I rarely drive to work these days, but a couple of weeks ago I did. And as I headed over the bridge into DC, I listened to a story on NPR featuring the Democratic convention. They interviewed two women from around here who were attending the convention as delegates of Hillary Clinton. And do you know what I did when I heard them interviewed? I cried. I didn't expect this reaction from myself. After all, I never really believed she had a chance to win the general election, and I certainly didn't think she was the perfect candidate. But as it turns out, I did have an awful lot of hope for the former. There aren't a lot of policy differences between Obama and Hillary, so I guess it came down to this: I want a woman president, and I want it badly. I want it to happen before my children are old enough to remember a time when the only job outside of professional athletics not available to women was President of the United States. I don't think anyone could look into Helen's eyes and want anything different.
At the start of campaign season, I thought no way could Clinton get elected. She got beat up in Iowa - and almost everyone counted her out, but then she won New Hampshire, and expectations changed. And that primary in New Hampshire did it to me. All of a sudden this small piece of me believed she was going win the nomination, and with the Republican nominee offering little resistance, she would cruise into the White House. It was probably the same small piece of me that believed by now the green party would be a legitimate third party. It's the part of me that is crushed regularly. It's the part of me that I try very hard not to listen to - because I know by now it ONLY LEADS TO DISAPPOINTMENT - but it is a part of me that is impossibly persistent.
Thank you, Hillary, for every crack you put in that glass ceiling. Even though it's not going to work out this time around, there is still this small part of me that believes I will live to see a woman president. And if it takes until Helen is old enough to have a cocktail with me? I'll buy the first round that night because I am going to PARTY!
PS: For the record, it is not enough for a candidate to be a woman, they also have to believe in the America that I believe in. So Senator McCain, please don't count on my vote in November simply because you chose Sarah Palin as your running mate. I am not that pathetic, and I don't suspect many of my fellow Hillary supporters are either.