I’m going to try not to be really, really harsh to Sen. Hillary Clinton because I know where she’s coming from.
Once upon a time, I lost a presidential election to someone that I knew that I was much better than. I also had some of the same words, words such as divisive and calculating, that have been thrown at her thrown at me.
And yes, when I lost, I was pissed. But I also decided that since I obviously wasn’t needed anymore, I would let the organization go on without me. I didn’t intrude on his victory party, nor did I try to show him up (although I could have with very little effort.)
I was even magnanimous when folks within the organization asked me to come back once they realized that I had much needed strenghts that this guy didn’t. Although my feelings were hurt, I didn’t make it all about me.
It’s too bad that the woman who goes back to being the Junior Senator From New York did.
In my last post, I talked about how it felt to hear Sen. Barack Obama’s speech in Minnesota after clinching the Democratic presidential nomination.
I also had some definite feelings after hearing Sen. Clinton’s speech earlier that evening, and most of them weren’t kind.
My friend Vince and I were coming back from the Melrose Diner here in Philly and caught the speech on KYW-Newsradio. As we heard the senator talk about her 18 million voters, her swing state victories, and her decision to “make no decisions tonight”, Vince said “She isn’t going to let it go, is she?”
Now having seen Hillary Clinton in action for most of the campaign, I certainly wasn’t expecting her to go quietly. When people refer to you and your husband as “the Ike and Tina Turner of Politics”, it’s assumed that you’d never do anything nice and easy.
But this level of gracelessness came out of left field. To not even acknowledge his victory, much less the fact that Obama had just made history, was just plain triflin’. It was about as graceless as you can get, and coming from someone who has taken gracelessness to an art form at various times during this campaign, that’s saying something.
Most importantly, this gracelessness takes away from the more than a little significant thing that she managed to pull off.
Just like black kids can’t say that their color limits them anymore thanks to Sen. Obama, young women can’t say that their gender limits them anymore either thanks to Sen. Clinton. These two people took most of our excuses for not achieving exactly what we want to do away with their mere presence on the ballot.
Sexism and racism may still exist, but their power has been reduced thanks to these two. (Notice that I didn’t say neutralized, I said reduced. I recognize the work that still needs to be done. If I said neutralized, i’d be saying that I’m blind to the racism and sexism that ran though this campaign.)
But that said, there was still no excuse for what Sen. Clinton did.
And that’s why Rep. Charlie Rangel and a whole bunch of other Democratic leaders ripped her a new one for it on Wednesday. After that, the Unity Event that she’s scheduled for Saturday was planned.
But while Sen. Clinton is supporting Sen. Obama, she’s only “suspending” her campaign.
That’s kind of ominous to me, especially when you take into consideration the fact that her most vocal supporters are telling her to either run as an independent, demand to be made the Vice Presidential candidate, or that they’re going to vote for Sen. John McCain.
I want to think that Sen. Clinton isn’t up to something, but I’m not sure that Miss “I’m In It To Win It” won’t grab her bucket of paint and try to paint over the handwriting on the wall.
Want to know what this woman’s work is to me? Getting folks like me, folks who have seen her in action far too many times, to trust her word.