Monday, June 9, 2008

Simply Inspirational

"Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president' s spouse. I wish him well!"

Who said it? Answer at the end of this blog.

HALLIE: I'm starting this blog at 1:27 PM on Saturday, just after watching Hillary Clinton's speech suspending her campaign for President. I was completely blindsided by how emotional I felt, listening to her speak in the National Building Museum.

A woman came THIS close to garnering getting nominated for President! That welling up inside me turned to tears when the camera shift to her radiant daughter Chelsea. And yes, in ten or twenty years from now, hopefully it will no longer be so remarkable. But today I felt enormously proud of them both, and of the country--a welcome feeling after a lousy week of rising oil prices, Israel's saber rattling, the endless war in Iraq, and job losses, not to mention that guy that got hit by a car in Hartford and all the pedestrians just stood by and watched. And don't get me started on the book business (did anyone read the NY Times op ed piece about how writers will have to figure out how to make money by GIVING AWAY their work?)

"Every moment wasted looking back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is too precious and the stakes are too high to dwell on what might have been."

I don't want this blog to get political, but for her or not, one couldn't help but be moved. It felt like a truly historic moment.

Did you watch? Were you moved, or just relieved that the election could move on to the next phase?

ROBERTA: I didn't get a chance to watch--all caught up in a big family wedding. Looking forward to seeing her on Youtube. I have complicated feelings about the whole election--glad we are moving on. But she held up in an amazing way in my opinion. I just couldn't picture grinding along day after day, looking good, sounding strong, handling whatever was handed her with grace. I hope she has a long and productive career from here.

HANK: Other moments: Remember when it might have been Geraldine Ferraro? I once saw a Mondale/Ferraro bumper sticker on a car--and someone had cut off the "Mondale" top half so the car was sporting just "Ferraro." Yes.

When I was in my early twenties, I applied for my first job in radio. I think it must have been--1971? I had my interview with new news director, who asked me about my journalism education. Zero. My reporting experience. Zero. But, I told him, I had just left a job as a press secretaty for a gubernatorial candidate. So I knew all about the city and all about politics and how reporters worked and what they needed.

Besides, I said, all earnest, this station's license is up for renewal at the FCC and you don't have any women working here.

I got the job. And have been a reporter ever since.

It wouldn't happen that way now, and that's good thing. But how many girls--Hallie and I were talking about this just today--realize what a struggle it was for all of us now-geezers, and the ones before us and the ones before them, to get to the moment when Hillary came close? It as the real thing, and US politics will never be the same.

I loved when she referred to the "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling," referring to the number of votes she got. A ceiling with that many cracks can't stay in place very long. And we were here when it happened.

RO: I didn't see it, but will look for it on Youtube. I do remember quite vividly listening to Obama's convention speech while driving through Bel Air. I ran into my room and switched on the tv, thinking...who IS this guy? Maybe eight years from now, he'll be the candidate.

This year the democrats had an embarassment of riches - two strong, worthy choices - and it's a shame that either of them had to bow out. But I'm glad we will no longer be treated to hourly updates on which candidate or which candidate's former fill-in-the-blank (ital.)accidentally said something which could be miscontrued. It's scary to think about how politician's need to behave and speak. Why anyone would even want the job is beyond me.

HALLIE: Election fatigue, indeed there's some of that. At last we're moving on to the next phase where the candidates will discuss real issues. Or is that too much to hope for? But I can't say it hasn't been *interesting*--and how long since anyone could say that about an election?

WHO SAID IT: Wouldja believe, Barbara Bush!


  1. I too did not yet see her suspension of campaign speech. However, I will say Hallie's depiction of it captured and moved something in me.

    So moved, that I just viewed it on YouTube, just now before completing this.

    "Every moment wasted looking back..." And, when you look at Hillary's past isn't that the truth for her... and the truth for all of us playing in this life? In that sense life is serious, but you can't take it seriously... or personally... we do what we do and that is what we do! A saying I used to credit to Henry Ford II, and became sort of a Buddhist Koan for me... "Never complain.. never explain..." I later heard that it was Benjamin Disraeli who originally said that. I woke one morning about 20 years ago and began to live my life from there and have never looked back.

    This is not a surprising outcome when you consider that Senator Obama listened to what the Quakers call "the still small voice within." It told him now was his chance and that he should take it if he so chose. Whether he would win the presidency or not is not a given, but that the way was clear. I learned this I think from a Charlie Rose show.

    In a sense to me this race was about "priorities of justice and fairness".

    Rather than make the call - oh, it is more important for woman to run for president ... or oh, it is more important for an African American to run... the global electorate has decided. So, for me, it is not about my opinion or judgment of what should be, but about "what is". And, this is what is. This came through clearly in Hillary Clinton's speech which will probably go down as one of the most stirring in American history. She tapped the very core of issues in the US today and made it personal, whether you are a man or a woman. To me that is a sign of greatness. When you can state your cause in a way that everyone "gets it". And yes, Hallie, something moved in me as well. A truth about being. If this IS really who Hillary Clinton is then perhaps the electorate was off. IF she wrote that speech, there is more from her heart than I ever received from her compaign rhetoric. This is who and what America needs - so, if nothing else, the way has been set by who Hillary chose to be in that moment. There was a greatness displayed that every woman on earth can be proud of.

    Can Obama reach this? If he is to be president he must reach it. And, that is critical.

    Currently, we are experiencing the triumph of mediocrity, of small minded vision, of the five year plan or no plan, of misinformation, or even worse deception. If this were a "Star Wars" movie it would be a dark time in the Galaxy.

    Truth courage and singlemindedness must prevail. A singlemindedness that is unswayed by political gain, but only moved by the pressing needs of all Americans.

    Can Obama do this? - that is the question. That is the power that will propel him into the highest and most responsible office of the land.


  2. I started out not liking Hillary at all and very taken with Obama. By the time it was all over, my position had switched entirely. Bottom line is, no matter what the electorate thought, the superdelegates were not ready for a woman to be president. I am not having nice thoughts about the party hierarchy. Not. At. All.

  3. Yes, Mike, I agree-it was a terrific speech.

    I have to agree with Lynda in this respect: if Hillary had come across at the beginning the way she did at the end, I think the superdelegates would have gone the other way. And she certainly distinguished herself in the finale.

  4. I watched her speech from France, where EVERYONE was talking about it. I have never been a big Hilary fan, but I was impressed with the passion and seeming candor of her speech (and candor has always been my issue with her). And I wondered, not for the first time, why do politicians seem their most sincere and eloquent when they are conceding?
    Is it because the pressure is off? Why is it so difficult for so many of them (think Al Gore and John Kerry) to harness that appeal WHILE they are still campaigning?

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  6. Jan -

    Because my forte is the study of being I pay special care to see what people are sending out.

    I have noticed that phenomena as well and wondered the same thing.

    The only conclusion I could come to is that in compaigning they "think" they need to be a certain way to capture the widest demographic. And, perhaps that is a telling sign about our society. Maybe not. Maybe it's an error on their part - Certainly for Hillary it was. That's what happens when a woman doesn't accept the deepest aspects of her feminine side. Here's why, and it was the point of my book, people appreciate that. Men may kid about it because of the difference, but it is appreciated. So what, even if Hillary was a mother hen for the country, it still doesn't mean she couldn't be tough minded. Look at the Queen of England, you know.

    I have not been a fan of Hillary exactly for the reasons you suggested. My resistance revolved around another Clinton whitehouse AND her lack of sincerity. Still, had Hillary showed that side of her during her compaign - I agree, it might have gone another way.

    I first saw Obama on the Charlie Rose show and said - wow, this guy has it together. Then 2 years later he starts to compaign and I say - Who jumped in his body??? Then today his campaign leader is on WJR and boy was he singing the party line. That was easily refuted by the host. Still I feel in the final analysis people see through it all. It bothers me that candidates "think" they need to be someone else. That is the price when they focus on winning rather than being. A born leader is a born leader - why can't they get that? The candidate most willing to be himself wins.

    I just thought Bush was acting???


  7. I thought Hillary rocked in her speech. Truly. I was so proud of her and all of us who have lived through the past forty years.

    So much to look forward to.......

    First time viewer -- I like how you all comment on the post with your own "take" on the initial entry. Made for a wider understanding and appeal.


  8. Hey Mike,
    I'm a big fan of "being," too, only I can see where it's a really high hurdle for a political candidate who is over-advised by his/her allies and skewered by enemies. But you are right, it's a amazing what power being true to yourself has -- and how it projects -- even on television.

  9. I didn't see Clinton's speech, but I read quite a bit in the NY Times.

    She's right--she has opened doors for girls that have been shut. For that, I am grateful, and I appreciate and respect the drive and hunger that brought her this far. I have mixed feelings, though, perhaps because I have kept wanting her to be more than she seemed able to be--but maybe that's the problem with all politicians, that a human can't truly be what we need.

    I did and will vote for Obama--early in the campaign I had one of those "moments" when I realized that for me, Clinton is still a politician that comes across in a style I am tired of. Obama and I are basically the same year, and it hit me that, while I certainly wouldn't want the job he's going for, I don't have any doubt that I am old enough to do it. Yes, he has less experience, and I wouldn't want to place a bet on who's more intelligent--he or Hilary--but I just feel ready for someone who's grown up in the same time I have, who's maybe--MAYBE--closer to my way of looking at things.

    I'm not saying this very well--it was just sort of a response to everybody saying how young & inexperienced he was, at the beginning, and my brain went--wait a minute...We're not exactly babies here.

    All I can do now is hope that he can keep going as he has, that Clinton supporters follow her requests, and that everybody joins together to beat McCain.