I Want To Love Hillary.

I remember when the rumor started a few years ago that Hillary Clinton might run for President.  I was skeptical; too many people don’t like her, I said.  She won’t be able to win the nomination.  And besides, even if everyone loved her, she’s a woman, and  Americans are not going to elect a woman.   I remember that I put the thought away, filed it under “Not In This Lifetime,” and forgot all about it.  But now here we are, with Hillary looking like a real possibility.  I’ve taken that old thought out and dusted it off, and put it up there on a shelf, front and center.  A woman president.  Imagine that.  Only problem is, I’m not sure how I feel about the woman.

 


The conflict I’m having is this: I want to love Hillary.  I want to feel about her the way I felt about her husband in 1990, when I was a freshman in college, voting in my first presidential election.  He was, to me, the end all be all.  The hair, the smile, the genius, the charm, the Fleetwood Mac song…I would have knocked on doors all over the world for Bill Clinton, and even after all of his mistakes and all of his scandals, I still would.  But I just don’t feel that way about Hillary.  I know she’s smart, I know she’s capable, I know she’s strong.  But she just doesn’t inspire that same kind of passion; she doesn’t move me to volunteer for her campaign, or even, frankly, to vote for her.  And yet, when I think about not voting for her, my heart just sinks.  Somehow, I feel as if I’m biologically required to be on her side.  I mean, really, how could I not vote for the first woman to run for President?  Isn’t it my duty as a woman?  Don’t I want to be able to tell my daughter that one day she, too, could be President of the United States?  Don’t I want to play a part in making that history happen?  I do, I do, I do.  But I really like Barack Obama.  I just can’t help it.  I mean, is it me, or does anyone else find it ironic that Hillary Clinton is running against a guy who – in terms of personality – is the closest thing we’ve had to Bill Clinton since, well, Bill Clinton?  And let’s not forget, voting for Obama would be to play a part in a different kind of history, one that is just as important, if not more so.  And yet…I feel like a traitor just for thinking about it.

 

So I don’t what I’m going to do on February 5th, when California has its primary.   But if you happen to be in line behind me at the voting booth, please be patient, because I might take a while.

ydvonruden
01.16.08

"Hilary has compromised everything I believe a woman should protect,just to succeed politically." - show me a politician who hasn't? Man or woman....??

eeturtle
01.16.08

Ick, I dislike Hilary greatly. She's totally fake and just gives me the creeps. There's no way I want her in charge of anything, let alone the whole US!

confettiMom
01.16.08

I too would love to see a female president -- I just don't want one that I can not respect or trust. Hilary has compromised everything I believe a woman should protect,just to succeed politically. Is that what we consider strong -- do what ever , lie when ever and put up with anythins if it benefits you in the end. A women can be both successful and have values and integrity. And yes it is about Bill and Hilary's personalities. That's what makes them who they are -- Not to mention clear examples of how they make decisions. I, my mother, and both my sisters (both liberal and Conservative) will never give up the basic principles and beliefs that what makes women so great is their compassion and unselfishness and ability to put there family first and demand the respect of a partner and to be honest rather than manipulative. Oh yeah and Women can be successful in what ever they dream without compromise. Hilary does not represent any of those things. And no I will not vote for a male candidate that does not represent them as well. Voting for a President is not a gender or racial issue it's about choosing someone who has displayed a history of making good decision and standing up when they make a bad one. It's about finding someone who is will to fight for the best for our country. Being a women does not give Hilary a free ticket into that position.

It is sad to me to think that Hilary is the best Women have to offer.

AmyK
01.16.08

I've had a very similar struggle to make a decision between these two candidates, but after browsing each of their web sites to learn more about their goals and agenda, Hillary has to be the choice for me. She wants to see women get what they've been deserving for so long, and she'll fight for equal pay and better health care and family leave and... She's the only candidate who has a whole list of things she wants to do for women, and nothing could be more important to me, even as enamored as I am with Obama. Obama wants a lot of good things for the people in this country, and I believe he's the real deal. It's just that he has other plans, and I need a candidate--indeed, a president--who really has women's interests at heart. We've never had this opportunity before. I understand why this decision is hard for so many people.

Jessesmom
01.16.08

I cannot believe any woman would not vote for Hillary. If it weren't for women like her we wouldn't even have the right to vote in this election at all. In case any of you are unaware of the fact that we didn't even get that right until 1920!!! That is the 20th century! There are actually women alive right now that were born before that time whose mother's weren't permitted to cast their vote. My God ladies, wake up! It's not about liking Hilary or Bill or his personality). It's about a strong woman who went to law school at a time when women didn't make up 50% of law students like they do now, became a litigator when women didn't do that sort of thing. She is doing something you and I would never subject ourselves to... criticism not based on intelligence and ability, but rather on likeability and good hair. Are we still in highschool? Where is the likeability and good hair in the whitehouse right now? I don't see it! Oh, but he doesn't need it, he's a man.

ydvonruden
01.15.08

I think Gloria Steinem said it best in the New York Times....she stated "I'm supporting Senator Clinton because like Senator Obama has community organizing experience, but she also has more years in the Senate, an unprecedented eight years of on the job training in the White House, no masculinity to prove, the potential to tap a huge reservoir of this country's talent by her example, and now even the courage to break the no tears rule. I'm not opposing Mr. Obama; if he's a nominee, I'll volunteer. Indeed, if you look at votes during their 2 year overlap in the Senate, they were the same more than 90 percent of the time. Besides, the clean up mess left by President Bush, we may need to 2 terms of President Clinton and 2 terms of President Obama."

I feel when it comes down to the root of who she is as a human being & what she has clearly stood for from the last 30 years of her life, without looking at gender, Senator Clinton has a lot to offer and a new lens.

stotorp
01.15.08

You shouldn't feel like a traitor when you have valid reasons for choosing one candidate over another. The fact that Clinton (and Obama, for that matter) are the leading contenders says a lot about America today. It's refreshing to see new faces and ideas on the Democratic side, that is what the process is about. Whether its Clinton as the first female Presidential candidate or Obama as the first African-American candidate, the important thing is that Americans are now able to lend support to those that share their same background.
I can only wish I was a participant in the Clinton/Obama race on February 5th. My 4-year old daughter has no idea what Clinton stands for, but she thinks Clinton should be our next President.
The only people that should be ashamed or confused with themselves are those that choose to over-analyze the potential impact of her teary reaction to a question, as opposed to a male-approved angry tone or reaction.
We know Hillary is a strong woman and it is significant to recognize that she likely would not have gotten where she is now if she had Bill's personality.

lisahazen
01.15.08

Amen, sister. I couldn't have said it better myself. I feel like I'm betraying my gender, but I'm Obama all the way.

Lisa Hazen Design & Editorial
http://www.lisahazen.com/

AmyF
01.15.08

Ditto.

I remember when my 7-year old niece asked in 1995 why there were no women presidents and my sisters-in-law, my mother-in-law, my mother, and I all sat there stupified as to what to say. And I was pregnant with my first daughter at the time, so I felt like I should say something profound.

Finally, my mother broke the silence and told her she should run for president and we all said we'd vote for her.

AmyF
www.sofiabean.com