Senator Clinton's speech tonight was spectacular. She was powerful, gracious and Presidential. She connected with the throngs of people on the convention floor through her passionate speech and personal stories. At one point my eyes welled up with tears; for what she spoke and what we lost. My ten year old looked at me in panic, as I tried to explain why I was crying. I failed. One of the analysts from CNN said "it was a good night to be a Democrat." And it was...
David Gergen, respected Presidential consultant and political analyst for CNN, said that Senator Clinton's speech was a call for her supporters to "Come back home to the Democrat party." I have spent a lot of time and money and invested a bit of my heart to support Senator Clinton. I am sorry; Senator Clinton, but right now I cannot do what you ask.
Why can I not find it in my heart to jump on board to help a Democrat get into the White House? Why am I not getting on the phone and actively campaigning for Senator Obama? The truth is my inaction has very little to do with Barack Obama.
My reluctance has more to do with feeling marginalized by the powers that make decisions in the Democratic Party. As a woman, as a mother and an activist, I feel invisible to the Democratic Party. When Senator Clinton was getting dumped on unfairly by the press, I was waiting for the party to step in. For no matter what you thought of Senator Clinton, much of what was happening was unconscionable. It was the sounds of silence.
I have heard some of the comments; Democrats that are not supporting Obama right now are a bunch of hard-core feminists; there reluctance is about sour grapes. In California it's harvest time. The table is set, the china is out and most of the wine is already on table...the sour grapes are gone. For me, the whole process has been symbolic of the problem-not of being a whiny loser.
Perhaps I am not the democratic activist, I thought I was. I may lean more towards independence with my dissatisfaction of Politics and Washington "PolitaWash" as usual. Perhaps I am more issue based and looking for someone to inspire all of us to come together for our country; forget party affiliation. Perhaps I am a "RepubliCrat."
The part of my inaction that does come from Senator Obama is when I evaluate his choice of running mates. If there was such concern in the Democrat party about the division, why wouldn't we create the "Dream Team" to fill up the ravine? Why wouldn't Obama pick a running mate that was strong, experienced and had garnered a substantial number of followers.
Yes, Senator Clinton brings her husband, but so does everyone else. With "The George's" we got Barbara and Laura. Some feel that former President Clinton's baggage is "insurmountable". I am not one of them. I think the problems of our country are close to intolerable-so why not have the most experienced team to sit at the table?
Perhaps my message to the Democratic Party would go something like this: I want to know that you actually listen to the issues that I face, that my vote matters. Promise me that it will not take another 20 years to get C.E.D.W.A. signed. Reassure me that you will do everything in your power to educate and eliminate the glass ceiling. There are far too many of us still getting cut by the shards that remain.
For Senator OBama, I need to know that you have the courage to dare a novel path. Senator Biden's selection feels inside the comfort of Washington's insiders, and I am disappointed. I realize that voting for John McCain would hurt our party terribly and worsen the problems we face as a country. Yet, if I struggle, how many others are disillusioned and feeling as small?
So here it comes slipping down the surface of my trachea, "tow the line I hear...support the party" Yet, I seem to gag on another meal of rage. The telephone rings, E.T. knocks at the door; I am slumped in the chair unable to gather enough energy to come on' home.