She cried! Hillary cried! The woman is human! Give that girl a vote!
When Hillary choked up in New Hampshire while coffee klatching with the girls, millions of women who’d been on the fence jumped off to vote for her–at least that’s how the media’s playing it. I’d scoff and poke fun at these sentimental mush-heads, were it not for the fact that I’m one of them. What with Edwards decompressing fast anyway, I’ve decided to get on board with Hillary.
There’s a certain synchronicity about my decision; lately I’ve been talking with a friend about the difference between thinking and feeling. We agree that our culture values emotion more than reason, and my theory is that it’s fallout from the 60s, when we threw off the constraints of puritanism. Feminism and the elevation of so-called “female values” played a part as well. I’ve agreed with my friend that it’s infantile and problematic for a culture to place a higher value on tears than on ideas–yet here I am, falling for Hillary with the rest of the sentimentalists.
It wasn’t just the tear, actually, it was her overall behavior between Iowa and New Hampshire. Maybe the loss humbled her, maybe she was so bone weary her emotions managed to break through the statesmanlike armor. Whatever it was, she suddenly started talking like a human being. I loved her response, upon being told that people find Obama “more likeable” than her. “That hurts my feelings,” she said. Pause. “But I’ll try to go on.” Adorable.
No, I’m not voting for her because she’s adorable or because she cried. Fact is, I wanted to vote for the first serious woman candidate for President from the start, but I couldn’t get past Hillary as part of a dynasty, or Hillary who voted for war with Iraq. All in all, she seemed, as she’s been accused, to be a representative of the status quo.
Her tears haven’t washed away the status quo. But I don’t have confidence in Barack Obama, and I think his talk of major change is mostly rhetoric. I doubt that Edwards, or even Dennis Kucinich, would be able to overthrow all of the politics-as-usual once he got in. I do, however, have full faith that any one of these candidates will stop the abuse of civil rights, start getting us out of Iraq, and change national priorities enough to notice an improved quality of life. I’m expecting whoever gets in to reverse policies that favor corporations at the expense of the planet. Call me naive, but I believe a Democrat will overhaul the Nitwit’s power grab and clean up his stinking mess.
It’s taken 24 years since Geraldine Ferrarro was beaten up running for Vice President until another woman dared run for executive office. What was I thinking? a New Hampshire woman rhetorically asked a reporter. She was going to vote for Obama–and then Hillary cried.
I’m not embarrassed or ashamed of warming to Hillary only after she showed emotion. In fact, I think that by unlocking her emotions she allowed me to get past what was actually a superficial dislike. Like the other women who responded to her tears, I didn’t trust the armored woman she was showing us before. In her post-election speech she thanked the people of NH for helping her “find my voice.” I think something happened in NH that let her break free of Bill and all her handlers, to follow her own instincts and be herself. And herself seems to be more trustworthy than the character she was playing before.
Breaking news: I’ve just read online that a John Edwards blogger is breaking with him because of his sexist response to Hillary’s tears. You can read her comments, and his disgusting remarks, here.