Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Problem With Hillary Clinton

Last night watching the debate on MSNBC between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, I realized that part of my problem (and I extrapolate that, if it’s my problem, It might be someone else’s) with Senator Clinton is that her tendency to scold reminds me of my mother. Now most people will say, when asked, if they liked or loved their mother, “My mother was/is great. I love my mother.” But if you then say, “Would you like to live with your mother?” these same mother loving people, male or female will say, “Well….No.”

My mother was a nightmare from beginning to end. But to the hundreds of women she mentored and inspired she was mythic, and since she and I had a difficult relationship, to those women, I must be the nightmare. Such a wonderful, interesting, strong, activist, feminist woman. Her daughter must be such an ass not to revere her mother. And, of course, that was part of the problem throughout our lives. I did revere my mother. I also feared her. And I never lived up to her expectations. I always let her down by not following exactly in her footsteps, the respectful distance she required of a subject and with head slightly bowed. It was never safe to be in too close a proximity to her. Her scold was always shaming and even into my fifties she treated me like a willful, bad child. So, when I see Hillary shaking her finger, holding a mailer sent out by the Obama Campaign with Clinton’s support for NAFTA as it’s message, she shakes her finger and shouts, “Shame on you, Barack Obama!” And I cringe.

I am her demographic, and I hate to tell the media this, but she lost my support after North Carolina. So, who is left? I might not have loved everything Bill did when he was President, but I did love Bill. I loved Hillary for tackling Health care as First Lady. Bravo! I was prepared to be a fan for life, but she failed. Let me repeat that. She failed. It was her lack of judgement and leadership that made that a certainty. She shunned help from the wise old men in the Democratic Party. She was bush-waked by a smart and viscous ad campaign by the lobbyists for the Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industries. And she should be better prepared now. She says she’s been there, vetted, tested, she’s prepared for what the Right will throw at her, but she’s making the same kind of rookie mistakes. Not being prepared to campaign past Super Tuesday is rookie stuff. Move over Hillary, your time has past. It feels a little like a Matricide, but I’m older than she is. And my mother died years ago. Strange that I would take up the pen, so to speak, after my mother lost the sword.

Hillary Clinton was a very interesting First Lady, and aside from her hawkish support for the Iraq war, a pretty good Senator. Maybe there’s a Cabinet position in her future, but I don’t believe it is her destiny to be our first female President. Her organization is top down. The genius and power of Barack’s organization is it’s bottom up approach. It is Democracy in action. It is inspiring. Senator Clinton’s lowest moments are when she mocks the Obama supporters. It’s not a winning strategy. Do not mock hope. Idealism should never be discouraged. And young people will inherit the mess your generation made, so let them get on with it. Please, Senator Clinton, call it off.