Saturday, June 07, 2008

Yes She Did

I thought the speech was mostly pretty good. She sounded genuine and not overly self-absorbed to my hearing. There were also some welcome and surprisingly good lines affirming gay rights (where the hell has this been all campaign??), and some nice allusions to civil rights and those on the margins of American society.

But in terms of how difficult all this is so supposed to be for her and her supporters, it seems to me there's one very easy was of dealing with that--try ripping the Republicans a few new ones. She claims to be a fighter. Whether she gets the VP nod or not--and I'm feeling more charitable today than I was earlier this week--let her turn some of her supposed fighting-ness against John McBush and the Republicrat Party that would turn back the causes of African Americans, women, and others relegated to the fringes of American society.

She made some contributions to this end today, but in much milder forms than I hope she can generate later, the sooner the better. If she or her supporters want her to be the VP, she and they can get an early start doing what VP candidates typically do. Don't wait for an invitation.

I also thought she could have done more towards addressing the racial healing this campaign--and her campaign in particular--has generated the need for. While there were a few allusions to Obama's similarly historical campaign and the civil rights struggles of yesteryear, there's still another big elephant or bull left standing in the china shop in addition to the War--race. Regular, white, hard working white Americans and all that. The speech crowd was overwhelmingly White. If she wants to go further, in this year or some future year, she has some damage to repair in this area.

Meanwhile, one of the oddities of this campaign, and HRC's in particular, is what seems to me to have been a shocking deficit of attention being paid to so-called women's issues, like abortion, access to birth control, equal pay, paid leave, etc. Hillary has stuck mostly to generic, middle class pabulum. Her references today to labor rights, the need for greater unionization, gay rights, and civil rights are a welcome change from what has been a dirth of attention paid to these issues so far.

Maybe there's an understandable, if still not a good reason, for this; these issues tend to be controversial. But as she is supposed to be a fighter and all, she will go a long way to making me feel all warm and fuzzy about her in the future if she, you know, actually does fight for something and on behalf of those issues and people most in need of it.

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