Graduation Day and Hillary

Hillary’s going to be in DC speaking to her supporters on Saturday, and we’ll know more about what she plans to do going forward then. I thought a quick letter to her was in order, on the off chance she’s up late and reading the blogs tonight…

I’ve written about my son a few times before and – well today was a big day in our family. My little boy graduated from his pre-school this afternoon, complete with caps and gowns. It’s a day I never thought I’d see – when he started working with the therapists from our local Infants and Toddlers program 4 years ago at the age of 18 months, he was just learning how to furniture walk, how to chew his food, how to talk and pronounce certain sounds properly… the whole nine yards. Since then we’ve worked with some amazing speech pathologists, fine and gross motor skills therapists, and the most dedicated special ed teachers you’d ever want to meet.

Now the reason I mention all this is because when you first started knocking on doors for the Children’s Defense Fund back in 1973 to try to explain why kids weren’t going to our public schools, this is what a graduation ceremony would have looked like for a special ed pre-school class…

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That’s because back then those classes didn’t exist. There were no laws on the books that required our public schools to teach kids like my son – or any special needs child for that matter. But thanks to your dedication and hard work, and the laws you fought for and helped get funded, our kids get an education that would have been beyond their reach 35 years ago.

This is what those graduation ceremonies look like today…

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This may not seem like a big deal to a lot of others reading this, but I don’t care. I’m writing this to you to let you know what a huge difference you’ve made in the lives of millions of people – families just like mine and that’s one of the many reasons I’ve worked so hard on your campaign.

As I sat in that gym waiting for my son and all of his little classmates to march down the hall in their caps and gowns, file in and fill those empty chairs I sent up a prayer of thanks for the fact that you’ve been out there fighting for our kids for thirty-five years. And I know no matter what life brings your way going forward, you’ll continue to fight for our kids, and for anyone who needs a leg up in this world, whether it’s by fighting for true universal health care, stopping the banks from taking our homes back, working to help keep our local plant open so our jobs aren’t sent overseas, or (yes) finding a way to help us pay for the gas we need to get to work so we can keep those jobs and keep a roof over our heads and feed our families.

I also sent up a prayer for the way your run for the White House has given my 7 year old daughter an example of what a strong, brilliant and accomplished woman can do in this world. Just one person – just one voice. You’ve made such a difference in this world where her generation are concerned.

My mom sent me a note today which said in part…

Remember, even though Hillary didn’t make it to the final round, when you were a little girl, your mother couldn’t wear a pant suit to work, couldn’t get a credit card in her own name and on and on.

We really have come a long way thanks to the women of your generation, and I think the young women of today take a lot of that for granted. It’s a pity they could so quickly forget how far we’ve come and if they don’t wise up, they’ll end up fighting those same battles all over again.

Now I know you’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching over the past few days. I’ve also seen a lot of advice out here on the blogs as to what others think you should say to your supporters in DC tomorrow.

I’ll be in the audience looking on as you tell us what you’ve decided.

Like many, I know you’ve got to do what you know in your heart is right for you. I also know that – like me – you’re a died in the wool true blue Democrat, and even though our party has turned their back on the misogyny, the hate, the anger, the lies, and even led the charge in stealing some of your delegates from you last weekend, I’m guessing you’re not one who quits easily – and that includes the party you’ve served for the past 35 or 40 years with distinction and honor..

The thing is, you’ve got about 18 million supporters out here who aren’t quitters either, and we’re not about to quit on you. We’ve come too far and fought too hard to walk away from you now so please know that whatever you decide, we’re behind you.

Not quitting means that you’ll continue to fight for the causes you believe in because you know you have that special gift to work with people and accomplish great things. You’ve proven that time and time again over the years as an advocate, as First Lady of Arkansas, as First Lady of our nation, and now as a United States Senator from New York. You’ve served us well over the years and I know you’re not done yet. A big part of your decision comes down to how you think you can best keep fighting those fights.

Like many of your supporters, I’d hoped you would have kept fighting for the right to represent our party in the general election against John McCain. I know you’re the one person who can beat him and we so desperately need a Democrat back in the White House. If we can’t get past McCain in November then all the pretty words and high promises won’t amount to much.

I understand now why you aren’t going to press your case with the credentials committee of the DNC, but I do hold out one hope where your decision’s concerned…

I hope that you retain control over your delegates so they can vote for you in the first round at the convention. Those pledged delegates are held to a promise sure, but those super delegates can change their mind on a whim – they’ve proven that over the past few months by jumping back and forth between you and your opponent.

So if your opponent messes up or the media and press actually wake up from this soma-induced stupor they’ve been in for the past 10 months and start asking the tough questions – maybe do their job between now and the convention – you’ll be ready to step in to save our sorry-[bleep] party from itself.

So that’s it really. Part thank you, part pep talk and a tiny bit of advice from a complete novice where all this political stuff is concerned. Ok more of a request but I’m sure you’ve heard that bit before.

Hillary I’ve been volunteering for politicians since I was 10 and helped my folks stuff envelopes for George McGovern. And through all those years and all the campaigns, I can honestly say that I have never worked this hard for or been this inspired by a candidate. Never.

You’ve shown us true strength, compassion, class and a dedication to making this world a better place for those struggling to get by that we’ve never seen before. There’s a reason your message so resonates with the so-called lunch-bucket crowd out there. It’s because you take the time to listen to us. You’ve met thousands of us all over this country and listened while we pour our hearts out and told you our stories. And you’ve taken our stories and made them your own in a way that tells us our stories won’t just sit there – that you’ll use them to feed a fire that burns bright in your heart, and will actually do something to ease our pain and make our life a bit easier when all is said and done.

And for that – we thank you.

I know you’ve fought long and hard for us but we still need you Hillary. Find a way to keep that door open just a little longer if there’s even a small chance that you could be our party’s nominee. I know you’ll go at the job of cleaning up Bush’s mess with everything at your disposal.

If anyone can get this nation back on track – it’s you.

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9 Responses to Graduation Day and Hillary

  1. Alegre

    Thanks for sharing this here — it made me cry… again. I’m so glad you are going to be there tomorrow. I’ll be there in spirit.

  2. Alegre says:

    I wish you could be there too Pamela. You’ve worked so hard to help get Hillary’s message out – it’s too bad there won’t be an event closer to home.

    You do know that the campaign will be live-streaming this, don’t you? Someone sent me a link to it – I’ll post it if I can find it.

  3. campskunk says:

    i work in the public mental health system, and there are a LOT of empty chairs in walk-in clinics, daycare facilities, and mental health clubhouses thanks to george bush and the last seven years of republican policies. hillary is the only candidate with the policy proposals to fill those chairs with people who need the services. i sure hope she gets the best possible opportunity to do so. great diary, alegre.

  4. Alegre

    They are going to be live-streaming on HillaryClinton.com starting at noon, est. I’ll be watching and blogging.

  5. anna shane says:

    what a beautiful story, the kinds that makes a person glad to be around.

  6. Thank you for that, Alegre. Your words have me crying big tears and (sorry) blowing my nose — which reminds me to bring Kleenex tomorrow.

    Hillary’s campaign, and the dedication and involvement it provoked, has been such an intense, compelling journey. I know we will keep going in whatever form. I absolutely agree about keeping her delegates. I’m very interested to hear what she says and how she handles it. Even though watching it on TV and listening to the recaps and analysis is like research, I’m glad that I won’t be at home to do so. It seems more brutal than ever on the airwaves, without any of Hillary’s surrogates speaking for her.

    When Hillary gave her speech on Tuesday, we hadn’t yet heard any aftermath of the RBC meeting, and there was the thought that perhaps they’d take it to the Credentials Committee–but they hadn’t said anything, so her speech was like a half way in-between. It seemed like it almost left the door open, but then nothing was said. Perhaps they were going to pursue it, but realized they couldn’t because they were bleeding Superdelegates. (what a joke)

    The SD campaign is still on, and a friend who’s written to 50 actually got 2 emails back saying they remain committed to Hillary.

    The live-streaming link goes right to their website, so I’d just go there.

  7. JoeSky says:

    Congratulation to you and your son, Alegre.

    This program is testament of what Hillary has done for the children.

  8. Incase anyone missed getting the email from HillaryClinton.com about the livecast tomorrow — it’s here: http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2008/06/06/saturdays-event-with-hillary/

  9. LadyBoomerNYC

    “I know we will keep going in whatever form.”

    I agree. We should all continue to be a voice for Hillary and the issues that she champions, in the blogosphere.