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Saturday, June 7, 2008

This Is Unexpected

posted by on June 7 at 10:12 AM

I just read Eli’s post about Hillary’s concession speech this morning. I knew it was coming, and I’ve never felt like a Hillary loyalist.

And yet, I’ve got a lump in my throat. A lump. When is the next woman coming up? What have we lost here?

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Just remember, Jen - most people never even heard of Obama until less than four years ago.

She's out there.

Posted by Yogi | June 7, 2008 10:19 AM

Her name is Kathleen Sebelius. If she's Obama's VP, then she will be president in 2016.

Posted by Greg | June 7, 2008 10:23 AM

What @1 said. No one who isn't a senior citizen should be saying they'll never see a woman as president during their lifetime now.

Posted by tsm | June 7, 2008 10:23 AM

If you want another lump in your throat go here:

Hillary hasn't been a feminist in a few decades. She's been a politician using appeals to feminism for her own ends and look where that has us now.

Thanks, Hillary. I hope one day you realize what kind of person you became in this campaign.

Posted by walm | June 7, 2008 10:30 AM

Gregoire's on the long list, I heard. Of course I'm on the long list too, but for different reasons.

Posted by elenchos | June 7, 2008 10:53 AM

2 words:

michelle obama

you've lost nothing.

Posted by cochise. | June 7, 2008 11:15 AM

If Obama wins, the likelihood of the Dems fielding other candidates who depart from the standard old-white-dude mold
increases rather dramatically. If Obama loses, not so much.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 7, 2008 11:22 AM

You've probably lost a presidential election.

You've lost generations -- young and old -- to the breed of cynicism that tilts the playing field in favor of the con's.

And the first woman POTUS - probably a Republican - is even farther off.

On the plus side, you get to pat yourself on the back and chirp "I voted for the black guy!"

Posted by RonK, Seattle | June 7, 2008 11:26 AM

Well, at least Hills had the grace not to mimic Nixon: "Well, you won't have Hillary to kick around anymore." There was more than a bit of class and upbeat in her concession.

I am hopeful that the many Hillary detractors are finally able to get some rest. It seems so many took it personally that she dared to hang in there, complicating their lives by refusing to cave, and just not giving a fig about self-wrought Clinton fatigue and ennui.

All of us who want to take back the White House from the criminals will now literally have to work our asses off. Text messaging your choice of Obama won't cut it. The ramparts must be personned. And most importantly, bear in mind, churlishness in victory is truly ugly.

Seriously - kudos to you.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | June 7, 2008 11:44 AM

There are presently 8 female governors in the US, three republican and 5 democratic. Plus another seven who are no longer in office but have served in the past 8 years. And not to belabor the point, but a sitting female senator just came within a hairsbreadth of securing the nomination of a major party for the presidency.

I'd say the odds of seeing a female president in our lifetimes are not bad at all. In fact, I'd put money on it.

(Re @8, the notion that voting for a Clinton would somehow have been a blow struck against cynicism is simply breathtaking. Bravo!)

Posted by Doctor Memory | June 7, 2008 11:44 AM

#8, breed of cynicism?

Posted by w7ngman | June 7, 2008 11:45 AM

I think we're going to be hard pressed to find another democratic run which does NOT include a woman. There was a woman in the last run for the nomination, and it'll be disappointing if there's not a woman in every subsequent run. It'll be up to that woman to be a serious candidate (I thought Braun was actually a way better candidate than she was commonly perceived as), and it'll be up to the voters to go for her. It's gonna happen.

Posted by kentankerous | June 7, 2008 11:55 AM

We've lost absolutely nothing. I've said for years that the first female candidate who could win would have to use tactics that would make me not want to vote for her, and I believe that came true... but we're past that now, and we will never have to go through it again. What Clinton said in her speech this morning is true -- next election, no one will even question whether it's possible that a woman could be elected.

She took on an awful task, but one I think had to be done in order to move us forward. She deserves a lot of credit for it, whether you were going to vote for her or not.

Posted by arboreality | June 7, 2008 12:01 PM

i agree with arboreality, although clinton pissed a lot of people off and her campaign wasn't exactly ideal, i think she broke some serious ground that needed to be broken. these things go in stages usually, and a major stage was just completed. i would say a woman as president should happen very soon...

Posted by douglas | June 7, 2008 12:09 PM

2016 President Rachel Maddow! :)

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 7, 2008 12:33 PM

That's the question that should have been asked before the speech. I supported her campaign because she's a completely decent human being who also happened to be a woman.
And we really could inspire other women to lead. I support Obama now. But I'm afraid. The R's are notorious rats. They won't be happy until they've driven this country totally into the ditch.

Posted by Vince | June 7, 2008 1:37 PM

I would embrace the idea of an Obama/Sebelius ticket so much more enthusiastically if it didn't sound like some kind of hideous toe fungus.

Posted by Blue Barberpole | June 7, 2008 1:41 PM

@8 - Clinton already lost the election in any parallel universe where she won the nomination. Your posts here have made it pretty clear that you don't care if the first major female presidential candidate reached the nomination through race-baiting, but the African-American portion of base does. And the Democrats don't win the presidency without them - period.

So give it up already.

Posted by tsm | June 7, 2008 2:04 PM

Did you find that lump with a self-exam?

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 7, 2008 2:09 PM

Mr. Cornball, I salute you, sir.

Posted by elenchos | June 7, 2008 3:03 PM

I feel the same way, Jen.

But, I think Obama as President will help pave the way for a female President in the future.

Posted by boxofbirds | June 7, 2008 3:58 PM

#11 - Progressive politics depends on a widespread belief in the possibilities.

When younger citizens realize they got played, and realize how they got played, and realize how badly they got played, they get cynical about politics and government. They become disinclined to give it effort, attention, or tax dollars ... and this effect last msot of their lifetimes.

When older citizens see younger citizens getting played, they get cynical, too.

Obama played you for suckers, bigtime, and he's got no design or capacity to deliver the "change" he's got you all worked up about.

Ergo, if he wins, the longterm climate for progressive government becomes unfavorable ... just when the major arc of history and the immediate revulsion with Bush would have made a progressive revival possible.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | June 7, 2008 4:44 PM

I know exactly what you are talking about, Jen.

I was never a Hillary supporter. WAY in the beginning of her campaign I remember telling my partner that listening to her made me feel like jumping off a cliff - she was just so fake and politician-y and like the same old white guy sell out crap.

And yet.

And yet somehow this week as it's been clear she's really going, I've been deeply, deeply bummed. And it's because she's a woman and that meant more that I knew. And I'm not proud of the fact that that's just ringing in now, because it was deep down in a place I wish I were more in tune with, that place ECB gets hated on for defending.

I am happy to have supported Obama from the beginning. It's the right choice for the country. And I agree with the commentor who said that ultimately, he will make it easier for a future female president.

But still.

Thank you for posting that, Jen. I was wondering if I was the only woman who felt that way.

Posted by greendyke | June 7, 2008 7:11 PM

thanks, yogi.

Posted by biz | June 7, 2008 7:33 PM

What have we lost? A lot. And the amount of negativity coming off this blog in particular aimed at HRC has been disturbing. On one hand I get the impression the ultra-left thinks Obama makes us square for shit that happened 300+ years ago - it'll never happen. On the other hand, it seals the deal: misogyny is reigns on the Slog. Have fun. This bookmark is removed.

Posted by crunk | June 7, 2008 8:14 PM

Mr. Cornball stole my comment.

Posted by ecce homo | June 7, 2008 10:29 PM

Aww, I know. I was never a Hillary supporter either (dynastic politics are bad juju) but it is sad. She had so much promise at the beginning of this campaign. I even liked the moment where she choked up and admitted how hard it is to campaign so intensively - that was a moment of absolute truth and I respect her for that.

It's too bad that she resisted talking about gender and let other people dominate that conversation. That could have been so productive.

So yes, we have lost the chance for an important discussion. And that sucks. But there will be other women who will want to be President, it will be soon, and hopefully they will be better candidates. The best candidates, like Obama is this time.

Posted by k | June 8, 2008 6:15 AM

Swallow or spit it out!

Posted by Ben Dover | June 8, 2008 8:33 AM

Universal health care has been Hillary's passion and I truly believe if she becomes president she would make it happen (with the Dems congress in control). I supported her not b/c she's a woman but I think she truly wants to do some good. Too bad her detractors who keep attacking her as selfish and evil and all that can't see it.

Posted by mere mortal | June 8, 2008 1:01 PM

All of you who are so sure, oh, there'll be another one around the corner ... unless you are seeing it through the eyes of a middle-aged woman who had been waiting for this to happen for half her life (Geraldine Ferraro's VP run was TWENTY-FOUR YEARS AGO) ... you can't quite understand. Although whatever age Jen G is, I also thank her for the post. I know younger women get tired of hearing "you really can't appreciate what things were like just 25-30 years ago unless you were there," but really, you can't. Imagine working for a company - in the '80s, mind you - where the owner made sure every woman on the staff got a flower on National Secretaries' Day. Including senior managers who had nothing to do with secretarial work. Won't bore you with the other examples of institutionalized sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Getting to be OT anyway. But just know, that was the real fight ... beating the gender barrier ... not beating the race barrier ... so it's a fight that still is out there. Senator Clinton wasn't the perfect candidate, certainly, but who ever has been?

Posted by perspective | June 8, 2008 6:41 PM

It's OK to be disappointed that Hillary didn't win, if you supported her. It's totally understandable, especially for the women who wanted to see that last glass ceiling broken.


Given that Obama's positions on, well, everything are much closer to Hillary than McCain, it makes sense to vote for him and not McCain.

The talk about being hoodwinked insults the intelligence of both sides. Consider: most of the people who voted for Obama would've voted for Hillary in a heartbeat if they hadn't found Obama to be a good candidate. He won them over. They HAD to weigh the two candidates, and ultimately, Obama won more.

Posted by Steve | June 8, 2008 9:17 PM

Not every man who runs for president wins. Why should we expect that every woman who runs will win? We have lost nothing, given that this country is full of talented women who want to serve. What we may have gained is seeing how well Hillary did, these talented women might be more likely to run for the office.

If Hillary Clinton were a man, running solely on his accomplishments, record, and ability to win over the electorate, we wouldn't be having this discussion. If you really want to be equal, then you have to be willing to try and fail like John Edwards, Mitt Romney, and the rest of the field who ran. This perpetual handwringing and woe is we womenfolk starts to sound like women can't run with the big dogs.

The country chose the candidate they chose. If you make it all about race and gender, then you do the party, the nation, and the process a disservice.

Posted by Stella | June 9, 2008 8:20 AM

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