Hello, all you CC readers! I hope you have been following the DNC as avidly as I. Overall it was an exciting convention. The stellar speeches filled with pithy barbs! Billary, for chrissakes! And last, but definitely not least, the freakin’ Denver Boroncos Dem-packed stadium, replete with stoic columns to frame our man O in an austere, presidential manner. It was hot hot hot!

“No way. No how. No McCain.” – HRC

Let’s begin at the very beginning, a very good place to start*, with our distinguished senator from NY, Hillary Rodham Clinton. I’ve gotta say, I was disdainful of Hil when she and Bubba came up to NY and jumped right into the political arena (or at least she did). But lo and behold, she’s turned out to be a damn good senator (except for that voting to authorize the Iraq war nonsense; I’ll never get past that). She has fought for teachers and health care and 9/11 victims. We all knew Hil harbored serious political ambition, so it came as no surprise when she announced her bid for presidential nomination. And as a woman, I was thrilled. Because I remember Gerladine Ferraro’s run for VP on the Mondale in ’84, and Hilary was the only other woman in US history to run for such a high post (I say WAS, of course, because today McCain announced Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his running mate)**.

I was thrilled because things are different for a woman running for office today than way back in 1984. Mondale and Ferraro ran against incumbent Ronnie Reagan and his VP, George Herbert Walker Bush. This was the height of the cold war and nuclear proliferation and Star Wars (the defense system, not the movie; leave it to a former actor to name our national defense after a freakin’ Spielberg movie). If I remember correctly (and sometimes I don’t) to prove that she was tough enough for the office, when asked if she had the fortitude to take us into nuclear war (god forbid) she actually said something like, “Are you kidding? I’ll push the damn button myself!”*** So it was nice to see that Hillary did not have to say she would pull another Hiroshima just to get the party’s nomination. But, as we all know, she didn’t get the party nomination. BO did. And I just have to say that I was truly disappointed. Because I also remember the never-passed Equal Rights Amendment. I was raised to be a Feminist. And the hope that a woman would, in my lifetime, be President, was thrilling. Is Hillary perfect? No. Does she wear too many pantsuits? Yes? Does she have a really really irritating voice? Yes. But she is an intelligent, shrewd, capable woman who happens to have White House experience, even if it was by proximity. So I was crushed when she did not receive the nomination. Her speech was almost entirely about her, and I understood why. That line-jumping whipper snapper just didn’t wait his turn. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t right. But that’s politics. So she said her piece, smiled, and urged supporters like me to go ahead and vote Dem anyway, because it’s not the person who matters, it’s the principle. It reminded me of some comedian who said “You know when you owe someone money and when they come around to break your kneecaps, they all say ‘it’s not the money; it’s the principle of the thing.’ It’s always the money.” And that’s how I felt about Hil’s speech.

“Most important, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.” – BC

On to Bubba. OMG that man is in incredible orator! I love hearing him speak. I was reminded of when he came and spoke at my college campus, and how excited I was to hear him in person. Wait a minute; I was a Grad student and totally cracked out at the time! I remember having to run back to my office to stash my stash, if you will, when I saw the security to get on to the lawn for Bill’s speech. And I remember seeing some guy from high school and him smoking me out. I do not, however, remember Bill’s speech. Dammit! See kids: drugs are bad. You might actually care about something some day. Anyway, Bill’s speech at the DNC was magnificent. He was gracious, firm, and here comes that word so often used when describing Bubba: charming. He owned that stage and everyone in that arena. And many people watching at home, including me. We are in the exact some situation as when BC was elected the first time. After Cater, Good ol’ Ronnie Reagan, the Republican president, had run this country into the ground. In the 70’s andf early 80’s there had been an energy crisis, an oil embargo, and we had trouble with the Middle East in the form of a hostage crisis. I remember that cars had gotten bigger and bigger, consuming more fuel when suddenly, OPEC and the oil embargo meant there wasn’t enough gas. I remember idling in long lines with my parents, waiting to inch forward one car closer to the pump. Suddenly everyone was talking about solar power, and wind power, and renewable energy sources. It was going to be a new day, one where we would be good to the earth, and in turn she would provide for us. But then Reagan was voted into office and the Iranians miraculously released the hostages and everything was great again. It was spend!spend!spend! and the Decade of Greed. “You can never be too rich or too thin” was the rhetoric of the day, espoused by trophy wives and WallStreeters while snorting coke thorugh $100 bills. And all that talk about the environment, and making smaller cars, and being good to one another went right out the window. Coke became crack, and NYC crumbled. It is a mirror image of the socio-political climate today: Bush II was eroded all the advances in environmental conservation and social reform made during the Clinton administration. Cars again went from teeny-tiny sub-compacts to Urban Assualt Vehicles. There’s a new gas crisis. And we’ve got more trouble in the Middle East than we can handle (thanks, Bush I & II!). And again, coke came back in BIG way. I felt like I was in a time warp. Thankfully, Bill Clinton reminded everyone how detrimental Baby Bush has been to our economy and our standing in the world.

“And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: Eight is enough.” – BO

So I didn’t want to like BO’s speech because of sour grapes over Hillary. I mean, I’m going to vote for the man – that’s a given – but do I have to like him, too? Turns out I liked his speech very much. He was much harder on both Bush II and McCain than I thought he would be:

“For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just ‘muddle through’ in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.” (emphasis mine)

Burn! That as awesome! And he dealt with the divisions in the Democratic party by invoking compassion:

“We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America’s promise – the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.”

Beautiful. So even though I’m pissed I’m not going to get to vote in the first woman President, I’m happy to help out this other first, our first black President. If he can get elected then I’m sure a woman President is not far off. AllI know is if we have one more rich, white man for President I’m going to scream. Loudly. I cannot tell you how over rich, white men I am. Seriously. Give someone else a turn, why don’cha? Sheesh.

So the freakfest that is the RNC is coming up next week. I’ll be sure to watch and report back to you. Holla!

*Something about the DNC makes me wanna sing songs from The Sound of Music. It’s a sickness; I know.

** For a piece of history, go here: http://gos.sbc.edu/f/ferraro.html

**Geraldine Ferraro did not actually say this, duh.

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