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Friday, October 28, 2016

Gathering force in the Democratic field, Hillary Clinton is riding a wave of something that has no name. And she’s not alone. The wave has to do with being the first female American president. But so far, you’d never know it from her. Mum’s the word about being, well, a woman.

I say she should ride that wave for all it’s worth, to shore. Let the difference live and breathe — and even laugh in her throaty way. Sex and race are very different, delicate matters in politics. They need completely different strategies to achieve a “first.” To sustain momentum all the way to the White House, Clinton would be wise to seize the moment and represent herself as living social change for women.

Last time she ran for president, Clinton came across as a gender-neutral candidate, except at the end, when the battle was done. Her closing line, hailing 18 million cracks in “the highest, hardest glass ceiling” was a belated nice nod to her female base. That loss was seven Junes ago. Her best game will change for the campaign of her life.

This time, the former First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State would do well to speak to women of all ages, and engage them — us — in a knowing way, like we’re friends. Clinton’s specific polices and life experiences ideally should be wrapped up together in a conversation in the public square. And let’s not forget to say out loud that she rose on the wings of major social change in the late 1960s and the 1970s. It was called the women’s movement. Without it, she would not be running for president.

That way, if Clinton champions the cause of women, our place in the public square gets the attention it deserves after a dry spell. Pay equity, paid leave, child care, and reproductive rights are high on the list, the policy experts say. Political participation is also important, as measured state by state. Among the best states are New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, an Institute for Women’s Policy Research study found. The weakest states are Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

As proof of progress, many point to Congress, which has roughly 20 percent female members. It’s higher than it’s ever been, but 20 female senators is not enough. Right, Hillary? The 2016 retirements of Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will leave holes.

Here in Washington, I hear a lot of smart talk on women’s advancement, most recently in showy spring events. National Journal put on “Women in Washington: Empowering Women in 2015 and Beyond.” Wise Nancy Pelosi, House minority leader, spoke inclusively, a reminder that women’s issues are not “just” women’s lot, but often family issues. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research devoted a day in May to “Achieving Gender Equality in our Lifetimes: A Bold Vision for Advancing the Status of Women.” These agendas go beyond leaning in and being interrupted.

The energy bubbled like a brook. There were feints to bipartisanship. But let’s look for signs of a social revolution. An awakening awaits.

Let Clinton come clean about her disarmingly defiant, even radical, class of 1969 commencement speech at Wellesley. She was a leader in the first generation of young women through newly open doors (she was headed for Yale Law School) armed with greater expectations than ever. The American dream was theirs for the taking. We don’t hear much about that Hillary Rodham from Illinois and the arc to “Women’s rights are human rights,” her Beijing declaration.

An agent of change: That’s the story of her life.

Dial back to 2008, when Barack Obama hardly let slip that he is, in fact, an African-American. He was going to be the first black American president — and was going to get there without directly discussing race, unless he had to. (He had to once when his family preacher in Chicago forced the issue.)

Otherwise, in a starry way that projected “You are the change I want to see,” Obama encouraged voters’ mounting excitement about breaking that historic barrier. But subtle every step of the way, Obama seldom spoke the unspoken. He knew his color was an asset, a tiebreaker, and so he didn’t dwell on it.

Hillary is the change we want to see. Tell it, sister.

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  • Dominick Vila

    I have the feeling the GOP is well aware of the appeal that a highly qualified female has on an electorate thirst for change. In fact, that knowledge becomes evident when we consider the number and intensity of the attacks being directed at Hillary Clinton. From e-mail gate, to the audacity of a middle class couple becoming rich the old fashioned way, to the ever present Benghazi, which actually serves as a reminder for the foreign policy debacles and tragedies that took place during Bush’s tenure, from 9/11 to eleven terrorist attacks against U.S. embassies and consulates, to unpaid crusades justified through deceit, to threats to allies hesitant to support us.
    Hillary is not being attacked because of her record or qualifications, she is being attacked because the GOP knows that she is a formidable opponent who cannot be beat without resorting to lies, innuendo, and distortion of character.

    • Jerpell

      Reporting on lies at Hillary?….Isn’t that what you just did to President Bush?…Hmm…Me thinks its your own little agenda!!

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        No one lied about Bush. He lied in public and was caught at it. Try again. You men just hate being caught in your own lies.

        Your male cohorts wasted $12 million taxpayer dollars on WhiteWater and not one shred of evidence proved their involvement. Not one.

        Now, Issa, Gowdy and Cotton, the GOP dogs of the GET HILLARY war, spent over $22 million on Benghazi…the joke is that I watched the committee hearing on this…Gowdy interrupted rudely and obnoxiously his own GOP hand selected witnesses because they were not testifying to what the GOP wanted to hear.

        Time for you Mutton Chops to stop trying to keep women in their place. 2016 will be the Year of the Women..NH in 2012 sent 11 women to Congress…Eat your male heart out.

        • Jerpell

          Not sure what President Bush lied about?…I have no problem with a female president but not one with so much corruption about her!…

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            You don’t know that Bush lied outright based on Cheney’s report that there were WMDs in Iraq? When the 9/11 Commission verified that fact and berated hell out of Nanny Rice for allowing that to get to the President in first place?

            And you didn’t know that Bush refused to allow Rove or Cheney to be deposed in the investigation of the outing of that CIA agent? Do you live in the US? Or on planet Uranus?

            What precisely can you name that Hillary has done that is corrupt? You can’t. You men waste $12 million of MY tax dollars on WhiteWater and your proved nothing.

            Now, you are wasting another $22 million on Benghazi…and use 4 dead Americans compared to the 4,000 Bush killed in Iraq? How do you sleep at night? Or, are you another man who loves the “get away with it” games.

          • Jerpell

            Umm…Saddam gassed his own people, the Kurd’s….he obviously had WMD’s …Don’t let your hatred for someone make you create your own lies…..I don’t like Obama but I don’t make up stuff and lie about the man….AS for Hillary, where do I start?…Well can I just say that you have blinders on with your head stuck in the sand if you think this woman is clean, I’d much rather have Warren in my democrat camp!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Oh puhlease…Read the American Dynasty by Kevin Phillips if you want real proof of why Bush went after Saddam Hussein. You are totally politically naive if you think Iraq was all about human rights issues. Do you want to lie and say that it is just a massive coincidence that in 1994 Cheney tried a run for the presidency and the GOP refused to support him and 2 years later he became CEO of Halliburton and 2 more years later the VP who pushed for Halliburton to get that no bid contract for military supplies in Iraq, a war that was as much a result of Halliburton helping Cheney get his back room presidency?

            You are a total fool if you think George W. Bush EVER was president. He was just Cheney’s front man…Why do you think Cheney sent him off from 2001 to early 2003 doing his sales and marketing campaign to sell to the American people if not to keep Bush as far from the White House so Cheney could run things from his back room?

            You really need a reality check if you think GWB was ever president. Every GOP president since Warren Harding has had a recession they caused in their 2nd term. Only GHWB didn’t because he got only one term.

            According to ALL government records, GWB went after Saddam Hussein due to the fact that GHWB double crossed Hussein when he supplied arms to the Iran Contras. Try again smart boy…you’re down for the count.

          • Jerpell

            My God, you are one delusional human….And I guess all is good with Obama also, to go with your perfectly pure as the driven snow Hillary…..Hmm….Me thinks you is delusional!!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            I proved what I posted. You haven’t …you are delusional pallie. I don’t agree with everything Obama does. I loathed Cheney because I knew that evil SOB was only out for his own bloated egotistical self. Like you are.

            The fact that every GOP president since Warren Harding has caused a recession is something you dare not admit.

            It’s why we need a woman in the White House. You boys don’t even get along with your own kind.

          • dpaano

            Me thinks you are totally uninformed and don’t really want to learn the truth!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Men like Jerpell are pathetic creatures of doom. They exist in a fantasy world they and only they create. In that world, they have ALL the power, the ONLY voice and all the money.

            If you walk into any mental hospital today, you see men in the wards just like Jerpell, Louis Allen, CPA and the rest of the National Memo trolls.

            Most are locked in solitary confinement because they are a danger to each other. So too are these guys. Something must have gone so horribly wrong the minute their Mommies and Daddies conceived them. Perhaps, the Confederate flag was at half mast or their Mutton Chops ancestral genes were mutated. lol.

            The joke is their only real talents lie in constantly contradicting. But then, these are also the talents of the confined mentally ill.

          • dpaano

            Definitely agree with you!

          • dpaano

            Might also want to read Vincent Bugliosi’s book, “The Prosecution of Georg W. Bush for Murder,” which clearly point out the REAL reason we went to war with Sadaam and the lies that were told to the American public. In al, he’s guilty of killing over 100,000 people, including American lives AND Iraqi lives.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Bugliosi? Isn’t he the prosecutor in the famed Manson Trials? I’ll look for his book.

            In “American Dynasty,” I liked how Kevin Phillips provided bibliographies from certifiable sources. The trail from Cheney’s Nixon days to the White House is so transparent.

            You realize, as I do, that if Bush and Cheney have lived during the era of the Founding Fathers, they’d have been hung in a public square as traitors.

            I still think that the ball will drop on these two, if for no other reason than hiding prisoners in Polish and Turkish prisons under a CIA veil of secrecy neither Poland nor Turkey even knew.

          • dpaano

            Yes, he’s the same one….he recently passed away, but the book is really awesome. He lines up the case against Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Rice. The best part is that he points out that murder has no statute of limitations and that any State AG can file a suit against these crooks for murder, especially if they had citizens (soldiers) killed during the war. Unfortunately, it seems none of them are brave enough to pit themselves against the right wingnuts! As for “American Dynasty,” I’m just finishing it up!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Boomer women are perhaps the worst anathema to middle aged men in this country. We refuse to allow them to dominate us. We earned the right to our independence by working around their silly, petty, little boy machinations, best exhibited by men like Cheney and Bush.

            Where is it written that ONLY men can be president? Where is it written that only men can own businesses or become CEOs?

            Yet, this is the pathetic mentality you get from some of the men in society today. That we will never stand down to their low opinions of women..all that BS about not trusting women…Do they realize they dig their own graves every time another one of their male counterparts screws up?

            I have no doubt, as I’m sure you do, that Gowdy, Issa and 90% of the GOP will go down in flames. Judging by the cannibalizing of each other they are already doing to get to be Mr. President, I’d say women in the US are going to see just how low men stoop to get their way. Too bad, I don’t tolerate tantrums in grown men.

          • dpaano

            First of all, his so-called “gassing” of the Kurds had NOTHING to do with the US. Secondly, gas is not a WMD, it’s a biological weapon and wouldn’t reach the US if Sadaam decided to lob a gas bomb at the US!

          • dpaano

            You’re kidding, right…..Bush told so many lies, it’s hard to keep track of them all….the worse being that Sadaam had weapons of mass destruction or that 9/11 was caused by Iraq (when it was actually caused by Saudi terrorists). What planet have you been living on?

        • Jerpell

          I really think that Warren would make a much better and much stronger candidate than Hillary would….

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            No Warren wouldn’t…for one reason..the GOP cannibals would eat her alive like they did Geraldine Ferrara. Hillary is the GOP’s worst nightmare because they have been attacking her since she married the governor of Arkansas. Do you little boys ever grow up? You lost all hope of proving Hillary to be the Scheming Woman you men love to lob on all women when you know male dirtbags do far worse.

            Did you mind that Bain Capital’s Rip Van Romney dumped a $12 million bankruptcy on taxpayers? Or that there are now 3 GOP Speakers of the House who have had massive scandals? Go ahead hot shot…deny it.

          • dpaano

            How many times do you want to hear that she DOESN’T WANT TO RUN!!!

      • Dominick Vila

        W lies about WMDs are verifiable, and resulted in the death of 4,500 American soldiers, tens of thousands maimed or suffering from PTSD, about 600,000 Iraqis killed, two million fleeing their country to save their lives, and the replacement of Sunni Baathists with Shiites aligned to Iran that in addition to de-stabilizing the Persian Gulf, resulted in the emergence of ISIS.
        The, alleged, claims of wrongdoing against Hillary Clinton are fabricated lies without basis to support them. Criticizing the ability of Hillary and Bill to progress from middle class to a wealthy financial status is against everything the USA stands for. E-mail gate became an issue when Hillary decided to run. Similar behavior was met with indifference when her predecessors used non-government servers and personal e-mail accounts to correspond with their peers and friends. The only difference in this case is that as opposed to Colin Powell and Condi Rice, Hillary produced 30,000 work related e-mails for review, while the others pushed the delete button or claim they never used e-mails.
        Benghazi, the last in a long string of terrorist attacks against the USA, including 9/11 and eleven attacks against U.S. embassies and consulates, demonstrates an ability to reduce the incidence of terrorism. I guess the GOP likes what happened when W was in office better, and hopes to take us back to those horrible days…

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    In the early 80s, I had the extreme pleasure of working with a highly qualified, highly successful, highly Republican employer. She had a list of credentials from SBA ombudswoman to President of the first chapter in the US of Women in Business (NJAWBO) to president of the March of Dimes, the NJ Chamber of Commerce and the NJ Business & Industry. She was featured in NJ Magazine’s article “80 to watch in the 80s” in late 1979. Yet, I saw with my own two eyes how men at the top of the business chain loathed her ability to think on equal business terms with them.

    When Governor Kean ran for office, she was instrumental in handing him the women’s votes. Some of her friends were also highly qualified women in high places in NJ government and business. They too were always kept 2 steps behind the Big Boys, a fact in the 80s women called “The Glass Ceiling.”

    Now, Hillary Clinton, a thoroughly educated, thoroughly politically savvy woman is still in 2015 being viewed by some men in their typical marrow and bone mistrust of women and their motives for existence, as the essence of a scheming woman.

    What then do they call McConnell, Rand Paul, Issa, Walker, Charles and David Koch, Adelson, Rupert Murdoch, Ryan and the rest of the Big Boys with Big Mouths women who are paying equal taxes on unequal salaries paid by these Big Business Boys are quite fed up with.

    Nothing in government gets done today for one reason: MEN. They don’t get along with each and fight as they did as little boys for top spot in everything they do. Meanwhile, crucial issues are ignored. Women are totally unwilling to allow another 8 years of BS from lazy butt men who are gamers of the system. Enough is enough.

    If men won’t do their duty and the will of the people when elected, they’d best step aside. Their days of being the majority in government are over.

    • Cedar Cat

      I agree wholeheartedly. When women are in charge, we will all benefit. Well, mostly all of us. you know, the 99%! Great post!

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I think younger women today are quite savvy about the male gamers of the system out there. It’s one of the reasons women can’t EVER get ahead. For every step forward women try to take, these gamers find loopholess that take women 3 steps backward.

        I don’t consider myself a feminist. Unfortunately for some idiot males, I lived my entire life in a man’s world. If there is one thread that links them all, it’s their inability to play fair. It’s “MY way or the highway” as Bush stated back in 2005. This, they use as their major mechanism to turn all advantages their way, while women paid the price.

        Now, they don’t like it that Hillary Clinton is unwilling to erase her lifetime of education, qualifications and her right to be equal to any man. They’ve dominated the government and big business for so long now that they believe it is their personal locked in domain.

  • Cedar Cat

    Unless and until Hillary actually speaks up for women and girls in a very prominent way, and speaks out against the corporate TTP, the corruption of Citizens United, and calls for prosecution of bank executives for their crimes, on that day she will earn my vote. Until then, I mourn her spirit has been corrupted by the politics of greed.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      Actually, Hillary Clinton has for more than 2 decades been involved in supporting women through the Clinton Foundation. It was a very covert action by the ultra conservative right wing billionaire media moguls to suppress the huge number of countries where Hillary’s direct actions have helped women and children. People outside the US know of this…Why don’t we in the US? Because these same billionaire media moguls are men who refuse to print anything that gives Hillary credit for what she does…gee…not unlike what men in business do to their female employees, right?

  • Jerpell

    What I find troubling is with all the illegal activities and corruption Hillary Clinton has been involved in and is currently involved in how on earth can she even be considered for the position of president of the United States, as democrates can’t we come up with an honest more viable candidate?…Even if she won the whole thing, this is not what we want…we should clean government of massive corruption such as Hillary!

    • johninPCFL

      What was her sentence? Oh, yeah. Convicted in the court of Fox News.