Hilary Clinton on last nights Presidental Debate: "Barack Obama won, and now it is 3 for 3"!
Hilary Clinton on last nights Presidental Debate: "Barack Obama won, and now it is 3 for 3"!
Women's issues and what an Obama-Biden administration will do for us. Hear about equal pay for equal work, work-life balance, health insurance coverage, women's reproductive rights, and the concerns of people in the sandwich generation trying to raise kids and look after aging parents.
Isn't it interesting that "women's issues" are "human issues"?
I also enjoyed hearing about Biden's work on the Violence Against Women's Act and how women would be protected from physical violence through funding of hotlines, training of police officers to issue "stay away" orders, transitional shelters, and assistance in finding abused women new permanent homes. There's real passion and commitment in his voice when he talks about this issue.
To find out more about Biden's 100,000 volunteer lawyer corps to help abused women so they aren't re-victimized by the court system, go here.
Cynematic blogs at P i l l o w b o o k.
Wish I could tattoo "It's Policy, Not Personality" on the eyeballs of Hillary Clinton dead-enders, otherwise known as PUMAs.
For ardent Clinton supporters somehow still wavering in their decision to vote for Obama (a number that's decreasing by the day), let me just do a little gentle reminding from the senator herself.
Instead of watching Clinton deliver her speech live on Tuesday night, I was racing around the Pepsi Center helping MOMocrat Julie P. set up her interview with Senatorial candidate Jeanne Shaheen (NH), so I missed a great deal of Clinton's speech as it occurred. (The entire day was devoted to celebrating women's suffrage on the 88th anniversary of its granting via the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and culminated with Senator Clinton's speech that night.)
But here's the relevant section I was able to catch up with, thanks to YouTube:
Go to 4:52 in.
Hillary Clinton came out representing New York minutes ago and proclaimed that her state was giving all of their votes to Senator Obama, then she called for an affirmation to suspend the roll call and vote as one body to support Barack Obama as president. Nancy Pelosi asked for a second, there were hundreds, and she asked for a vote, the house roared, and she announced he is the official nominee of the Democratic party. We've made history. The first woman Speaker of the House announced it and the first viable woman candidate for president did her duty for the good of the party and the country. Goose bumps...
The guy in this picture is Ray, a Clinton delegate from San Diego California. Ray was next to Gloria Allred at the California Delegation breakfast I blogged about yesterday. He and Gloria were making the point that the Clinton delegates were being silenced. As I said in my post, Gloria had a scarf tied around her mouth as a gag.
Ray was next to her, wearing the mask you see in this photo (it was over his nose and mouth, covering half of his face). I assumed the mask was part of the protest. Ray was the guy last night at the Pepsi Center who got angry that an Obama delegate wouldn't take a Hillary/Unity sign, and he expressed that anger while wearing that mask. I assumed Ray was still in protest mode, and I'll admit to you now, embarrassedly so, that I began to think of Ray as a wacko.
Well, I just ran into Ray here in the lounge of the hotel. Since he was still wearing the mask, even though this is "down-time," i.e. nothing official happening, no audience for protest, I asked him about the mask. He sat down and said, "Thanks so much for asking. I have a medical condition..." which he proceded to describe. And then he said he has lived in NYC and a republican stronghold in SoCal, and in neither place have people made an issue of his mask. But here at the DNC with liberal democrats as far as the eye can see, he is encountering ridicule.
So I told him that I had jumped to conclusions about the mask, because my first encounter with him was connected to a protest about Clinton delegates being silenced. The mask looked like a prop. We then discussed how the Obama/Unity and Hillary/Unity signage at the Pepsi Center actually fueled the polarization, and how unfortunate that was. We talked as human beings, not as delegates from a particular camp. Ray was in tears because I was giving him an opportunity to be heard, about his medical condition, and about how he has felt as a Clinton delegate. I was in tears because I'm always in tears here in Denver, it seems.
Since the end of the primaries, Ray has longed for the Obama crowd to reach out to him and try to bring him into the fold. That finally started to happen for him last night after the speech.
And it continued in our conversation this morning.
It had been hyped like crazy, predicted, wondered about, and in some corners, feared, but tonight Hillary outdid even herself, saying what needed to be said to unify this fired up but fractured party. You've seen the TV coverage, but let me give you a little backstage color.
The blue signs you see in this picture were handed out just as Senator Clinton started speaking. The "whips" for each state come through the aisles Santa Claus style doling signage out to eager delegates. I was no exception. You may not realize that the states nearest the speaker, on the flat part of the convention "floor," are the swing states, and those that are solidly blue or red are relegated to lesser seats. With Obama comfortably ahead in California, we are relegated to the background. But we're the biggest and often the loudest. We make our presence known, and I'm leading the way.
So pity the poor guy who came up to our whip to wrestle California's bag of treats away. He had a good argument -- for the sake of TV more signs were needed in the swing state area -- and he did get away with it once. But when he came back a second time he was verbally stoned by Californians defending their turf. The impostor deterred, our whips started to dole out our signs, three and four at a time, to a hungry crowd.
And then it got complicated.
You see, the signs said "unity" on one side and either "hillary" or "obama" on the other. Can you see where this is going? Sure, we believe in unity but we were fighting for the signs! Hillary people wanted the Hillary signs. Obama people wanted Obama signs. As if that wasn't bad enough, an Obama delegate next to me passed over a Hillary sign, greatly angering a Clinton delegate two rows back (wearing a gas mask -- part of the "silencing" protest crowd), who said, "You don't want a Hillary sign? Fine, I'll take it." So I tried to quell things by taking a Hillary sign. But soon after taking it I unrolled a sheet of Obama stickers from my bag, and stuck them to the Hillary sign. A show of true unity, I thought. And I started urging people around me that the way to show unity was to to take the sign of the person we had not initially supported. Sadly, that great wisdom did not catch on.
So we remained polarized in our unity, but unity is was, nevertheless. I heard two Hillary delegates exchange a "she's come so far" whisper between themselves. I nodded, and reached out to the one I did not know, and squeezed her hand. She wiped away tears throughout the speech, and I felt great compassion toward her. The shoe could so easily have been on the other foot, and it would have been me adoring my fallen hero instead of anticipating Thursday's great speech. It is not hard for me to envision "us" as "them."
The pundits are saying she pulled it off, and the Hillary folk I've bumped into in the street since then have said the same. Perhaps tonight was exactly what they needed.
I sure hope so.
Watching Hillary Clinton's speech at the DNC on television tonight as my fellow MOMocrats Julie, Cynematic and LawyerMama covered the convention live on Twitter from the Pepsi Center, I couldn't help but feel as though something were missing. The words she spoke were eloquent and powerful, but seemed to lack the passion and candor I had witnessed in Hillary earlier today at the Women Count Lunch.
Now that I think more on it, though, I don't think it was really that Hillary Clinton's speech was subpar, as convention speeches go. Certainly, she moved the crowd; on CSPAN's coverage I saw many audience members, including, at one point, Michelle Obama, moved to tears.
It was more that after watching Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama both deliver what may have been the best speeches of their careers on the same night, my expectations have been raised so high for this convention that I'm pretty sure I'm doomed to mild disappointment for the rest of the week.
Here is footage from Hillary Clinton's remarks at the WomenCount event at the DNC.
While we were feasting on the edifying remarks of Jesse Jackson, Jr., Ted & Caroline Kennedy, and Michelle Obama in the Pepsi Center last night, the story beneath the story was being served up a few miles away and was far less palatable.
A bunch of so-called "Anarchists"-- perhaps upwards of 500 according to unsubstantiated rumors I've heard -- hell-bent on disrupting the convention with a protest of some kind, caused a complete "lock down" of the Sheraton Hotel where the CA and NY delegations are staying. This meant no one could go in or out of the hotel from approximately 6:30 pm until 10pm. Now, they didn't disrupt the convention because most of us were already at the Pepsi Center or the nearby watch party, but it instantly led to a debate on the rights of the protesters and the role of the police.
Today's local papers suggest the police overreacted by spraying tear gas among the Anarchists and making arrests. Others ask who can blame the police in this kind of high threat, high stakes environment. Keep in mind that the police appear to have thwarted a potential Obama assassination attempt on Sunday (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/08/25/obama-assassination-plot_n_121293.html). With fringe wackos out there, and most of the country's Democratic leadership milling about, I have to say I'm glad security is tight.
Anarchists and wackos aside, there's another piece of protest going on with a much more mainstream group of folk -- the Clinton supporters who have not embraced the notion of unity. As recently as this morning at the California delegation breakfast there were folks including the well-known anti-discrimination attorney Gloria Allred protesting that Hillary delegates have been silenced. Allred appeared to be using a scarf as a gag in her mouth in support of this point. (I could have taken a picture to show you, but I didn't want to give her the attention she's craving. You'll have to take my word for it.)
I tell you, I just don't get it.
But I do know that if Obama had come in 2nd, I'd be feeling a little protestish (protesty?) myself right now. And others Obamans would as well. So it remains our job as Obama delegates to respect and value where the Hillary folks have been, and help bring them to the point of unity that we must achieve if we are going to beat McCain in November.
So yeah, the picture I'm showing isn't of Allred, it's of the hottest button in town -- the one that reads "36 Million Votes for Democratic Unity/Barack & Hillary 2008." Geez, can't Allred and the others see that they are playing right into the McCain hands? That this is the "Nadar" issue of 2008, the issue that could end up handing the victory to the Republicans. Some say Democrats hate to win and I've never quite understood that until today.
I'm headed over to a 12:30 MDT event called "Women Count" which I hear will offer more of this type of fare. Senator Clinton will be there, and I will applaud her heartily. In my own right and as an Obama delegate I am intending to take the high road. But if I feel Barack Obama is being maligned, it could be hard for me to contain myself.
I'll try not to get arrested or sprayed with tear gas. And I'll be sure to let you know what happens.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to talk to Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, the Representative for New York's 14th Congressional District (Manhattan's East Side and Astoria and Long Island City in Queens). She is currently promoting her new book, Rumors of our Progress have been Greatly Exaggerated, Why Women's Lives Aren't Getting Any Easier and How We Can Make Real Progress for Ourselves and Our Daughters.
Congresswoman Maloney has been serving in the House of Representatives since 1993, during which time she has served on a variety of committees, including the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the Joint Economic Committee, the Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security, and the House Caucus on Women's Issues.
I have excerpted portions of my interview, after the jump.