the office of President of United States.

Hillary Clinton graciously paid tribute in her speech to black women like Michelle Obama, the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, and Harriett Tubman. 

Finally, Hillary Clinton urged her supporters to vote for Barack Obama and see to it that a Democrat is in the White House come January 2009. 

Does she really mean it? Is she lying? Does Hillary Clinton really support Barack Obama and want to see him become president? someone asked me after Clinton’s speech was over.

Who cares? That’s not the point. So what if she thinks she’s the better candidate and deserves the spot in the White House? Why shouldn’t she? Who cares if the Clintons and Obamas really don’t like each other? The point is that Hillary Clinton mounted the platform there at the Democratic National Conventional and did what she was supposed to do. She called in the strongest language possible for the party to unite and to support Barack Obama for President of the United States. That’s what she did. And more. She proved that she knows how to be tough in battle, and gracious in defeat.  I’ll say it again: her candidacy resonated with me in ways that the others did not. 

Finally, Hillary Clinton left the convention stage last night fully cognizant of her place in American history and the part she played in the 18 million pieces of glass falling from the ceiling in the wake of her departure.

Gracious in Defeat

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Some of you probably dropped by the blog today wanting to know what I have to say about last night election’s primary results which put Barack Obama across the Democratic finish line with 2,154 delegates.

Let’s cut to the chase.

You’re probably wondering what the only (or almost only) black woman in blogosphere who’s openly admitted to being a Hillary Clinton supporter thinks here the day after it became clear that her candidate had failed to meet the delegate quota and also failed to graciously bow out the race when she had a chance.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

clintonFirst, let me congratulate Barack Obama for winning the Democratic nomination. With Obama’s victory, he becomes the first African American to win the nomination of a major political party and opens a new chapter in American history.  Obama was not my presidential choice, and I can’t imagine being nearly as emotionally invested in the November election and as I have been in the primaries, but I will gladly vote for Barack Obama in November because I believe that the alternative is absolutely unacceptable.

Secondly, I HATE LOSING.

Third, I hate losing the chance to see a woman in the White House. And if you’re wondering, the answer is no, I am not one who would be enthusiastic about an Obama-Clinton ticket. No! 

Fourth, now I know what I always suspected, namely that while racism is a sin, sexism is perfectly acceptable and tolerated in this country. Women are the worst culprits. The outright woman-hating jibes, the prejudice against Clinton as a middle-age woman, the physical mockery, and the anti-white woman rage have not been easy to witness. Clintonhas not run a faultless campaign– far from it. (Her surrogates need to be fired!) But Hillary Clinton the woman and the politician did not deserve the venom, the acrimony, the hatred, and the name-calling commentators and the public heaped on her throughout this race. 

Fifth, I admire the heck out of Hillary Clinton. And her campaign has done a lot to pave the way in the future for women with equal political ambitions. Even though I haven’t always been pleased with her campaign decisions, I’ve admired Clinton’s strength and her resolve. She’s tough, she’s competitive, she has heart, and she couldn’t have been anything less to have survived the ashes heaped on her and the lacerations she’s suffered as the first woman. But she lost the bid. Now it’s up to her to figure out how to bow out graciously and on her own terms. I support her right to deliberate and take her time. Afterall, it ain’t like Obama won by a landslide and goes into the next phase of the election with a mandate. Eighteen million citizens voted for Hillary Clinton, and she has the right to parlay those votes into some promises from the Democratic Party.  That’s how it’s done.

Sixth, the one important thing that has come out of Clinton’s defeat for me is what it’s taught me about black women– and about myself, for that matter.  This campaign held a mirror up to a side of myself that I no longer want to have anything to do with. The harsh, irrational, and ugly things black women have said here on this blog and elsewhere about Hillary Clinton ”and women like her” remind me of an old self. A self I walked away from when I left academia a few years ago. A self I’m not particularly proud of.  Black women spend waaaay too much energy hating distrusting white women. There are admittedly historical reasons for this distrust. But, girl, does it drain one’s energy. Not to mention how self-defeating it can be. It causes us to miss opportunities to build strong, powerful alliances with other women. We spend a lot of energy and time distrusting women who don’t spend nearly as much time thinking about us as we spend thinking about them. Ouch! Hating, excuse me, distrusting white women for their whiteness. Their white privilege. While at the same time coveting that very privilege. 

Take SATC, for example. Many of the same women gushing over SATC and admitting to identifying with Carrie, Charlotte, and Samantha ‘em with all their chic, anorexic, upper-class, materialistic, shoe-obsessed, sex starved obsessions are totally scornful of Hillary Clinton’s tenacious, audacious, middle-age, sexless, resolve and ambition. Maybe if Clinton were younger, prettier, thinner, she might have had a chance with women. She forgives her husband of his philandering and she’s a scheming shrew. Samantha ‘em give their philandering lovers in “Sex and the City” a second chance and these women are sexually empowered goddesses.   

Did I mention that we’re hard on women? We forgive Obama for dumping his black pastor and black church for a chance at the presidency, but skewer Clinton for calling on her white support in the final weeks of her campaign. We forgive men but spit at women for the same transgressions. Something is wrong with this picture. 

And while I’m at it, (you asked what I was thinking) here’s something else that would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. Black women are turned off by white women like Hillary Clinton but are willing to conveniently overlook that her bi-racial opponent whom we’ve put our trust in was raised by a mother and a grandmother who have more in common with Hillary Clinton than they do any of us.

We’ve come a long way, baby. And we’ve got an even longer way to go as women if we want to make a dint against the racism and sexism we battle internally and externally every day.

Finally, I hate losing but there’s a lot to be learned from losing. Like how to wrestle much needed information from defeat so you can start over, and, if you’re a woman, smile and look gracious while you’re doing it.

By the way, Have a Happy Mother’s Day

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Here I was planning to close the week out on some sentimental note about mothering when I dropped by a blog by a woman of color that I hadn’t visited in some time and read some idiotic statement there about presidential politics, and now I can’t think straight. I didn’t intend to close the week out talking about the one subject that has me and my friends yelling in our cell phones at each other as we drive down the street in our cars. But I must.

Praise the Lord.

Let me first say: I have a rule. I don’t throw a fit on other people’s blogs. If explaining to you on your blog why I think you’re harebrained will take more than a few sentences, I won’t bother. I backed away and headed for the door when I saw that Hillary and not beauty tips (which is what the blog is supposed to be about) was the topic of the day. I know. That’s what I get for visiting a beauty blog at my age. I dropped by to get some recommendations on hair conditioner and lip gloss. Only to find folks there opining about politics and trashing Hillary Clinton for staying in the race after her loss this past Tuesday in North Carolina and her just barely won win in Indiana. The streetfighting online is intense, and the goal is clear.  Browbeat Clinton into giving up.

If the highest office you are ever likely to aspire to is the parliamentarian of your sorority, you don’t get it.  You don’t walk away empty handed this far into the game– even if the odds of your winning the nomination are now slim. A delegation comes to meet with you to persuade you to drop out. With incentives. With promises. With their checkbook in hand. You negotiate, you don’t quit with nothing to show for all your work and for all the gut punches you took  for the cause. You decide the terms of your leaving and what mark you want to leave. It’s what those with power know that others who don’t have it don’t know. Politics 101. Business school 201. Religion 301. The air is different, and the rules are different, the higher up you go. Barack who? This is between Clinton and the Democratic Party.

Should Clinton drop out? I hope she doesn’t. The game is not over. Play to the end. I hate seeing women wimp out. But that’s my opinion.

But I didn’t mean to close the week out talking about politics. I certainly didn’t mean to tick off fans of this blog who are Obama devotees.

I just had to get that off my chest. Something I can do on my own blog.

Now, where was I?

Oh yeah. Have a Happy Mother’s Day. I know I plan to do just that. Even though I should be thinking about the sermon I gotta preach. I’m going to sit out on my screen porch this weekend with my feet up, reading and nodding and sipping Kool-Aid, and watching as others grille the fish and chicken I’ve requested. Yeah, I’m bossy. What’s it to you?

Wright or Wrong?: My Take

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

I give up trying to get anything productive done today. I haven’t been able to focus for all the emails and phone calls from the media requesting comments on the latest Jeremiah Wright/ Barack Obama spectacle. I may as well let my blog readers in on the discussions I’ve been having with family, friends, and interviewers over the last couple of days.

What do you make of the latest round of speeches Jeremiah Wright has given over the last few days, forcing Barack Obama to come back out and put even more distance between himself and his former pastor?

What we see is that despite its signature wall of separation between church-state, America continues to be a place where religion and politics are deeply entwined. We are curious about the religious beliefs of our politicians because we think a person’s religious beliefs say a lot (or ought to say something) about the way that person treats people and does politics.

But more to the point, what we see here is how both religion and politics have the potential to drive wedges between families, friends, and members of the same faith and political groups.

What are we to make of the timing of Jeremiah Wright’s latest round of media appearances?

First, when would have been a better time for Wright to come out and start speaking again? Invitations to speak for the NAACP are issued months ahead, and booking the National Press Club is not something granted you just because you asked. Meaning, these engagement have probably been on the books for awhile. Besides, I know Jeremiah Wright is a minister, but do we really think Wright had the prophetic gift of foreseeing Obama losing Pennsylvania far enough in advance to choose this as the ideal time for reminding the American public of his history with Barack Obama?

What do you make of the rumor that someone in Hillary Clinton’s camp hired Jeremiah Wright for the National Press Club speech?

I love conspiracy theories too. But, are you kidding? You obviously don’t know Jeremiah Wright. And neither does Hillary Clinton know Jeremiah Wright, if it’s true. Haven’t you noticed? Jeremiah Wright is just as apt to rip into a Clinton as he is to rip into the U.S. gov’t.

Is Jeremiah Wright doing this to get back at Barack Obama?

Why does everything have to be about Barack Obama? Can it be that the only thing on Jeremiah Wright’s mind is clearing his name and not leaving to Obama to define who he is which Obama sought to do last month when he cast Wright as the eccentric uncle everyone has in their family? Perhaps Wright sees this as an opportunity to use the spotlight on him to shed  broader light on the black church.Wright Obama

Did you get the feeling from watching Jeremiah Wright speak there at the National Press Club that this was all about male ego?

All about male ego? No. Is male ego at work somewhere in all that’s going on? Yes. What else is new? When has male ego not been a driving force in politics and religion?

Here we have this historic chance to get a Black man in the White House, certainly Jeremiah Wright understands the importance of this moment, knows the consequences his comments are likely to have on Obama’s campaign, and wouldn’t want to blow the chance for a former member of his congregation to become President of the United States.

Is that a question or a statement? Both men have made it clear. One is a politician and the other is a preacher. Both seem prepared to do what he has to do to get his message out there. 

Am I hearing Obama’s supporters saying:  “Don’t blow it for Obama. Keep all the colorful relatives in the attic until after the election”? If it is, it doesn’t work that way. If 90% of black voters are behind Barack Obama, as his supporters like to claim, then Obama can’t court black votes and expect black people to shut up and remain on their best behavior just so he an make a good impression on others. Besides, I thought Obama is the candidate who’s trying to bring the races together and sow seeds of reconciliation. Well, here comes Uncle Jeremiah to the reunion. Make them love and embrace Uncle Jeremiah, and you’ve done something.

Do you think this latest Wright/Obama spectacle has hurt Obama’s bid for the White House?

That depends. This latest drama will not cause black people to desert Barack Obama. Black people are smart enough to see through the drama. Now, will it turn white voters off from voting for Barack Obama? I don’t know. I’m not a white voter. I’ll venture an educated guess and say that I suspect that it will turn off some white voters. Correction: I suspect that it will turn off a lot of white voters. (Teh heh. Teh heh.) But will it turn off enough white voters to sink Obama’s campaign? That remains to be seen in the coming weeks. But I will say this: if the only way white voters feel comfortable voting for Obama is if he distances himself from fiery, brash, radical thinking black men of his past, like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, then Barack Obama may win the White House, but he’ll be forever a loser in the eyes of his own people (the black ones anyway).

Do you agree that Wright is the one under fire, not the black church.

Both are under fire.

Here’s something we can all agree on: Jeremiah Wright is no Joel Oesteen, that’s for sure.  Jeremiah Wright’s fiery, defiant, idiosyncratic personality notwithstanding, ignorance about the black church, about black liberation preaching, and about black preaching abound in this whole political spectacle. The black church is under fire if the only kind of black preacher that white America will tolerate as pastor to its aspiring black presidential candidate is one who does not criticize America from the pulpit, does not comment on white privilege in her or his sermons, and is humble and remorseful when s/he has been clobbered by the media – then the black church is definitely part of what’s under fire in this drama.

Which brings me to my last point.
The worst thing that can happen is for black people to let the media make us choose between Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright. We must hold on to both men recognizing that both are fighting powers beyond their control and navigating and negotiating them the best way they know how. Though neither has been faultless in the way he has projected himself, both men represent styles of leadership, masculinity, and oratory that we’ve come to appreciate in the black community and which we shouldn’t have to choose between because we need both. Barack Obama: calm, measured, deliberate, and idealistic, and Jeremiah Wright: fiery, brash, defiant, and pragmatic.

Now, if you don’t mind I’ll go back to reading the biography on Hillary Clinton that I started last evening.