Saturday, April 26, 2008

Here's The Difference

So, I had been talking to my partner and and old friend who flew in from NYC to celebrate my 50th birthday. I mentioned some of this in the comment section yesterday, but I wanted to add some new information. OK, what I had been saying was that there seems to be a distinct difference in the way Obama's followers act, and the way Clinton's supporters act. And yes, that is an intentional distinction right off the bat - Obama has followers who put him on a pedestal, refusing to allow the things he actually says to influence or deter them from their (ill-founded) adoration of him. I mean, really - what self-respecting progressive supports a man who wants to return to the foreign policies of George H.W. Bush, which means the foreign policies of DONALD RUMSFELD??? Or a candidate who claims that those of us who are pro-choice do not understand what a difficult decision it is for women to have abortions. Are you frikkin; kidding me?? He's going to take a page out of the right wing fundamentalist playbook and attack people who are pro-choice? Being pro-choice does NOT mean being pro-abortion. As Clinton says, they should be rare, safe, and affordable. Hell yes, we know it is a difficult moral decision - what an assholic thing to say! Then there are his associates, about whom I have written a lot.

Then there are Clinton's supporters. It seems to me that many of her supporters feel like we have a real relationship with her, that she really is committed to doing what is best for the country, and for us. That when she says she will end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," we believe she will. When she says she will get us out of Iraq, she will. Her recortd is clear as a bell that she is a tireless worker, and she is COMMITTED to working on behalf of the people. She has demonstrated this over and over. And there is a huge difference between putting someone on a pedestal (Obama), and feeling like the candidate is in the struggle WITH us. It is a relational thing, that is, she approaches us differently than Obama does. She does not talk down to us, she talks WITH us. She doesn't lecture us, she engages us and wants to hear what WE think. If she had been the one eating the waffle in a diner and a reporter asked her a question, she would have asked them to sit down and have a cup of coffee. (Note to Obama - if you want to eat uninterruptedly, stay in your hotel room!!! Don't invite the press to your event, and then complain about them wanting to talk to you, you big freakin' baby! Show a modicum of manners, at LEAST! SHESH!)

So that's the difference in my mind. And I have a story to back that up. My aforementioned friend from NY works for an artist who had some work displayed at a function which Clinton attended (before the crowds came). My friend said she acted like they were the only two people in the world, and like she had all of the time in the world just to talk with THEM. She didn't rush them through the show. Rather, she asked questions about different pieces on display. She was warm, friendly, engaging, and PRESENT to them.

And this is why so many of us love her - because we KNOW that is how she is. Add to that her INCREDIBLE intelligence, and as I keep saying, THIS is who I want as my president. Obama cannot hold a CANDLE to her. Not even close. But this is about her - and how she relates to people as people. She genuinely cares, and she genuinely will do what she can to affect the most positive outcome for all us. She may not always succeed, but it won't be for lack of trying. You can take that to the bank. Just sayin'.

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