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Friday, December 15, 2017

WASHINGTON — Many wept at Barack Obama becoming the first black president. So much shared euphoria cutting the cold of a January day at high noon. The country crossed over the highest threshold — so we thought.

As a campaigner, Obama played the black card brilliantly, confronting the crucible of race in a speech once, regarding his former Chicago pastor, turned radical. Once was enough to see how deeply he “integrated” his own strands into one whole. His unique life story melded the black and white worlds together in the moment. America’s load to carry was lighter. As president, Obama became “Amazing Grace,” on race, singing the song by a slave catcher at the funeral of nine black South Carolinians, murdered in their Charleston church.

Magic, somber June day.

Tuesday: here I stood on a spring evening, in the lights of the politerati. Most people at this gleaming party are supporting Hillary Clinton. A few are close to both Clintons. But even among friends, I wasn’t feeling the buzz or love in the room. There was zero excitement at a historic milestone, electing the first woman president. Then Megyn Kelly’s interview with Donald Trump on Fox held no defiance, just compliance with his rules for women.

If you didn’t know a woman had a real chance of becoming president, you wouldn’t know it.

That doesn’t seem just.

Compared to the last men standing, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton is best prepared to take over the White House. As President Obama’s secretary of state, she mended fences the world over, which President George W. Bush broke in his tragic Iraq War. Clinton commanded the respect of seasoned Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a Republican, who noted in his memoir that she was a favorite Cabinet colleague.

People who know her well say the same: Clinton is sparkling company, with a first-class wit to go with her book-learning. A BBC correspondent who covered her as secretary, Kim Ghattas, wrote she was struck by Clinton’s thoughtfulness and tirelessness as she conducted foreign policy. An age ago, we all witnessed her grace under pressure when she refused to break in the glare of her husband’s Oval Office ooh-la-la scandal, signifying nothing, in 1999.

Grace under pressure is courage.

Given that most don’t know Clinton personally,  and that her authenticity persists as an issue, she may do what doesn’t come naturally for a Midwestern Methodist. Let down her perfect hair and her high walls with the American people. She is more private than her husband Bill, always striking up a friendly conversation with folks wherever he speaks.

Hillary Clinton loathes the media, they say, and with reason. The media has no love for her. Therein lies the rub. To connect with the larger public, Clinton needs the media for revealing moments in one-on-one interviews — and to cover barnstorming speeches with a grain less cynicism.

Clearly, the other candidates have more excited bases. Trump speaks to a large crowd as if it were a small gathering. He reviews his rough and tumble strategy. That is a talent. The Brooklyn-born Sanders also speaks frankly, and “is what he is” — the loud uncle at the table. They are familiar, even likable types, but we have no mold for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In her memoir, “Living History,” there’s a page of drama: being “desperately in love with” Bill, but reluctant to marry him. But the Wellesley College graduation, where the young Rodham gave a ’60s revolutionary call to arms, is shorn of soul. After all, she might run for higher office.

Define thyself with speed (before Trump does.)

The race is on now, and the pace will be brutal. Clinton’s customary caution won’t carry the day. There’s no choice but to truly meet the candidate, throaty laugh and all. It’s strange to this say about a woman on the public stage since 1992, but we need to know the latest version.

John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president. Andrew Jackson was the first commoner president. If Clinton has her eye on history, let her go for broke and light a Camelot candle to champion sisterhood. If she’s not excited, nobody else will be.

To find out more about Jamie Stiehm and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit


Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets supporters at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, U.S., May 16, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

22 Responses to Sisterhood: Feel the Burn

  1. She’s qualified to be president, has the experience and the smarts, and yet she has to learn to excite us more, use twitter in the middle of the night? That’s the type of attitude that’ll elect Donald Trump to the presidency. Even voters in the Democratic Party seem to react to the entertainment factor.

    • Operating a private server while SoS is not smart but rather a National Security Risk.
      Accepting bribes from foreign governments while acting as SoS under the cover of Clinton Foundation is not smart.

      Cashing in on public service to the tune of 100,000,000+ for giving paid speeches to special interest groups and then refusing to release the speech transcripts is not smart.

      I am not sure this is experience we are looking for in our nominee.

      But only if we just knew her better, right?
      I think we know enough.

      • The private server is a non-crime, it wasn’t even frowned on until it was her.
        She didn’t, you turd.
        And I think you know nothing, and are a no-nothing Know-Nothing.

        • “The private server is a non-crime, it wasn’t even frowned on until it was her.” Then why is the FBI investigating it?

          • They are investigating her aids and seeing if there was intent of wrong doing, and they have not found any.

          • Not according to Comey. Why is this taking so long? Boy are you in for a surprise. Unintentional espionage is a serious felony.

          • I’ll wait for the report before judging but whether intentional or not if there is wrongdoing she should be held accountable. If I shoot and kill my neighbor by accident I am still guilty of a felony though my penalty will be less than if i did by design.

        • Are you kidding me? You cannot be SOS and conducting business with sensitive data on a non government unsecured server. This is unprecedented and absolutely astonishing. This is a complete disqualification of any person from serving as Commander in Chief. This is beyond a lapse of judgement. This is crimnal and extremely dangerous. Wake up Superdelegates you are handing the GOP this election. This is an arrogant and target rich nominee that Trump is going to destroy. Feel the Bern and win the WH, Senate and maybe the House

      • Operating a private server had the same impact as operating a server at the white house and Hillliary was not alone in making such bad decision.

        Accepting bribes, she accepted donations, have you done any research on other non-profits reaping cash from foreigners.

        Yes we are looking for more of this type of experience in keeping peace with other world leaders.

        What we don’t want is a fool like Trump who will destroy what’s left of our democracy.

        • Really ?

          Other SOS set up private servers and conducted all of their govt bus with them? Not.
          Trump cannot be our president but Hillary will get destroyed by him. Feel the Bern and win.

      • As C Rice and Colin also did? Oh, right, HRC DIDN’T delete all the STATE dept. e-mails as they did.
        Oh and she got $6 figures for speeches but GW gets $7 figures? And HRC is corrupt?
        For a “Real_Einstein”, you sure aren’t! Are YOU a GOP operative? Why do you believe all the GOP lies about HRC?
        You say you hate Trump, yet your WORDS seem to support the GOP!

        • They did not operate private servers and wipe them clean after learning about a potential criminal investigation. That is called tampering with evidence and is also a crime. I am a life long democrat and have never voted for a Republican and probably never will. I will vote for Hillary if she is nominated but fear she will be destroyed in November. I make the case for Bernie, the only true candidate of the people who would beat Trump easily. Superdelegates wake up!

  2. Sometimes I wonder if we, the people, want to elect qualified presidents or chums we kinda like. We tried electing a chum named George W and damn what a mess he made. Look to who is actually qualified and those who want to govern rather than tear the hole thing down.

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      • News flash Paul. It is possible to see HRC as a dishonest, corrupt, inept and hypocritical war hawk and Trump as a narcissistic, incompetent, bully and pathological liar without being a GOP operative, whatever that might mean. Hey, if they’re willing to pay me to voice my opinion please direct them my way. It’s also possible to share my opinions of HRC without being 1- paid by the Kochs 2 – a GOP operative 3 – a Bernie Bro 4 – a Trump supporter 5 – a woman hater trying to hold women down etc., etc.

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