Friday, May 9, 2008

Reader Comment: Marjorie

While I'm being ripped to shreds over at Comment Is Free (!) for my piece called "A Hillary Supporter's Remorse," I'm sharing a comment from Marjorie here on GWP in a post. I urge folks to check out what Gryff has to say in our comments too. I love it when there's this kind of back-and-forth going on over here, and just wanted to thank both of them for their insights and thoughts. Here's Marjorie, with an eloquent essay of her own:

I vowed way back in 1992 that, no matter where I lived in the world (at the time I thought I'd be living in Asia or Europe), if HRC decided to run for president, I'd drop everything and return to the US just to help out in her campaign.

As it turned out, I'm in Colorado and have devoted some of my weekly columns for the local paper on her campaign and credentials, not to mention donated some hard-earned cash to her campaign. However, as far as putting my life on hold to volunteer my heart, let's just say that that hasn't happened yet.

I suck at fundraising (my own family turned down a request to donate $25 each to an awareness walk for a disease that I have), can't stand the telephone, and literally break out in hives when I have to do any kind of public speaking. I can barely make it to my next door neighbor's house without shaking in my shoes. In other words, I'm not the kind of campaign activist you want on your team. And yeah, I feel like I let HRC down, too.

I would love to see HRC win, but while I remain the eternal optimist, the numbers are not looking good. However, I appreciate the McCaskill quote you referenced in your article. Hillary's a big girl, she can handle her own campaign and will step down from it when she's good and ready. At this time I still think she's the best candidate and always will, and apparently millions of others feel the same way. If nothing else, I appreciate that HRC seems to understand the loyalty and passion her supporters feel for her and the responsibility that entails. To retreat now -- even if that would seem to be the logical choice -- would be an awful blow to those who worked so hard on her behalf.

I think that, for her as well as for myself and countless others, this election is about more than just a call for "change." What bothered me about the 2004 election (and why I didn't vote for Kerry but for Nader instead) is because I felt that the Democratic theme seemed to be, "It's better than the alternative." There didn't seem to be a really strong push to field a worthy candidate, just a half-assed attempt to throw any warm body into the ring as an alternative to Bush.

Now, though, not only do we have two strong candidates, but they're both non-traditional ones. Now that we have an election worth bothering about, it's actually become personal, far more than any election I've ever witnessed in my lifetime (I'm 36). Suddenly, I'm seeing my hero, a woman I've admired for 16 years, whose life and accomplishments I've followed for just as long, on the verge of literally becoming the leader of the freakin' world.

For that reason alone, I think that even if you've worked in politics in the past, I can only imagine that losing now would be even more difficult simply because we had a chance to make history...and failed. This isn't about a Democrat winning anymore, but a woman actually winning the White House, something a lot of us didn't think we'd see for decades.

By the way, I would be very surprised if Obama extended the olive branch and offered Clinton the VP-ship, and even more so if Clinton accepted it. Maybe I'm just projecting my own profound disappointment, but I can't imagine that happening after the exhausting bitterness of the last few months. And quite frankly, that would hurt like hell.


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