Personally, I thought it was hilarious, the day last year when I was invited to "like" the Facebook page Ready For Hillary. I mean, laugh out loud (that's LOL, kids) funny. Like, um, I was "ready for Hillary" before 2 of my 3 nephews were born.
It might not be a great book, but people who've read it seem to think it's interesting, and at least readable. Or at least, that's the impression I get. Like following "Ready For Hillary," I try to follow the news about Mrs. Clinton. But spending a lot of time discussing her, and her plans, and all the rest... not so much.
Look, brass tacks and all, I think we know where this is headed. What strikes me is how we all seem to know, all seem resigned to it, without necessarily being enthused. I get that in, say, conservatives. I'm sort of fascinated by that block of Hillary supporters, of which I was a part, many of whom also seem to have let go of the passion. The fight was then. Now, it seems, well, old news.
I disagree. Since running in 2008 - to the point of, essentially, a tie - Mrs. Clinton has served as Secretary of State, throwing pretty much any discussion of lack of experience or preparation out the window. She remains the person who can take this country past theoretical and futuristic discussions and give us the actual example of an actual woman President. And she's spent pretty much her whole lifetime and several careers espousing the kind of ideas Democrats claim to believe in most.
Why, really, are we having a discussion plagued with doubts about where this is headed?
Probably, I think, because that's where we left off.
There's basically no one who has run for President in the past 50 years (outside incumbency) with the resume of Mrs. Clinton at this point in her career, with the possible exception of George H.W. Bush. Executive Branch experience, including time in the White House. A legislative career. Experience running a state. Regional expertise in several parts of the country. International experience.
I have lived my life in the northeast, where sophisticates often take credit for feminist advances that hadn't actually happened. How New York had never elected a woman to state wide office until Mrs. Clinton, in 2000. How Massachusetts never elected a female Senator until Elizabeth Warren. Yet, we were told, what wonderful progress women had made. Just look at all the possibilities. It's like we had a woman Governor... even though we never did (Jodi Rell, Connecticut).
It's easy to sympathize with the passionate liberals - progressives, if we must - who feel that Mrs. Clinton now doesn't represent the challenge to vested interests she represented even 6 years ago. We can't know, really, what might have happened differently, or not differently, on her economic watch. But it's telling that we hear these conclusions about her opinions before she's even expressed them. We just know, don't we? We know it all.
Feminism and sexism, of course, are not supposed to be the issue with Mrs. Clinton. Not now. When we ask, now, if America is ready for her, it's just you know, a person. Not about how we see women. Or don't see women. Because we know she's a woman, okay? We get it.
So all those articles, all that discussion about "pitting Mrs. Clinton against Monica Lewinsky" about debating whether she had a "traumatic brain injury" and was unfit to serve, when we dredge up Whitewater and Vince Foster and all the rest... that's not about denigrating a woman. It's about, you know, her.
It's nonsense, of course. It's readily apparent that when a woman runs for President, we will, in fact be discussing America's attitudes towards women. And sexism. And feminism. When people express those familiar feelings of feeling lukewarm about her, the "I just don't trust her", the "I never really liked her..." sure it's about her. It's also about how she's been presented, and talked about, and vilified at times, and raised to heroic status at others.
Mrs. Clinton has written several books. She's engaged in fairly thoughtful policy discussions in each one, though we rarely mention that. This book may well be just one of those campaign tools that seem to be part of the candidate landscape these days. Few of the others will be able to talk time served as a Cabinet Secretary. But you know, it's not as if she's special, or anything.
So maybe she runs for President. If she does, it seems to me the point of all this should be that we will be able to elect an experienced, thoughtful, well rounded person ready to take on difficult issues and engage in a healthy debate. And maybe I've kind of lost track of what we look for in Presidents. Maybe that's the book we need... and I'm pretty sure she could write that one, too.