I don’t usually do two posts in one day, but I’ve had someone on my mind all morning.
Senator Hillary Clinton left the stage last night amid many cheers and tears. The talking heads told us that she said everything she had to in order to heal the party and create a united front in November. The duality of politics was on full display – a room full of Democrats and a group of people that just don’t get it.
Yes, the speech was calculated well in advance. Yes, Sen. Clinton will still be around to influence things. But what was it that got the Democrats so excited?
Love. A strange and slightly twisted form of it, but a genuine love all the same.
Democrats may at times insist on something for the brain or the belly, but in the end it has to be about the heart. To be a Democrat is to be a believer. We have to feel it in our hearts before we get righteously motivated. With the Clinton campaign, there were two things to be in love with, and two things that had to swing around before her believers could unite the party.
The first was Hillary herself. She isn’t an easy person to love, given that she always keeps a little bit of herself in reserve for when the fight gets really nasty. That makes her seem a bit cold and calculating, but it’s a learned behavior. A woman like that is hard to love, unless you’ve learned to do it because the same thing happened to your wife, your mother, or your daughter. If you had to go through this yourself, the bond is unbreakable. Once you’ve learned to love that kind of woman or push away the self doubt, your love is strong.
The other issue was what Hillary came to stand for, the champion of women and those in need everywhere. I don’t think that’s what she set out to do, but it happened to her. When the attacks kept increasing on her, she remained standing – not unlike “The Star Spangled Banner”. She proved to all of us just how hard it is for women to break barriers, even if that little bit of her had to remain deep down inside. Everything that we heard from feminists was proven perfectly true, and Hillary kept fighting.
Sen. Clinton gave us a little of both of these reasons to love her as she told us all to support Obama. She, personally, was for him, and this was the way to bring the movement forward. Every reason anyone had to love her was given as a reason to love Barack. Thus, the party was united.
Democrats are a family, which is why we fight so often and so nasty. We tell stories of falling in love because that’s where we are at emotionally when it comes to our candidates – or at least the successful ones. We love our family, of course, and that’s what keeps us together. The analogy breaks down when the one we love has to tell us to go off and love someone else, and that’s why it’s so difficult. But Hillary did it.
I said many times that I knew this would happen. I didn’t say that because I’m so terribly smart, I said this because I’m a Democrat. I know what it means to love your candidate, and I know what it means to have your heart broken. Mostly, I knew that Sen. Hillary Clinton loves us, too. She may or may not have enjoyed what she had to do, but she did it. We’re a family, after all, and we love each other enough to do what we have to, even if it hurts.