joe was being a hero and installing our front-room air conditioner (just in time, sweet christ) as MSNBC was chronicling hillary clinton's epic tardiness on saturday, so i was alone in enjoying the paris-hilton-goes-to-jail coverage of a motionless SUV in her driveway. i kind of wish i'd been alone to watch the whole speech, since i lost it about two minutes in; i think i managed to say "oh, look at her" before my voice broke, and i was useless thereafter. her voice was tight and flat, up in the back of her throat, and as tyra banks would note, she had dead eyes; for the first few minutes i felt little more than sympathy. the "more" was a bit of self-pity, i think: i didn't vote for hillary, but it was satisfying to have a woman in this race (even one who behaved as badly as she ultimately did), and i don't think i realized that until she stepped out of it.

content-wise, i think the speech was fair to middling: her initial comments about obama (and the weird tone of her refrain) would have been more effective minus the body language, but the woman's had a rough year: it's hard to fault her for looking deflated. saying "yes we can" was going the extra mile for the shit sandwich, if you will, and settles her account after last tuesday. as for the many comments about the women's movement, given the foul-weather solidarity i was chewing on, i had no problem with them (except for the bit about shooting fifty of us into space, which...well, i'll pass). at the end of the day, hillary's Old Bitters will need more coaxing to get behind obama, but i think she initiated the next phase of this election with grace. i hope people get tired of hating her.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 was HRC's speech really moving and brilliant, or is the press just feeling extra-friendly because she finally did the right thing?

02 do we have to lump the hillary nutcrackers in with misogyny that won't be missed? i'll be honest: i thought those were pretty cool.

03 would hillary have been able to beat kerry? or, to flip on the clinton axis: would bill have been able to beat obama?


tom said...

1: There was a bit of a make-up call atmosphere about the analyses on Saturday. Hillary had been getting savaged in the press ever since the Rules & By-Laws Committee hackery -- and rightly so.

Seriously: with the possible exception of the Dean Scream, I've never seen a loss handled so disastrously. Harold Ickes begat "DENVER DENVER DENVER" and that insufferable "inadequate black male" comment, which begat Terry McAuliffe losing his mind / sobriety, which begat Hillary's speech on Tuesday. Over that 72-hour stretch, any hope of any sort of a Festivusesque miracle went out the window. (Or jumped -- I don't quite remember.)

2. Hillary nutcrackers? Yes: sexist. But funny (if only in reverse). For real: who cracks nuts anymore? And you're going to spend ten bucks on something that, if you aren't buying it at an airport gift shop, is worth two. We are laughing, all right -- at you.

3. If all other things were equal (e.g., Kerry did not have the benefit of knowing he blew it in 2004 by being wishy, and then washy -- being the flip-flopper that he was)? Hillary would have cleaned Kerry's clock, shipped it back to Switzerland, snuck it through customs and sold it off at a considerable profit.

Bill and Obama? (Again, all else equal, and without Bill, well, being President twice already?) Tougher. Remember that Bill was a son of the South once, so any advantage Barack had down south would have been blunted. Barack would have swept New England to compensate (including even Connecticut) and (sans F.O.B. connections) California and New York.

Under the early calendar (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina), Obama might have run 4-for-4, with Bill possibly taking S.C. and running him close in N.H. Thus, the whole momentum thing would have made Barry the prohibitive favorite going into Super Tuesday. Then again, though, Bill Clinton is Bill Clinton -- he might have found a way to muddle through.

Meg said...

Indeed. I actually cried a little again, watching the speech. We hooked up the internet to the new flat screen via weird looking cords, and watched all 32 minutes big. I was really a sucker for the "but not that highest of glass ceilings has 18 million cracks in it and the light is streaming through." There. I got teary just typing it. I do wish she'd behaved better (shh don't tell David I said that, he still won't hear a word said against her without getting a little yelly) but I think all will be forgiven in a month and a half, assuming Bill goes back to work and shuts it, and she gets to working on getting Obama elected.

Also, if she ended up looking bad, Bill... he... wow. I know he's mad that the media made him out to be a racist, but it's not like he didn't give them the words to do it. It might take a little longer for us to collectively forgive and forget there, but you know, by November, if Obama is elected, we'll be happy enough to French kiss the Clintons.

babyjo said...

i thought the nutcrackers were funny at first, but then i realized that there was/is a much bigger thing going on. it really did become apparent through the primaries that people were far more willing to bring up clinton's gender than obama's race -- bring it up, and criticize her for it. i'm sorry to say this, but even within my own group of friends insults towards clinton generally included gender-specific terms. perhaps we need to expand our bank of gender-neutral insults, but it slowly became appalling to hear what people were getting away with saying about her.

though i voted for obama because i believe he will be a better president, i would have been very, very proud to elect a female president. one day.