Saturday, June 7, 2008

Clinton's Curtain Call

After 17 months on the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the curtain call from thousands of supporters, and delivered a powerful speech that extolled the accomplishments and significance of her efforts for all the women of America. It was a genuine, original, and touching expression of herself as a pioneering woman in America trailblazing for the future generations, and going where no other woman has come close to achieving. She achieved a milestone in the fact that a woman can win presidential primaries and come close to a major party nomination for president. Her efforts have opened the floodgates for the strong likelihood of a woman becoming President of the United States.

Hillary has always projected a fighting and competitive nature, and she made her exit from the primaries with a bang. In her moment of taking a final bow to the unrelenting cheers of her supporters, she finally peeled off the armor that was installed by her advisers, which gave her a toughness they believed was necessary to convince voters she had the mettle to run the country. It was a mantle that removed much of her warmth and humanity. And yet, without the armor, a better Hillary was exposed which was not familiar to most of the party's voters. Her campaign projected an image of one who had the experience of battle, and the endurance for stress as good as any man, who just happens to be a woman; rather than a woman who had all the capabilities needed for the highest office, plus the empathy, tenderness and affection of a woman.

It would have been different if at the outset she communicated her unifying feminine factor to guide and nurture the country to its rightful place, as a strong and stable mother would when the family or the household needs to come to terms when crisis strikes. As a woman, she could disagree without raising ire, communicate compassion and empathy with or without tears, and she could delve into her inner self and visualize where she would take the country and what it can overcome and become. And she would have found the voice, manner and disposition that all women and mothers have, and express it as deeply and sincerely as only a woman could, repeatedly, to get her message across. But all these were removed by her advisers who thought that being a woman was a weakness, not a distinct and differential advantage. Her skeptics painted her as a Clinton, a clone of the original, when she could have been branded as not just a fusion of the better elements of her competitors nor a better version of Bill, but a better and more prepared original. Sadly, this was abandoned for a safer packaging.

As a gesture of party unity, she endorsed Barack Obama wholeheartedly and rallied her supporters to the Democratic cause. She acknowledged the fact that Obama is also one of the milestones that the party had achieved, being the first African American candidate for President of a major political party. But her message was clearly for women and the barriers she overcame on their behalf.

Obama still has considerable work to do in unifying the party's base of supporters. Hillary's gesture will help in easing some of the difficulties, but Obama must acknowledge and understand the importance of the mission that Hillary's campaign had evolved into, and would do well to address these firmly during the Presidential campaign. The gender cause has been released at the close of Hillary's campaign, and it will need to be given serious consideration and well thought out programs to keep her supporters behind the Democrats. Within the Party, this cause has ceased to be a battlefront and will now become a negotiated settlement. The next battle will be a thorny, tempestuous, debasing and ignoble one, which threatens to raise the demons of the past and the sorrow and suffering of its existence.......racism.


Photos Courtesy of Getty Images and AFP


Anonymous said...

The problem with Hillary is that she listened to her advisers rather than follow her own best instincts. But this shows how she would compromise even herself or her own convictions to ensure a win.

Also, if she could mis-read the Democrat base's mindset by which her decisions are made, what more with the rest of the world.

She failed and it's her fault. Shows that her experience was not enough, and would be insufficient in a global stage.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Anonymous,

There is a logical pattern in what you say regarding the failure of Hillary Clinton's candidacy.

I can't say I fully agree but the truth about sacrificing her own instincts and compromising her own convictions I concur with.

The Global stage however is too much of a comparison with a mere primary campaign. The analogy does not amount to her total experience. :-) --Durano, done!

Zhu said...

I think Hilary did a good job and people should give her a break. She is a pretty good person and even though she wasn't my favorite candidate, she still got something like 18M votes. She would deserve to be part of the new Democrat government if Obama is elected...

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

She received quite a battering from the media, bloggers as well as fro the political party rank and file, and despite that, managed 18 million votes cast in her favor.

I agree with you about giving her a break and that she should play a key role in the new government if ever.

But I do believe she should have acted on her instincts as a woman, considering the fact that 54% of the voters are women.

I guess this is the role she should take in the new dispensation if the Democrats make it. :-) --Durano, done!