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18 Million Cracks

Over the course of the last few months, I have been very critical of Hillary Clinton’s politics. However, now is the time to recognize the powerful significance of her candidacy for the presidential nomination, to reaffirm the importance of electing a woman president of the United States and to express gratitude for the ways in which her continuing to campaign into June has made Barack Obama stronger candidate by forcing him to extend the roots of his grassroots organization into many more states.

Her speech on Saturday was poignant, beautiful and graceful.  I could not help but think of Chloe and Hannah when she said:

Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.

I have been very disappointed and angered by the sort of misogyny that she had to endure throughout her campaign. From references to “Billary” to lewd nutcrackers, to men yelling “Iron my shirt,” to the sexist comments by commentators like Tucker Carlson, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, we have witnessed an embarrassing display of destructive and hateful misogyny. 

To read more about this, see these articles: 

There is something deeply significant about my daughter Chloe’s reaction when Val showed her, earlier this year, pictures of all the Republican and Democratic candidates for the Presidency. When she saw Hillary Clinton’s picture, she said, “I want her to win.”  Chloe saw something there, something I want to affirm for her: there is someone who looks like me, a strong, confident, highly qualified woman, running for president.  
So, it is time for me, so long critical of what I still think of as a misguided political approach, to express my admiration and gratitude to Hillary Clinton for the courage she had to compete for the office of the presidency and for the 18 million people who voted for her.  
Let us not forget the unfinished business her candidacy has left us.  As a reminder of the long road still ahead, I leave you with this chilling montage put together by the Women’s Media Center. 

One Comment

  • Chris,
    A great post. Thank you for this.
    Your story about Chloe’s reaction to the candidates will stay with me for some time. It is encouraging to think that she might, perhaps, grow up in the light of “18 million cracks”, though it is important to remember that many of the people featured in the WMC video are working diligently and desperately to fill in those cracks as quickly as possible. I hope that Obama makes it a priority to keep them open.

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