I'm sitting here with my kids, Tweenie on the couch with her new birthday iPod, Little Man with Legos on the floor. (Legos ROCK until you step on one in the midle of the night...) And I am half-watching CNN and MSNBC on the TV, and contemplating the future of our party. I’m thinking about the future of women in our government. Worrying about my children's future and the democracy that we will one day leave in their hands.
As you know, Hillary suspended her campaign today. From the National Building Museum in D.C., she fully endorsed Barak Obama as the Democratic Nominee for President of The United States. If you've read my blog at all, you'll know that I'm a Team Hillary player. I've supported her for years and years, for most of my adult political life, if you will. And I still know she's the better candidate. I thank her for her perseverance, for seeing through the Primaries to the end so that all Dems had the opportunity to speak their minds in the ballot booth. I thank her for bringing health care for all Americans back into the national conversation, as she did once before, ahead of her time. I thank her for restoring my faith that government can still be of, by and for the People (with a capital P). More than anything, I thank Hillary for making true the promise I made to Tweenie when she was 7 or 8, and shook Hillary's hand: that she can be anything she wants to be, even if it's President of these United States.
Tweenie was listening to Hillary's speech, and her reference to the cracks in the proverbial "glass ceiling." My girl looked at me and said, "With what's happened to Hillary, Mom, I don't know if our country is really blind yet to race and gender." Pretty profound for a now 13 year old (By the way, Happy Birthday, Tweenie! Now I'll have to change your name!) We've come a long way, Baby Girl, that's for sure. And Hillary will always have our devotion and gratitude for blazing that trail for you, and your brother, too.
My friends know that I’m loyal to a fault. I suppose I’m a Yellow Dog Democrat: loyal as an ol' yellow dog to the party whose platform is my own. So, while I strongly believe that Hillary was marginalized by the press and given a raw deal by the DNC Rules Committee, I will always support the nominee of the Democratic Party. And now that presumptive nominee is Barak Obama, so, like Hillary, he has my support.
But it has not been an easy road to come to this position. Since I am a white, middle class, working woman, I am smack in the middle of Hillary's biggest demographic. Every time I turn on the news, the pundits are asking what it will take for me, for my demographic, to throw our hearts and souls into this campaign. Believe me, I've done some soul-searching over the last few weeks over this very question. After working through the anger and the grief over the loss of my candidate, the core question rose in my mind: Can I, in good conscience and good faith, allow the GOP to run this country further into the ground?
The answer, of course, is an unequivocal “No.” While I dislike Obama’s ties with nuclear power, his arrogance, his unvetted past (and if you think that’s not an issue, I’ve got a bridge to sell ya…), the Democrats must prevail in November. Period. And there’s only one way to make that happen: bring Hillary on board. The only way I can put my true faith and support behind Barak, the only way I can get out there and blog and stump for our presumptive nominee is simple: Hillary must be our Vice Presidential nominee. I'm certainly not alone: nearly 18 million women can’t be wrong. The Democratic Party could be an unbeatable force in the General Election with Hill on the ticket.
It'd have to be a very different vice-presidency than we've ever seen before: a very hands-on, issue-driven partnership. Barak will need to allow her to lead in some vital areas: health care and education. It'll take two great political minds to get us out of the mire the GOP has sold us into. Hillary has much to offer the Executive Branch. The Hubby made an interesting point the other day (yes, he's finally starting to walk less on political eggshells now...) - he said that, in a strange way, Cheney has given Hillary considerably more power in his broadening of the vice-presidency. Rather ironic, Cheney inadvertently giving Hillary, of all people, more influence and control, should she wind up the V.P.! Remind me to send him a thank you note, will you?
In any case, I look at Little Man, who has now moved on to the Wii (Super Mario Bros. – what a trip back in time!) and Tweenie, reading her new fave teen series, Twilight. The Hubby sits doing bills, trying to balance which will get paid and which will have to wait until next payday so we can afford to fill the cars this week. I remember when, in the not-so-distant past, it wasn’t this hard to make each paycheck last. And I hope and pray that Hillary is allowed to continue to make life better for families like yours and mine. Obama/Clinton. Not a bad ring to it. Though I still like Clinton/Barak better.