Making Herstory

The Hil(l)arys are having a great week. That is Hillary Clinton and I (Hilary with one “l”).

Granted, she does not know who I am, nor does she know that if she did not win the Democratic nomination, I would have been more devastated than her. But this week, Hillary Clinton clinched it, and I am giddy. Well, giddy for me, which is really just less depressed.

No, I take that back. I am giddy. In the past couple of days, I have had the urge to run down the street. Other times I get a little weepy, thinking of the now-real possibility that we will soon see the first woman president. The fact that this would take place on the heels of the first black president makes me grateful to live in these times and so happy to be part of making history.

I was at the celebration in Brooklyn on election night this past Tuesday for Hillary’s speech, and the peak of it was when she talked about wishing her mother could be there to see her become the Democratic nominee for president of the United States. How can any woman not have been moved by that? How can any woman not be affected when she becomes President-elect Clinton? (Knocking serious wood as I write this.) I have Bernie-backing women friends who have claimed that they do not care about the landmark of the first woman president, but I know should the time come, they will feel something. It will creep up inside of them. They may not know what the feeling is. They may blame it on indigestion. But the emotion will hit them, unless they are secretly androids.

Some of these same friends have asked, “Why are you supporting Hillary?” Well, she has detailed plans and broad knowledge, she fights for many of my values, and the first woman president will have my name! It’s not a common name. How can I not be tickled by that? I’m only human. Please. In the same situation I might support Hilary Duff. Well, no. Hilary Swank, maybe.

And now I want Hillary Clinton to pick Elizabeth Warren as Vice President because my middle name is Elizabeth, and thus, the whole ticket would be named after me. I would consider Bernie, but my middle name is not Bernard.

Needless to say, this past Tuesday night was thrilling. Adding to the thrill was seeing Clinton strongly win California. The victory in New Jersey was expected, but South Dakota was not. If she’s winning South Dakota, this race is truly over.

Hillary Clinton’s Path to Primary Victory Has Been Trying at Times

Many political data analysts have pointed out that the results of the Democratic primary contests have boiled down to demographics. Clinton won nearly all of the larger, more diverse states. Thus, South Dakota was a surprise. And considering the demographics—even though I thought it was a disaster at the time—I am now amazed that she won Iowa at all. Looking back, that .3 percentage-point embarrassment seems like a real triumph. It happened in a very white state and in a caucus no less, a format which largely favored Sanders. Her campaign operation had to have squeezed out every vote they possibly could there, looking among corn stalks for every last backer.

Iowa seems like a long time ago and many of us are battle-scarred from the primary. As it was gearing up, there was a palpable energy of shame about supporting Hillary Clinton. It was intimidating to come out and say it. And whenever I posted something positive about her on social media, the haters trounced on me within seconds. That’s when I decided I was going to go all out. I Facebooked like mad. Some of us had to tread those waters and voice our support so others could, as well. What I’m trying to say is, I’m a hero. (Okay, maybe I’m not a hero for tweets, but it is a nice pretense.)

On this subject, an acquaintance recently remarked that there was a general sense that it was not “cool” to support Clinton. This is where I had a clear advantage in being vocal. I haven’t worried about being cool in 30 years; however, I must say, electing the first woman president will be pretty cool.

Hillary Clinton’s Victory an Important Milestone for Women

Hillary Clinton’s milestone is a remarkable victory for women, especially for the generations that came before us. Not only that, I believe something else very important won in the primary, which is this: practicality. I was always drawn to Clinton over Sanders for this reason. I really didn’t want to hear ideals that I knew that were dead on arrival with Congress. I would rather be sold on proposals that are in the realm of the possible. I know it is hard to get excited over something like pragmatism, but let me do the only cheer you will ever hear for it: “Yes to feasible policy! Yay to details! Go numbers!” In the end, realism won. And the woman. This is a great week.


Sam Jenkins
EditorSam Jenkins
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Steven Singer
EditorSteven Singer
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Pat Greer
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