Monday, January 28, 2008


Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama has blown my mind.

That, combined with Bill Clinton's unfortunate tone in the past week or two has forced me to re-think my position. It has brought back memories of more than the economic stability of the Clinton administration. It brings back memories of shame and degradation. We don't need to go back to that. Not for a minute.

And the excitement the Obama people got to feel in South Carolina after delivering such a decisive win to their candidate? I wouldn't take that away from anyone. And I wouldn't want the Democratic party to be without it in November.

So I'm really torn. As a died-in-the-wool feminist, I want to see Hillary win. As a boomer facing an uncertain (at best) economic future, I want to see the Clinton magic go to work on our bottom line. But as an American who has lost the ability to dream, I want that precious, ephemeral feeling back.

Underhanded tactics, playing the race card to make Obama the "black" candidate, all the things that undermine unity and mutual respect at the top, are dream breakers. And Caroline Kennedy's unprecedented support of Obama has ensured that this election is now more about restoring our ability to dream, our ability to believe in ourselves -- than it is about anything else.

And I don't know, at this point, if Senator Clinton can do that with the baggage she's lugging around.

I'd be heart broken by this realization if it weren't for the joy I saw on the faces of Obama's supporters in South Carolina. That's the energy we need to win in November and to restore the American Dream.

I haven't switched over to Obama. But if I do it will have a lot to do with Bill Clinton acting like he has to jump up and rescue the Little Woman in order to save his legacy. In this manner, Bill Clinton is making it impossible to vote for his wife -- as a feminist. I haven't felt that kind of resentment over a man trying to "help" a woman in a long time. It reminds me of the horrible, angry years when we feminists resented men for so much as opening a car door for us. But Bill's kind of "help" is definitely something we don't need right now.

Thanks anyway, Bill. I'll open my own damn door. If you would just PLEASE get the hell out of the way.


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