Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Head-on: Hillary Clinton

[In my previous post I said there were two issues I believed Sarah Palin should tackle head-on: the extent of her experience and Hillary Clinton. I outlined what I thought Palin should say about her experience in that post. Here I provide a draft of what I believe Palin should say about Hillary Clinton.]

I was speaking at a rally a few days ago and mentioned my appreciation for Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton. When I mentioned Senator Clinton a lot of people in the audience booed. I was sorry to hear that because I both appreciate and admire Senator Clinton. I’d like to tell you why.

You may be aware that after Senator McCain introduced me as his running mate, a lot of people attacked me as a woman and as a mother. Senator Clinton did not. Her response to Senator McCain’s announcement was to briefly note the historic nature of the decision, welcome my voice to the conversation, and say my policies would take the country in the wrong direction. In other words, she said about me exactly what I would say about her and exactly what either of us would say about any other political opponent. It seems a shame that Senator Clinton’s attitude would be unusual in this day and age but it is and I appreciate it

I admire Senator Clinton as a strong campaigner. She ran a tough race against a tough opponent, the same tough opponent Senator McCain and I are running against. Hillary Clinton ran against an opponent who is adored by the media and who has a huge war chest. She didn’t let that stop her. She was slandered and smeared. She was called a racist - and worse. That must have broken her heart. She persevered. There were cries for her to drop out, to concede the race, to stop fighting, some of them coming from people she counted as allies, even friends. And yet Senator Clinton stayed in the race, ran hard, worked hard. So, no, I don’t agree with Senator Clinton’s policies. But I admire more than I can say her courage, her determination, her sheer grit because that same kind of courage, determination, and grit are exactly what will carry us to victory in November.

On a more personal level, I admire Senator Clinton for how hard she worked to shield her daughter from the public spotlight during all her years in the political arena. I hoped that my children would be afforded the same privacy and respect. Apparently times have changed too much for that but I still vow to do everything I can to follow in Senator Clinton’s footsteps in protecting my children. And I’ll encourage all my children to view Chelsea Clinton as an example of how wonderfully a child raised on the stage of Washington politics can turn out. Senator Clinton and I may disagree on almost everything else but we’re both mothers who love their children more than words can say.


SDMLC said...

You need to get that to the McCain campaign - talk about blunting the "let's make Hil our point woman on Sarah Palin" approach.

And as a once and future supporter of Senator Clinton, her response to Governor Palin's nomination did not surprise me in the least. I hope she will not allow herself to be drawn into a battle that isn't hers to fight by people who abused her during the primary.

Elise said...

I never thought of that result sdmlc - I was totally focused on Palin counteracting the bad impression her supporters left when they booed her mention of HRC.

I'm not sure how much blunting Hillary as point woman will need. Senator Clinton is too good a Democrat to sit on the sidelines when she's needed but I think she will oppose McCain and Palin fairly without resorting to the ugliness we saw so much of over the last 10 days. I have to say, I wouldn't be able to be gracious enough to campaign for Senator Obama if I were her.