Tuesday, January 08, 2008

primarily, a ramble

new hampshire primaries are today. woo-hoo. what this means to me is that we're one step closer to the end of this primary/caucus madness which feels like it's been going on since, um, i don't know, the introduction of the 8-track tape player. and that we're also one step closer to getting rid of the George W. Regime.

i still haven't completely made up my mind about which candidate i'd like to see become the democratic nominee...which for me is sort of amazing since i normally have very strong opinions on everything and am pretty adept at picking a candidate and sticking with them. honestly, i wish we could magically combine four of them together and come up with The Perfect Candidate. Someone with Clinton's public policy expertise and living-life-as-a-woman-in-the-male-dominated-world-of-politics experience. Mix that with Obama's extraordinary charisma and message-of-change-and-healing-and-all-things-anti-status-quo. Put in a healthy dose of Edwards' populist world view, and then top it all off with Kucinich's liberal (that's right, liberal) stances on social issues. That would be My Candidate.

But alas, this is not possible, any more than it's possible that I'm going to find The Perfect Woman who fulfills every qualification I am looking for in a partner. It ain't gonna happen, and so you need to priortize and compromise and find other people to help balance things. Yadda yadda yadda. Bottom line for me...I'm not going to have the opportunity to voice my choice since I'll be in Detroit when Maine finally caucuses in February. And the fact is, the nominee will be in the can by then anyway. Which says a whole lot about media manipulation and voter value dependent on where you live and the way we decide who gets to represent us at the highest level in this country. I think we should have presidential caucuses and primaries on the same exact day in every state. Maybe then people would cast their vote for the candidate that best represents their values and beliefs rather than the candidate that the media tells them has the best chance of winning.

Maybe.

But no matter who ends up on the top of the democratic ticket, i will say that Hillary Clinton has now moved from somewhere in the middle of my top ten list of women i admire to the absolute number one spot. I always knew she was tough as nails and i've always believed her to be a true patriot who serves because she loves the idea of the country she is a citizen of. and watching her navigate the minefields of this presidential primary race has been extraordinary. anyone who thinks that the media has not obsessed over her gender is not. paying. attention. at. all. i could do a google search right now and in 10 seconds find hundreds of articles where sexism is on full display.

just yesterday you could not land on any web page discussing the new hampshire primary without seeing the video of an "emotional Clinton" talking to a group of undecided voters about her experience in this race. "hillary weeps." in my mind, that video only convinced me more that this is a three-dimensional candidate who is very, very human and very, very tired and who has been kicked around pretty good by the male-dominated press and the male-dominated field of candidates. and who has handled it just fine in my book. but the headlines? all too reminiscent of the way Geraldine Ferraro was covered a couple of decades ago when she ran as the vice-presidential candidate. slanted in way that made it look like "emotion" was a strictly feminine characteristic and not at all what we should have in a political leader. kinda that what-if-she's-having-a-PMS-attack-and-launches-us-into-world-war-three. give me a break. it just makes my blood boil.

and let's not forget about the two guys protesting her in salem yesterday by screaming "iron my shirt." and how much coverage THAT little gem is getting. makes me sick. makes me ashamed. and just adds to my list of reasons why i would never want to live in new hampshire. eh.

i don't have one one-millionth of the intestinal fortitude that Hillary Clinton has shown in all her years of public service, and particularly in these past months on the campaign trail. and as the first-ever viable woman presidential candidate, she's an inspiration to little girls everywhere who want to dream big. and she's secured a place in my heart that i save for women who have the courage to blaze trails in spite of immeasurable odds and obstacles. she is a true blue feminist and i just know, that years from now, i will look back and say "i remember when Hillary Clinton changed the face of politics forever. i was there. and it was incredible."

period. the end.

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