Wednesday, August 27, 2008

HRC

Sitting there, the pomp and circumstance of an event that I did not feel a part of blaring before me, I waited. I sneered at sign waving spectators, scoffed at commentary on certain figures and I waited. It was unclear if I was waiting to hear Hillary or waiting to feel more anger toward Obama. I was angry at a country that seemed to be staring down two dead ends. My unwillingness to not vote had me musing that maybe, just maybe, I'd cross party lines.

As the video rolled and I saw footage of a young woman, heard the narrative of a life lived with the belief that anything could be achieved, I began to weep. I thought of my daughters and their future. I remembered being a young girl myself and rallying for Mondale and Ferraro in Eugene, Oregon. I revisited images of my mom railing at the tv while Phyllis Schlafly spoke. Then Chelsea Clinton took the stage. She was radiant and calm, her voice clear.

A woman.
A daughter.
And a child raised to believe she could be anything she wanted.

"My hero. My mom. Hillary Rodham Clinton."

And there she was. My breath caught as I watched history being made. Full minutes passed as she waited for the audience to quiet, so that she could address the expectation, realize or defy the theories of the talking heads. Her brilliant orange suit stood in stark contrast to the blues and reds of the stage. She walked back and forth, and as I watched I felt the weight of what that must have been like, to have fought so hard and then to be there in a kind of defeat. My eyes burned with fresh tears, and then she began to speak.

She was so much more than I could have ever hoped, but in fact she was everything I had believed her to be. She was sharp and insightful, strong and passionate. There was pragmatism and optimism, concession and challenge. I listened to almost every word, stopping only a few times to be angry, to debate why she wasn't giving a different speech. As she asked us to consider why we were there, whether it was for her, or for parents without health care, for children with unemployed parents, everything changed.

My anger faded. My resolve went. And my mind changed. Last night, as my heart broke, the direction I must take became clear. Last night Hillary Rodham Clinton, mom, hero, Senator from New York, daughter, wife won me over again and in doing so she secured my vote for Obama.

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17 comments:

Meredith said...

I absolutely love Clinton. I was furious that she didn't win the primary and even more angry that Obama didn't choose her for VP (really, that would have helped patch this wound). It is hard for me to get over it.

That being said, I don't know if I want to vote for Obama - although deep down, I guess I know that I probably will. I know I can't vote for McCain. Combine it all with the betrayal I feel towards Edwards, who I also loved and believed in, and I just feel like giving up. I am one disillusioned woman right now.

TZT said...

Beautifully said. I was surprised by how emotional watching her made me last night. I'm glad I voted for her, but happy to vote for him.

Crystal D said...

Oh Amanda, how I hope that HRC made so many more women feel the way that you did last night. She was just amazing and so full of strength. I sent your post to my mom who is just so over everything after Hillary lost that she is not interested in any of it right now. I voted for Hillary too. I think she would have been amazing. I think she still is amazing and will continue to be as long as she is around.
It was easier for me to give Obama a chance simply becasue that is who Jim had been behind all along and even though I wanted her, I had been hearing all the good about him during the whole process.
I hope we can all pull it together, for the unemployed, the uninsured, the environment and the children. I can only hope that we can be more united than divided.

T with Honey said...

I wish I could see the same things that you do when looking at HRC but I don't. Both of us tend to keep a separation of blog and state so I won't go on but I definitely think we can find a better candidate and roll model for our girls.

As for Obama he's having trouble uniting his own party and he's far too radical to unite this country.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I thought her speech was great. I was on the fence about voting at all, but she made me see that not doing so would be a negation of all she - and all womankind - had worked for.

Great post.

Magpie said...

I'm so sorry I missed that speech. Thanks for your synopsis.

Kimberly said...

It was an amazing speech indeed. And this is an amazing post. Well said.

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I completely agree that Hillary did a wonderful job last night. I was glued to my seat. She is an amazing lady who I have always admired and liked. I am beyond happy that she was able to convince you (and others) that Obama's vision and beliefs are not all that different from hers. I am so glad that you posted about something this important, the impact on our country and our lives is huge and she was able to unite the Democratic party more than I could have imagined.
Kimberly

Amy Y said...

Thank you for opening your mind ~ I think you made a wise decision. In the end, I think we all want the same thing for our families, for our country, for our world. We just disagree on how to get there.

I think right now Obama is what we need to get us back on our proverbial feet again. I know he gets a bad rap but I really believe he's going to do a good job with our best interests at heart.

Ree said...

Amanda,

I'm so glad to hear you say this. More than you'll ever, ever know.

I believe Hillary would have made a great President. I adored the Clintons and how I felt when we had Bill in the White House. But to think that people are voting McCain just because Hillary didn't get nominated makes me sad and angry. What about what Hillary stands for? Isn't that what we're really all about.

I'm not political. I RARELY talk politics on my site. But some of the things I've heard make me want to scream in anger. We shouldn't be voting for a PERSON, we're voting for an IDEOLOGY.

Thank you. (BTW, I think this is the longest comment I've ever written on anyone's blog - )

XXOO

Ree

Kimberly said...

Her speech was truly wonderful. Great post.

Lisa said...

I feel that our daughters have seen something truly wonderful happen this year. My girls are two and four, and as far as they know a woman, a black man, or a white man all have the same chance to be president. Anyone can be president, regardless of race or sex. They no nothing but that. And that makes me proud to be an American!

Jess said...

I thought her speech was beautiful. I'm glad it had its intended effect.

Kelly said...

It was an awesome speech. I voted for her in the PA primary, and I'm definitely voting for Obama.

carrie said...

I shared those same tears . . . and it was hard to keep them at bay watching her incredible speech the othet night.

jen said...

Hi babe,

welcome to the fold.

come guest post at MOMocrats about this any time you want. xo

eva said...

First, thank you for the sweet comment on my blog.

I was a Hillary supporter as well but Obama is getting my vote now, no question! HRC will continue to do much good in the Senate, we haven't lost her...