Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Women's History, Our History

As a long-time feminist, let me take a minute and let the news of Hillary Clinton's nomination sink in.  On Monday, the AP declared her the presumptive Democratic nominee.  Yesterday, she clinched a few more primary wins.

I can hear the Bernie Sanders people howling about the nomination and the fact that unpledged delegates might change their minds and vote for Sanders.  I'm willing to bet that most of them won't.  Unpledged delegates are long-term Democrats, and through the years, Sanders has done much to alienate them.

In fact, I'm surprised by how silent people have been about his previous break with the Democratic party.  And now he wants to be the candidate?

No, let me not get derailed into talking about Sanders.  Let me reflect on this historical moment, one that until about 2008, I did not think I would see in my lifetime.

Obama's win in 2008 was what convinced me that the political realities that I thought I knew had changed.  Truly, all sorts of leadership might be possible in the future.

Clinton is a flawed candidate, to be sure.  But she's also got some strengths that very few candidates will have, now or in the future.  She's had a wide variety of experiences and seen governing from many angles, more so than just about any other candidate for president ever.  I hope she chooses a woman for her VP.

I remember back in 1987, when Pat Schroeder briefly ran for president.  I was so inspired that I sent her $5 for her campaign--I was in grad school and couldn't afford more.  I could hardly afford that.  When she announced that she was quitting, I cried.

I remember further back, in 1984, voting for Mondale and feeling jazzed about Geraldine Ferraro's presence on the ticket--back then, I thought we'd have a female candidate on the top of the ticket in no time.  I wouldn't have dreamed that it would take over 30 years.

I don't look forward to the next few months.  I'm weary of ugliness, and I suspect that there's lots of ugliness to come.  I like the way that Clinton has been handling the ugliness so far.  But I don't want 5 more months of it.

But let me not focus on that either.  Let me again turn my attention to the fact that a woman is running for President, and not as a fringe candidate either.   Let me rest with that for today.

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