Former Secretary of State/United States Senator/FLOTUS/FL of Arkansas/law firm partner/political wife/wronged wife/mother/grandmother Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, Esq. (who has never done anything notable to speak of, other than marry a powerful man, according to George Will and numerous other right-wingers), is set today to announce her candidacy for the office of President of the United States.
As a fellow Baby Boomer and glass ceiling shatterer who has endured her own share of marital dilemmas and parented my kids successfully to adulthood, not to mention a lifelong Democrat (unlike Hillary, who started out as a Young Republican and a Goldwater Girl in the mid-1960s), I for one am delighted with this development in Hillary’s political career. I supported her candidacy the first time, both in social media and with financial contributions, and I intend to do the same again.
In the interest of full disclosure, Hillary is not the first female candidate for the presidency whose campaign I have supported. I contributed to my fellow North Carolina native Elizabeth Dole’s presidential run in the late 1990s, despite her Republican affiliation. Further full disclosure: I would not have voted for Elizabeth, as my policy is not to vote GOP for presidential races due to their pronounced tendency to balloon the deficit beyond all reason. I am, after all, a conservative, as well as a Democrat. 😉 I would not have voted against Elizabeth had she won the nomination, but I wouldn’t have cast my presidential ballot for her, either. I vote the candidate, not the party, except when it comes to the presidential race. I support candidates with my pocketbook according to my conscience and their degrees of congruence with my own positions.
I digress, but in the interest of explaining why I like Hillary so much and am supporting her candidacy again. We need more smart, accomplished women in charge of things, and not just volunteer organizations, social service agencies, and PTOs, although those are certainly important entities that deserve great leadership. More disclosure: I got much of my own training in leadership as a young woman in the Lawrenceville (GA) Junior Woman’s Club and volunteering for the American Cancer Society.
Despite her famous assertion during Bill’s campaign in 1992 that she was not the type of political wife to stay at home baking cookies and having teas, Hillary “gets it” and appealed tremendously in her first presidential campaign to those of us who share her generation and lived through what it meant to be a young working wife and mother in the early days of the post-feminist era. Disclosure yet again: I stayed at home for five years baking cookies when my kids were little, although I was more inclined to beverages that are to be sipped in a Solo cup than to Earl Grey in Granny Rogers’ china.
Despite Hillary’s strong start, it became clear that the Barack Obama juggernaut would be unstoppable in 2008. Hillary gave it the best fight she could, and her concession was exceedingly graceful. When Obama selected Joe Biden as his running mate rather than Hillary, millions of women who supported her candidacy were outraged, sensing that Hillary was being excluded not because she is a woman, but because of her husband and the certainty that he would have stolen much of the spotlight in an Obama/Clinton campaign and administration. Although it’s hard to fault Obama for not wanting to deal with the Bill Clinton Phenomenon, it was excruciating to watch Hillary be pushed to the sideline, knowing that she was incredibly well-qualified to be the running mate and if not for who her husband was, she very well might have been.
Hillary shares another quality with many of her Baby Boomer sisters like me, though–a firm belief that things work out they way they are meant to. She advises, like many of us have done, “When you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.” And that’s exactly what she did, becoming Secretary of State and establishing yet another series of accomplishments that prove she’s qualified to hold the highest office of this land.
With apologies to Mr. Will, I do want to point out that $21 million in funding for the World Trade Center memorial didn’t just magically find its way to New York City while Hillary served as Senator from the Empire State. The Affordable Care Act has roots going all the way back to the Nixon era, and a significant branch of those roots was planted by the Hillarycare initiative during the first Clinton administration. The Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act both were signed into law by Hillary’s husband with bipartisan support led in large part by the First Lady’s advocacy.
The Republicans among my friends and family will doubtless yell “Benghazi!”; “Feminazi!”; and other red herring anti-Hillary slogans when they read this. Several of them will probably drop the grande dame of slurs thrown against women of accomplishment who dare to speak their minds: “Bitch!”
I don’t care. My response to that is Tina Fey’s and Amy Pohler’s famous pronouncement:
Hillary said in 2008 that she “ran as a daughter who benefited from opportunities my mother never dreamed of. I ran as a mother who worries about my daughter’s future and a mother who wants to leave all children brighter tomorrows.” I’m no political candidate, but I work for those exact same reasons (for my daughter, son, stepsons, and stepdaughters).
I’m ready for Hillary. Eighteen million people were ready for her in 2008…and I believe that millions more American voters, both male and female, will be ready for her by 2016.