Not Just Against Him. For Her.
Like many Americans over the age of 40, I first heard of Hillary Clinton during the 1992 presidential campaign. I was home visiting my mother in Carmel when we watched that famous 60 Minutes interview together, the one where Hillary remarked that she wasn’t a “stand by your man woman like Tammy Wynette.”
My mother cheered. I was offended because I thought Hillary had misread the song (I’m always protective of country music, go figure) and it seemed a dig at the personal decisions of women who chose to forgive wayward husbands. So yeah, my first experience of Hillary left me eyerolling a bit.
Besides, I wasn’t backing Bill. In 1992, I supported Jerry Brown in the primaries. I voted for Clinton in the 1992 general election, but he was too moderate and slick for my taste. That suspicion carried over to his spouse.
Hillary won me over in 1995, with her speech at the Beijing Conference, declaring “women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” And what won me over far more was the hatred she engendered on the right.
They say you can judge someone by the kind of enemies they attract. If right-wing conservatives hated this woman so much, I figured, she must have more progressive qualities than I had previously thought.
And as it turns out, she was and is more progressive than her husband. The far right hated her because the far right feared her.
In 2008, I voted for her over Barack Obama. Not because I had anything against Barack, but because Hillary seemed so qualified, so ready, so competent. This spring, I voted for her over the wonderful Bernie Sanders. Not because I have anything against Bernie, but because Hillary was so much more qualified, so much readier, so much more competent.
Yes, I want her to win now because her opponent is the most terrifying and unqualified figure ever to win a major party nomination. And yes, I want her to win because she’d be the first woman president, and it’s damn well time.
But more importantly, I want Hillary to win because I think she is uniquely prepared to be president, that a lifetime of experience gathered and calumny endured has given her a grace and. a wisdom and an insight unparalleled in any presidential candidate in living memory.
In 25 years, I’ve moved from suspicion to acceptance to profound admiration for this woman who now stands three days from history.
I know many of you don’t share my devotion to her, and wouldn’t or didn’t choose her over worthies like Bernie and Barack. That’s fine. It’s down to two now, the only viable two we. have, and in my political memory, the stakes have never been anywhere near this high.
When my daughter and I push the button together Tuesday, it will be her first time casting a vote. And it will be the most important vote I’ve ever cast.
Please join me in voting for this incandescently talented, immensely qualified, deeply compassionate candidate. Please join me in electing Hillary.