Monday, July 26, 2004

Grace


FOR ARCHIVES ON POPE JOHN PAUL II, AMERICAN CATHOLICS AND RELIGION IN AMERICA, CLICK HERE.

BOSTON--I sure hope that John Kerry understands that he owes Hillary Clinton big for the extraordinary grace with which she performed a task that rated as a diss*: the introduction of her husband, the keynote speaker.



It's said there were worries that, given the full-fledged, prime-time speech she rightfully deserved, she would have, once again, proved too polarizing a figure. Yeah, right. Worries were that she might prove presidential.



I don't mean to suggest that the junior senator from New York is not a controversial personality; indeed, women of her own generation are not always comfortable with all they see in her iconic qualities. She's made the compromises that so many brilliant women have had to make, only to come through with real power.



But younger women are nuts about Hillary, perhaps because she offers a glimmer of hope for their own actualization. The Lifetime poll I mentioned in yesterday's post found that while four in 10 young men said that a teacher or other adult in their lives had suggested that they run for office some day, only one in 10 young women said the same. Even sadder, a great majority of women in the 18-to-34 cohort said they did not expect to see a woman president in their lifetime.



When the pope last visted America, he landed at Newark airport, near where I was living at the time. Hillary and Bill walked toward the papal plane, up a tarmac lined along one side with Catholic schoolchildren, set off by a chain-link fence. As Hillary approached, the little girls went wild, calling her name--little girls in kilts climbing a fence in order to get a better look. The nuns could not contain them.



Today, those little girls are of voting age, and the Democratic party is ignoring them--or worse yet, allowing its allies to demean them by vying for their vote with panties imprinted with political slogans--and seeing no greater role in this convention for a senator from the most powerful state in the union than to introduce her spouse.



She played the good soldier to Kerry's war hero. She praised him, made his case, and made Bill's case, as well. I couldn't help but notice, though, that she made a subtle point about being made to play wife: she never refered to Bill as her husband; he was the 42nd president of the United States and she, the senator from the Empire State.



You go, girl.



*Kit Seelye called it right in this "Morning Notebook" that reads deliciously like a blog.

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Mr. Ex-President



BOSTON--If I make it to 81, I should look so good--my first thought upon seeing the man who made the ex-presidency a career of on its own.



We're talking Jimmy Carter, of course. Now, he may not be the most scintillating speaker, but he sure serves up a mighty platter of gravitas, and loveable gravitas, at that. (As opposed to, say, the f-u grumpiness of our current vice president, a trait too often mistaken for gravitas.)



And Carter's speech had some dashes of poetry, even if they seemed a bit derivative of the Book of Revelations.



The phrase I've been chewing on: "with...the Middle East ablaze..." Trouble is, this ain't hyperbole.

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Thrown out of the best places



BOSTON--After all that, I cannot vouch for the accuracy upon delivery of Mr. Gore's quotes, since I missed his speech while busy being thrown out of the blogger stand in the convention hall. You see, your blogstress is here in what might be termed an "extralegal" manner, and her press tags are apparently the wrong color for entry into the elite, but otherwise delightful, group that occupies the stand.



So, like you, dear reader, I shall cool my heels in front of a television set, and report on Mr. Carter's speech shortly.

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Gore to Nader Voters: Don't Do It!
Asks crowd to remember anger & disappointment
of 2000 outcome;
patches up with Clinton



BOSTON--We've just received the advance copies of Gore's imminent speech to the convention. In the running for the most interesting moment of the speech is his direct appeal to those who voted for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in the last presidential election--votes that were said to have cost Gore victory in the 2000 election.



"I...ask tonight for the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: do you still believe that there was no difference betweeen the candidates? Are you troubled by the erosion of some of America's most basic civil liberties? Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismanteld to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis? No matter how you voted in the last election, these are profound problems that all voters must take into account this November 2nd."



While argument ensues among the pundits on whether the Dems should avoid bashing Bush, Gore appeals to the party faithful to summon their experience of the loss of 2000:



"To those of you who felt disappointed or angry with the outcome in 2000, I want you to remember all of those feelings. But then I want you to do with them what I have done: focus them fully and completely on putting John Kerry and John Edwards in the White House."



Then, referring to his friends, Gore finally offers the kiss that might have saved him had he made it four years ago:



"There's someone else I'd like to thank, and that's the man who asked me to join him on the ticket at our convention 12 years ago, my friend--and my partner for eight years--President Bill Clinton. I'll never forget that convention or that campaign--the way we b arnstromed the country, carrying a message of hope and change, believing with our whole hearts that America could be made new again."



I'll never forget that convention either, the image of those four young, smart, smart people bopping around to the strains of "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow". Did it really happen--or were we all just trippin'?



BTW, in the current context of wars over gay marriage, your blogstress notes Gore's use of the word "partner".

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