Yes She Can!

Late yesterday afternoon I received an email from the Clinton campaign about attending an event here with Hillary Clinton in the San Fernando Valley (Northridge). Having missed the last event here in SoCal, I welcomed the opportunity to attend, because as I have said here many times, I am particularly interested in the issue of the economy as a small business owner and only parent.

I arrived at the event about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time and was surprised to see a long winding line of people that seemed to be endless, as I walked the considerable distance from the parking to the small auditorium where the event was to be held. I had called the local campaign office about getting a press pass a couple of hours earlier and was told people were already lining up as seats were limited. They weren’t kidding.

The hall was full when I went in, and there was press already on the media riser. I spent time talking to some local media and knew we’d all be settling in for a wait, because the candidates are never on time. At some point Congressman Brad Sherman announced that Clinton was indeed running behind schedule and that she would first be talking to the 2000 or more supporters who were outside because the small auditorium was filled to capacity.

At some point the traveling press came straggling in, and seasoned campaign blogger that I am, I knew that Clinton would be along soon. But still we waited inside, as Clinton grabbed a microphone outside and spoke to the crowd:

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I went to the Clinton event, with a different feeling than I had 4 years ago when I was involved with the Kerry campaign. Today I was an observer, rather than a blogger for a campaign.

Admittedly I have been very interested in what Clinton has been saying on the campaign trail, because I have felt, as I have said here in the past that she resonates with me, as woman.

Since the New Hampshire Primary, I have talked to many women who have told me they are supporting Clinton. Women from all walks of life. Women around the country. The theme among the women I have spoken with is that they believe she is the most qualified, they believe she has the most experience and they feel at this point in time our country needs that experience.

So I listened to Hillary Clinton today with an open mind and an open heart. She started her speech by recalling the ’92 Northridge earthquake that devastated the Valley. She reflected back on how the Clinton administration handled that disaster compared to Hurricane Katrina and there was a shift in her voice, she softened and was that woman who learned to listen in New Hampshire.

Clinton spoke clearly and never seemed to skip a beat. She knew her stump speech inside and out and she knew the policy she was talking about. The economy here in Southern California has been rocky at best for some time. She was, I thought ahead of the curve weeks ago when she got that is was only going to worsen and she began to call for action. That was the first real hook on the issues for me, outside of her health plan, which I feel is the best of the 3 front-runners.

And I watched. I watched her radiating on the stage. Truly confident with herself and the issues she was discussing. She told the crowd in the room, and those listening outside via the loudspeakers that she is running because she knows “America can do better,” and she wants us “to enter into the future with Confidence and Hope.”

The economy, Clinton told the audience, “has to be the number one issue, because it is where we live.” We live in our homes, we live in our pocketbooks, we live in our day to day existence struggling to put food on the table. She spoke few words but said a mouthful that was loud and clear. Yes, it’s still the economy.

“This election,” Clinton said is “about the people. Your hopes, your dreams.”  Which translates into, I get you all have needs and I care. It’s another version of Clinton’s “I am listening” mantra, which resonates with women and people who are struggling to be heard.

And then it hit me. I knew that she could lead this nation in a better direction. I knew that she had the experience, the knowledge, the innate sense and the vision to start fixing the wrong that have been wrought on the American people by the Bush administration. Yes, she can, I told myself. Yes she can.

I believe Hillary Clinton is the right choice for President. I had been leaning in that direction for some time now, but it hit me standing there in the crowd today, that my mind was clear. When the event was over I struggled through the crowd to try to meet her. Thankfully I learned the tricks to working my way through 4 years ago, but unlike my time following John Kerry on the trail and knowing his staff that traveled with him, I was heading up there on a wing and a prayer that I would be able to get her attention and speak with her. Someone was listening.

I reached out to her and she responded. And in those first moments talking to her I blurted out that I had been a blogger for Kerry in ’04 and had been undecided, but I was clear today — You have my support Senator Clinton. I felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

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I had the opportunity to tell Hillary Clinton my story, as others have on the campaign trail. She listened as I told her I was an only parent who raised my daughter alone for nearly 18 years, ran a business and a blog, my daughter was now in college. She cared when I told her that economy had hurt my business and I had no healthcare. I told her that I believed in her, and that like so many women I looked at her as role model that women can break the barriers.

After 7 years of Bush, America needs to know we have a leader that listens and cares and a leader who has the experience to do what needs to be done. I believe that leader is Hillary Clinton. I believe she can lead us. Yes, she can!

UPDATE: Cross posted on The Huffington Post!

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27 Responses to Yes She Can!

  1. We spoke both before she began speaking and immediately afterwards. I’ve never heard you so excited. You were amazed at the overflow crowds. Afterwards you were heartened by Hillary’s ability to stop, on a rope line, and actually listen to you.

    Congratulations and the next time you invite me to drive up from So. OC I’ll be there is humanely possible.

    Our next step is to get press accredited with the Clinton, Obama and Edwards campaigns. I’ll start working on that process Monday.

    Maybe we can find a sponsor/benefactor that would help us follow and document that last weeks of the primary and then the general election.

  2. Stuart

    I’ll clarify not nearly as as excited as I was 4 years ago. I believe that Clinton is the best person for the job at this point in time, as I believed that Kerry was 4 years ago. It’s taken time getting here. I was impressed with her yesterday and yes it meant a lot to me that she took the time to listen to me.

    For now, I have too much to do with my biz to run around following the other campaigns. It was far easier for me to do this 4 years ago when my business was actually stable enough to afford an employee. Now it’s just me running both business and blog.

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    My impression, as basically an outside observer, is that you’re in it too deep to turn back. Congratulations!

  4. Congrats, Pamela. As we discussed in emails earlier, I’m not so sure I’m leaning that way, but I admire the enthusiasm and effort you put into making your decision, going to a rally, and actually getting face time with the candidate. If more people took the time to do these things (and write about them) we’d have better elected officials.

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  6. Zee says:

    I was at the NH primary, canvassing for Edwards. I was very impressed
    with the women I met who were supporting Hillary, and that means a lot.
    It was his supporters in 2004 who first got my attention for Edwards.
    Plus, at the hotel where I was staying, there was a young woman who
    traveled from California to work for Hillary and a 90+ year old woman
    who’d traveled from Harlem to meet Hillary. I think people are severely
    underestimating the passion and extent of the support Hillary has.

  7. Zee

    Thnk you for chiming in. There were a lot of people there yesterday who truly had passion for HRC. I was surprised to see the line and then equally surprised to hear how large the crowd was. Considering the organized the event in less than 24 hours and it ws mid day. I think I’m a bit of a hard sell after my long support for Kerry.

  8. Darrell, Todd

    Thanks. You two should have seen me trying to get to the front. I’m surprised I did.

  9. Demi says:

    While it’s true Hillary has had experience in the White House and has been a junior senator in New York, Obama is arguably the finest Democratic candidate in decades. He would make our country stand tall again.

  10. Bacalove says:

    More and more people are tired and turned off by staged polititcians – like the answers given the other night at the deabe–Hillary’s greatest weakness is how much she cares for the people. Edwards also gave a phony answer which seemed more about his compassion than a weakness. GIVE ME A BREAK! Politicians who give these contrived and phony answers are more concerned about them and not about you, the people. They are not trying to connect with you in any meaningful way, but trying to manipulate you — by staged and phony answers, Washingtonian Answers.

    In this era of the Greening of America, people are moving toward a more holistic way of living: organic foods and household items free of pesticides and chemicals, more effecient appliances to aid in the cleaning up of greenhouse gases among other things, solar and wind — clean energy. However, we also want more Efficient and Cleaner Politicians. Ones we can believe in and ones we know are speaking to us, not at us, who are not trying to control and manipulate the us, the masses, for their own personal gains. That’s how we get into wars by politicians who go along to get along for their OWN PERSONAL GAIN and not concerned about the degradation of what will happen to You, the Planet, and — to the PEOPLE!

  11. Masslib says:

    I’d argue with you on that, Demi.

    Hillary is an excellent candidate, and she will make an excellent President. I volunteered for her in NH for the entire last week, and her supporters are so committed. I met people from every walk of life and every corner of the country there working passionately to get Hillary elected. She’s got wide, deep support and that’s why in the end she will prevail.

  12. bjeryberg says:

    I am inclined to agree with Pamela on this Dem race as I did in 2004.

    And I might also add that Barry Obama, with this contentless unity and bipartisanship schtick, strikes me as a stalking horse for Bloomberg–the 2006 savior of Lieberman.

    Billion Dollar Mike plans on running on the ‘post-partisan’ model of 2nd generation Austrian Nazi Schwarzenegger–just as soon as his financial community allies can totally discombobulate both parties. An American Mussolini when we need a new FDR.

    The sources of Obama’s vast war-chest and the adulation he receives in the MSM–from folks like the Wash Post’s Broder, who gush even more over Bloomberg, adds to my suspicion. I do not know whether Barry Obama realizes his prime sponsors plan on disposing of him–not inaugurating him.

  13. bjerryberg says:

    OMG, I just learned that Obama’s prominent Kenyan father was a prominent opponent of Kenyan independence from the British Empire.

    The elder Obama apparently preferred the rapacious corruption and genocide of the Brits to the penny-ante corruption of the darker-skinned locals.

    I have seen no evidence from the campaign trail that Barry Obama disagrees with his Dad’s imperial sympathies. The hedge fund money, the Chicago Board of Trade/University of Chicago right-wing connections–the content-less calls for an end to polarization and unity.

    Hell, Hitler achieved ‘unity and an end to polarization.’ Is that what we want in USA 2008?

    Caveat emptor. Buyer beware.

    Why do so many white liberals make the assumption that all folks with darker skin tones must be ‘progressive’ and anti-imperialist?’

    Therein lies the marketing gimmick–and the lie of Barry Obama.

    Today, a vote for this compromised Obama–whatever he may personally, actually believe– is a vote for his sponsor Bloomberg and a Cheney-style dictatorship.

  14. bjeryberg

    Please tone it down a few notches.

    1) His name is Barack Obama, not Barry Obama. He is a seated Senator of the United States and a presidential candidate. Use his real name here and do not resort to slights like this.

    2) There are Obama supporters who write for The Dem Daly. We try to set a respectful tone on our front page and comments. Please respect that.

  15. Bonnie says:

    Barack was Barry for many years. Barry was his name growing up. Research before you cry foul!

  16. Pamela,

    I absolutely agree that respect is a good thing to maintain in this campaign. 🙂 However to correct you a bit, Barry is what Barack’s schoolmates called him and I wouldn’t be surprised if he still has friends and family called him that, so while it’s familiar it’s not necessarily disrespectful – certainly nowhere near as disrespectful as how I’ve heard people refer to Hillary, also a U.S. Senator and former First Lady, on some blogs.

    But for myself, while I eschew extreme rhetoric and any hint at disrespect, in my heart I have some of the same fears as bjerryberg. Our government has a lack of checks-and-balances, tilted way off balance toward the executive branch by Bush/Cheney. Senator Obama has a lack of checks-and-balances; he is beholden mainly to the Chicago political machine and to his deep-pocket backers, not to the Democratic Party line (he’s “non-partisan”) or his popular supporters (a clear feature of his charismatic style, he is the rock star who sells his non-committal slogans gains devoted fans, not the proven public servant who gains critical mass among a skeptical hard-nosed constituency). In addition while he has too brief a record for us to really know how he’ll govern, he clearly has a hawkish mentality (e.g. unilateral invasion of Pakistan: an exponential Bay of Pigs in waiting) and a delagating, figurehead approach to the Presidency (meaning that opportunists around him will be given a lot of leash). All of this adds up to some very dangerous possibilities with an Obama Presidency in 2009.

    I hope that Senator Obama proves to be a great man and to truly stand for great causes, but this year let us elect someone with the proven record and strategy to stabilize our government. I want Senator Obama to convince me but he cannot this year, he would truly be too great a gamble; let us give Senator Obama a chance to prove himself at the national level as more of a public servant and less a fast-climbing, charismatic power-broker. If he is a great man there will be no stopping it, but if he isn’t I would much rather find that out from his Senate performance over a whole term than from the Oval Office.

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  18. Darrell Prows says:

    Any one who graduates from Harvard Law with a distinguished record and then becomes active in poor communities in Chicago is commendable and unorthodox. In theory, that would be an excellent background from which to enter the U.S. Presidency.

  19. Bonnie, Chris

    Thanks for the background info on the fact that Barack Obama’s friends call him Barry. I had no idea.

  20. Darrell Prows says:

    Pamela: Why would you subject yourself to getting beat up like that over at Huffington. Oh, I know, it’s because anyone would give their right leg to be posted in front of X million sets of eyes.

    Congratulations!

  21. Sherilyn White says:

    You should definitely read the book “Free Lunch”. This book tells all about the politians of this country including Bill Clinton. He was the one who gave the top 1% a bigger tax break than the current president. He also sold US Secrets to the Chinese. Why would anyone want to look at the Clintons another 8 years is behond me.

  22. Darrell

    Thanks! The comments haven’t been too bad over there.

  23. YvonneCa says:

    Congratulations, Pamela! Saw the Huffpo… 🙂

    I know you take seriously your choice, as a citizen, and gave considerable thought to your endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President. If she is our Democratic nominee, she has my vote, too!

    Yvonne

  24. Ed Swezey says:

    Barack Obama’s record appears to be empty, but it isn’t. For 17 years he was closely affiliated with slumlord Tony Rezko, who generously supported his campaigns. The Chicago Republicans are onto him and will nail him with a string of indictments. But they want to get him nominated first. The free pass from the press will suddenly change after the Dem convention. Of course, if HRC gets the Dem nod, Obama will go down in flames anyway.

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