If I had to choose one word to describe
The minx and her minxettes were lucky enough to cruise into the event just after 10:30am and find great seats (that was after having to walk by some of the protesters holding signs that said things like “Keep Nevada Red” and “Anyone But Hillary” of course). From our vantage point in Hug’s gym, we could see everything; the Secret Service agents preparing the scene and then protecting Clinton throughout the event, the large number of children (from toddlers to high schoolers) who attended the event, and just the general diversity of the audience. People were excited and responded to Clinton like she was a rockstar. Comparing it the Edwards event last fall, I would say the difference was the level of adoration. People were really excited to see John Edwards–he’s very popular in Northern Nevada–but I didn’t see anyone cry like one my friends who pretty much sobbed her way through the entire event. And I think that’s what’s missing from most people’s impression of Clinton brought to them by the media and framed by the events surrounding her husband’s presidency. Hillary Clinton can inspire awe.
Take the crew I brought along–they’re a fairly liberal bunch, but no one has ever spoken of their undying devotion to Clinton in the past. In fact, I was the only one who knew she would be in town, and those who read this blog know that I have written ambivalently about Clinton in the past. Although I think that she would make a very good president, I still don’t know if she is the candidate I will support in the 2008 caucus–its just far too early to make a decision about that. But even I was in awe of Hillary Clinton today. What she brought to the event was a grand narrative of a post war America that the rest of the world looked upon with respect and admiration, and a calm confidence that she will be able to return such an America to us. Sure, that’s nothing new, but its the way she tells that narrative that makes the difference. Its more than believable–Clinton brings out a powerful emotional response to the American decline we are all experiencing. Its not just a naive nostalgia she is tapping into, its a sense of pride Americans are longing to feel about their country once again. Most importantly, it was clear to me today that Clinton has the ability to do just that.
For instance, she told a story about
Clinton has the message that many Americans want to hear if they will just allow themselves to believe it can come from one of our country’s most polarizing figures. One thing I particularly like about Clinton is that she will not say what people want to hear just because they want to hear it. We’ve seen this in her responses to the netroots and some anti-war activists, and its something I appreciate even though I don’t agree with her on several issues. And she doesn’t do it out of obstinacy, arrogance, or willful ignorance like Bush does, she clearly takes into account the other side, she just wants to do what she thinks is right based on the information she has. And unlike Bush, she will seek out the information from the opposition.
As women, its inspirational for many of us just to imagine a woman as president, but to see a potential candidate so confident and in command of herself and her endeavor is a wonderful thing. Americans could do a lot worse than elect Hillary Clinton for president. Well, we have done much worse actually. Its high time for us to do better.
Susan Nunes at Random Thoughts
- Hillary Clinton at Cathexes This Friday
- Hillary’s Finished, Says Media
- The Nation, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Hillary Clinton