Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Obama and Hillary, Sitting In a Tree...
W-O-R-K-I-N-G! And together, no less. I thought it was a smart move on Obama's part to include Hillary in his administration, especially as Secretary of State, for all the reasons that everyone knows by now. However, I read this story today online and it was very thought provoking, and I think most of you that know me, know that there's nothing I love more than thought provoking topics.
In any case, the writer of the article, Naomi Pope, is VERY articulate and writes exceedingly well, this didn't read so much like a news piece or a newspaper article, but more like something from a book I'd actually read for pleasure. She talks about why Obama picked Hillary and had quite a few statements that really struck me.
Statement 1: "Indeed, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Obama— the son of a strong single mother, raised also by an influential grandmother, man enough to marry an accomplished woman with opinions of her own (I love that statement, because it does take a REAL man to have enough self esteem and self respect to marry a strong intelligent woman, honestly), and a devoted father of two girls — understands in a whole new way how to draw and keep women. He recognises that women will adore you when you include them as a matter of course."
So, so SO true. As a woman, one of the reasons I love my manz so much is because he respects me and treats me like an intelligent human being, in fact that's what he expects from me. And we will love a man, any man, that automatically includes us into a conversation or what's going on, because we know there's not much calculation behind it, he just knows we're capable and feels the need to include us on our own merits.
Statement 2:"Obama is surrounding himself with accomplished female advisers without calling condescending attention to that fact. If you are a woman watching, you feel in your gut that these women won’t be window dressing. They may succeed or fail; but they are really in the game."
All I can say to that is word. I do feel in my gut that he's got strong competent female advisers and future cabinet members, not just there for show or as tokens.
Statement 3: "I think he chose her because he understands that, even as President of the United States, he is truly a citizen of a global community — one to which he is accountable and with which he is in an interdependent relationship. (I think it's been a long time, if ever, that we've had a President who understood that as Marshall McLuhan said, we really are a global village.) One of Hillary Clinton’s much-overlooked strengths is that she understands that, too— and has demonstrated that she knows what it means. But what distinguishes Hillary Clinton from Madeleine Albright or Condoleezza Rice is where she was willing to go for her education.
She did not stay in the air-conditioned hotels and the parliamentary chambers of the nations she visited; she went to tiny impoverished villages, to places where women walk four miles a day for water, to places where women were basing their families’ prosperity on a $20 loan for a sewing machine. She sat on mud floors and sandy village commons to hear from these communities about their issues and priorities, and she took on controversial and culturally sensitive subjects, such as female genital mutilation and bride burning. Yet the respect she showed for the various cultures and people whom she was engaging did a great deal to allow such challenges to move forward without bitterness, and in a spirit of real dialogue."
I did not know this about her at all. I had no idea that when she visited foreign countries to meet with people that she went to actually BE WITH THE PEOPLE. I had some sort of hazy idea that she kept herself apart from that...most upper class white females, or just upper class people in general, don't WANT to see that kind of shit. They don't WANT to be amidst the squalor and sordidness. So knowing this automatically increased Hillary's rating on the Dioracat scale by about 100.
Statement 4: "[America needs to try] to solve the world’s true problems: environmental degradation, resource shortages, inadequate literacy, and the appalling poverty in which the “bottom billion” live. Obama understands, as I believe Hillary Clinton understands, that resolving those crises is the true key to matters of war and peace — the true marker of the possibility of international alliances. I believe that Obama knows that Hillary realises that conflict emerges from these problems, and that using military intervention without addressing them is merely the equivalent of throwing a blanket into a volcano."
I don't think even if I tried for 10 hours straight could I have put that statement more eloquently or more succinctly. It's true, and it's hopefully something more and more people will come to understand.
And to punctuate that statement, some work by Shepard Fairey: