Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Hillary's "Tears for Votes" Campaign

Sigh. I didn't want to do this, but I've found myself so angry about this non-issue that I need to speak my peace. Just to get everyone on the same page, if you haven't seen the infamous Hillary Clinton "crying" clip, here it is. She was at an informal coffee shop meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and was asked how she could stand the stress of the campaign trail:

It evokes a memory of Howard Dean "screaming" after naming states. Both events were blown completely out of proportion. So, here's what I have to say:

1. I don't think this was staged, and I'll tell you why. This is the most natural and authentic I have heard Hillary's voice... ever.

2. She is not "crying" or holding back tears because she thinks she's losing her campaign or because of her defeat to Obama in the Iowa caucus. She's not crying because of the stress. I have held back those exact same tears. They are tears of pride for her country and the opportunities she has been given in her lifetime. They are tears for her own accomplishments and those that she has not yet finished fighting for. Those are tears of passion and determination to get the job done. I completely understand them. They are not a sign of weakness, they are a sign of hope for the future and the potential that we have as a country.

3. Yes, it is very likely that she cries about other things like the war, the Katrina aftermath, and so on. Just because it's never been caught on film before doesn't mean that she has not cried for those things.

4. She's not the only one who has teared up on the campaign trail. That's right, Republican Mitt Romney choked up on NBC's "Meet the Press" while talking about his religion. Later, in a speech made during the Iowa caucus, tears welled in his eyes as he spoke of watching the casket of a soldier killed in Iraq being carried off of an airplane at the airport he was invited to, to welcome a soldier home. No one had told him the soldier returning was no longer alive. Not one person in the media talked about these events. Stop making this a female weakness issue. It has nothing to do with the matter. Get beyond this double standard.

5. In the book Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush, which went on sale Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007, President Bush is quoted as saying, “I’ve got God’s shoulder to cry on. And I cry a lot. I do a lot of crying in this job. I’ll bet I’ve shed more tears than you can count, as president. I’ll shed some tomorrow.” How many more of these things must I point out? I've even seen Bush cry at an awards ceremony.

6. Having men analyze Hillary's tears will only inspire more women to defy the continuance of male chauvinism in politics. The more you talk about it, the more it will hurt your campaign. Quit while you're ahead. It is clear that women bonded over the issue that the media created. Women aren't going to let them get rid of Hillary just like they did with Dean. This has made Hillary more human to everyone. More compassionate, more likable, and more likely to be a leader. She is no longer Bill Clinton's stone cold unemotional wife.

7. Oh, and one other not-really-related thing: McCain's primary win in New Hampshire was reported when only 12% of the votes were in, yet the Democratic race was claimed, "too close to call", even though Hillary Clinton led in the polls ALL NIGHT. I just wanted to point that out. People were expecting Clinton to fail, and when she didn't, they couldn't even report the facts. Maybe an African American president won't be the 'biggest American political story in modern times' that all the media are looking for. Maybe, just maybe, the country will decide to spell change "w-o-m-a-n", not "o-b-a-m-a". Congratulations, Hillary Clinton. You're the first woman to ever win a primary presidential election, and as a fellow woman, I am proud of you.

Okay, I suppose I'm done for now. I just wanted you to know that the news media makes me sick.

End Blog.

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