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.