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June 27, 2008

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isn't the sight of a white woman and a black man campaigning as a team just so damned cool?

And it is a reminder that, while the world is far from perfect(*), it is getting less imperfect. That's what I'm reminded of every time I see a Sidney Poitier movie on Turner Classic Movies.

At the same time,I get a bit nervous when I dare hope.

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(*) One can curse the GOP for that.

I'm sure the Obama/Clinton thing isn't going to happen, but I haven't given up hope for one of the other women whose names are being batted around.

I'm wondering if the team that's going to come out of Denver won't be Obama/Sebelius or Obama/McAskill. Perhaps Obama/Napolitano or even Obama/Gregoire.

I'm pleased that she's going to campaign with him. Even without the VP position (which she'd be nuts to take -- you can make a lot more difference as a senator), her working on his campaign will help reunite the Democrats.

It isn't that surprising that she'll be campaigning along with him. I don't think either of them is a saint(*), and I expect that she may have some hopes for herself further down the road, and those hopes would be shattered if she didn't collaborate. The thing though, they're both smart people who know that the country needs them to join forces.

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(*) Does sainthood last long once onegets into politics, Mr.Smith notwithstanding?

I have been having the recurring feeling that Hillary Clinton would be best as Attorney General.

I think Hillary would make a good Attorney General, though Edwards is the one whose name is being floated for that position. I think he'd be good, too. But really, by contrast with Bush's AGs, any Democratic appointee would probably be an improvement. And the DOJ desperately needs housecleaning - sort of like the Augean stables.

I don't know whether Hillary would like being VP per se; I think her interest would be that it's a good stepping stone to another presidential run.

I can't help wondering what that intense, idealistic young woman at Wellesley might have made of herself if she had gone straight into politics in her own right and not fallen for Bill Clinton and gone off to Arkansas. It's something of a common tragedy for women of her generation who've always put their husbands careers first.

Serge:
While the last forty years of GOP race-baiting haven't helped matters, this country had a rather fraught racial history before that as well. It is heartening to see such visible signs of improvement in my own lifetime, though there's still a long ways to go. It's disheartening by contrast to see how acceptable sexism and misogyny still are.

It's disheartening by contrast to see how acceptable sexism and misogyny still are.

Unfortunately, yes. As for racism, I came close to saying that it is less acceptable, but that its users have simply become less overt and more subtle. Then again, there is that Republican politician who asked if we'll still be able to call the White House 'white' if Obama becomes President.

I think overt racism is now beyond the pale, and am hopeful that if people pretend hard enough that they aren't racists that the reality will eventually match the facade, if only through generational change. We're hearing plenty of racist dogwhistling in the campaign already and will no doubt hear more, but we're not hearing "how do we beat the n*****?" That's not acceptable language nowadays, and I have hopes that if people can't say it they'll have more trouble indoctrinating their children. But Obama's still probably the only black man guaranteed not to have trouble hailing a cab in New York late at night.

Contrast with the minimal calling-out that's happened with some of the sexist dogwhistling and the fact that McCain apparently finds "how do we beat the b****?" to be a perfectly reasonable question to discuss.

Note that I am not saying Clinton lost the primary because of sexism. That was probably a minor factor, but certainly no more of one than racism was with Obama's campaign. I think the bigger reasons are (1) Iraq vote, (2) crappy campaign strategy, (3) Clinton fatigue, and (4) mowed down by historical moment.

That is true, Susan. I remember the 'b*tch'(1) comment, which, ironically, was first publicly uttered by a woman(2). And wasn't there some brouhaha among pundits about Hillary cleavage during the campain. What that has to do with a person's ability to lead, I don't know. Then again, when even Democrats still refer to someone's courage as 'having balls', and to someone who's easy to bowl over as being a 'p*ssy', I'm not surprised that the Republicans could get away with the 'B' word.

Still, like you said, Hillary probably didn't lose the nomination because of sexism. As for the Clinton fatigue, it never was her fault, or Bill's, but with wingnuts who start foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of the word 'Clinton'.

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(1) I really hate that word. A few years ago, Iam McKellen was on James Lipton's show. My understanding is that it's traditional for the latter to ask his guests if there's a word they reallyreallyreally hate. McKellen's answer was a certain short word that rhymes with 'runt'. Good for him. And, with Judi Densch as a close friend, I'm not surprised at his answer.

(2) If a woman working in a corporation or in politics were to brag about her Conservative credentials, I'd have to ask that person why she's not home. Then again, I have noticed that a Conservative's conservatism seems to be based on the point in History when they were able to acquire power for temselves. That applies to men as well as women.

Oh, I'll admit to some Clinton fatigue myself, which increased steadily with Bill's antics during the campaign. And I was deeply uneasy with the idea of an alternation of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton presidencies.

With McCain, keep in mind that this is someone who called his own wife a c*** in public. Why she's okay with that I have no idea; despite looking like a scary Stepford wife, she's actually got some substance.

With people who use pussy as an insult, I have to wonder how deep their feminism really goes. Likewise, to take campaign examples, what to think of people who talk about Hillary's claws or imply that her menstrual cycle makes her unstable (apparently not having had anatomy 101 recently enough to realize that at her age that's probably not a factor anymore. Logic, not the strong point among politicians...)? Men - and I can name the specific people I'm thinking of - still get a pass for this stuff.

It's a good thing that we have a Liberal Media. That wasy we can be sure that McCain will be made to owe up for that comment he threw at his wife.

Right.

As for Liberals with questionable feminist credentials, I don't get it either. Then again, hypocrisy isn't something I do well, nor do I do compartimentalization.

Here's a picture of a button on sale at the Texas Republican Convention.

Marilee -
Yeah, I've heard that Republicans were making that exceedingly lame joke. I'm sure they'll come up with nastier ones over the next few months.

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