Who Will Endure?

I watched the debate last night between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It was clearly the best debate between the two of them—— interesting and substantive.

Hillary Clinton was the stronger debater. She clearly showed that she is “a fighter” and that she has command of the issues. She demonstrated her foreign policy knowledge, and she stood up against personal attacks from Tim Russert about submitting her income tax returns due to her five million dollar loan to the campaign. When Barack Obama discussed his commitment to Afghanistan, she pointed out that though he is on the foreign relations committee, he has done nothing to shore up our commitment to Afghanistan. He said he was too busy campaigning.

She commented on the “sea change” that would come about with a woman president! Every woman knows what she means.

While the press bemoaned yet another (16 minute) debate on Health Care, the debate was substantive. It showed, once again, that Hillary Clinton is ready stand up for “universal” health care and that the way to get there is to require everyone to participate. It is hard for Barack Obama to defend his plan other than to say that it doesn’t leave 15 million people without insurance and that it is “better.” His comment that he has “endured” Hillary’s attacks about his health care plan gave me a rather bitter laugh. Poor Barack. He has “endured” so much during this campaign. . . . the adoration of the crowds and the media, the support of celebrities, the rave reviews. If to endure is to “regard with acceptance or tolerance,” there was very little tolerance in his voice. Hillary’s comments about his fear-mongering Harry and Louise ads could certainly have been much more pointed.

There are many point-by-point discussions of the debate on the blogs, and that is not my purpose here. Instead, I leave you with this letter written to Hillary by Diana Conti, a Hillary supporter:

Dear Hillary,

Thank you for knowing that everyone matters, and standing up for those who can’t stand on their own.Thank you for being so smart and tough and tender that you can figure out how to make our world work better in the face of fear, deceit, greed, and every form of opposition.Thank you for bringing a woman’s wisdom to the leadership of our country. Thank you for being yourself when no matter what you do, somebody criticizes you.Thank you for your compassionate heart and your faith and trust in the ultimate goodness of all things.Thank you for your incredible skill at governance.You are doing this for all of us. Thank God you are strong enough to pull it off. As women, we see ourselves in you. You fight for what matters to us. Your priorities are our priorities and we have waited FAR TOO LONG for them to be the priorities of the Government of the United States of America.

And your challenges and all the unkindnesses that you endure are our challenges as well. On a much smaller scale, we’ve had similar experiences.

Please know that we are with you, supporting you, and in humble gratitude for your willingness to go through what must sometimes feel like an ordeal so that we can all have new leadership and REAL change for an all too real world.

At long last, the absolutely most qualified candidate for President is also a woman.


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