Direction Home: Hillary’s ConCall And My Cabbie

After The Call

I didn’t really feel like going out on Thursday night, but a longtime friend was in town, and we’d made plans to go dancing. Yes, we are young-at-heart baby boomers.

Basement Bhangra in NYC is an upbeat Indian, family wedding-vibe-type club where ‘the kids’ go to flirt, find a mate, etc. They enjoy the kind of dancing they grew up with in their families of first generation Americans from Punjab. Some are trained as professional dancers and have performed in dance troupes, which is really a treat. They move rhythmically and gracefully, arms and hands extended, as they jump around, while entertaining their partner — feels tribal, subtle.

I held my head down, still deep in thought, trying to push away from the computer. I knew that I should leave, but didn’t feel much like it. I’d just gotten off of a 20-minute conference call with Hillary and some of her supporters, followed by a 2-hour commiserative rant and debrief of the call with a fellow PUMA and Just Say No Deal member.

Hillary’s Conference Call: My Notes

During the call, Hillary gave thanks to her fundraising staff in DC, NY and around the country. The support that each of us has provided to her throughout her campaign made it possible for her to show that a woman could compete in terms of the money, and as Commander In Chief. She was the first woman in history to ever win a Presidential primary.

There is a lot to be grateful for. The campaign involved a great coalition of all races, groups, economic backgrounds. What we have done is a strong part of Democratic history, and she is absolutely committed to continuing to fight for our goals and issues for Democrats and Senator Obama. Given the progress we have made in healthcare, the economy and women’s right to choose, the stakes are too high to not elect a Democrat.

She wanted all those to know who raised money, made phone calls, traveled from state to state: all the things we did really kept her going. Many of us are concerned about the attitudes about women, not just about her but about all women. She was surprised at the press’ reaction to women, said it wasn’t right. Part of why she ran was to make it better for women and girls.

Hillary said we needed to do everything we can to help Senator Obama. She wants help paying her debt so she can pay her vendors, saying she was outspent. She’s not asking us to pay her personal debt, and took it as a given that she spent it because she wanted to. She’s asking us to raise the money however we can.

There are big issues in the Fall. She understands that her campaign was a heroic effort of the finest people and bravest women. She is very hopeful that what she stood for will come to pass.

I Heard What She Said, But What Did She Mean?

I phoned my Hillary friend who was on the call, too. I was dumbfounded. We got nothin’. She gave us nothing, not even the teeny tiniest hint that she was fighting the nomination, that there were caucus improprieties, they’d be taking it to the credentials committee, that she thought she’d won, wanted to be on the first ballot in Denver, didn’t support him, or would be dropping out of the Democratic Party anytime soon to form a third party. Nada. Wasn’t there.

Of course, how could she? How could she say any of that? She couldn’t. Even after last week’s garden party “liberal” ex-supporter Superdelegate women senators met without inviting Hillary, but unveiled her programs and policies as their own. That was maddening. Even after nearly every single colleague in her Party turns their back, she continues on. Ugghhh, that’s why I’m not in politics. Couldn’t do it.

I clung to, “but she said ‘first candidate to win.’ She said ‘win’ — that means she’s acknowledging it.”

My friend knew better, “No she meant she was the first woman to ever win a Presidential primary.”

“Oh right, that she did.”

She went on, “It was canned.”

“What? No way!”

“I think it was pre-recorded.”

“Wow, I hadn’t even considered that.”

“No matter what,” says my friend, “I’m not supporting Obama. We need to take it to Denver. Nobody’s the nominee until they vote in Denver. We need to keep up the pressure. Keep petitioning superdelegates. We can’t let them get away with this. It’s not over!”

Beyond Hillary, It’s About Integrity

I went on: “Right, it’s also more than just about Hillary. It’s about the principle of treating a qualified candidate and former First Lady so disrespectfully. The MSM did it, the DNC, Obama and his supporters, women, the blogosphere. It’s about the caucus improprieties, bullying. It’s about the Democratic ‘leadership’ selecting a candidate for us.”

“There’s nothing wrong with getting progressives in office. We want that. What’s wrong with it is that they chose him, early on. That happened with too. I was a member from their inception, participated regularly in their action and voter campaigns. They took a members vote early, perhaps in February, and Obama won. I thought, why are they making us decide now? Just like Pelosi and Reid forced the Superdelegates to choose. Now who’s side were they on? Hint: Do you remember when Pelosi came out and snidely replied to questions about a dream ticket, ‘No, I do not think that will happen'”?

“Howard Dean began working on this campaign right after he didn’t get to the White House the last time, and he’s still trying to get there. He formed an extremely organized grassroots organization, and built it from the ground up. They trained thousands of organizers at the city, county and state level, got all their people in there, and then elected Dean to DNC Chairman! Isn’t that the epitome of hubris? He created an organization so he could elect himself. Their initial intentions seemed good, but why did they make it exclusive? Why did they throw the rest of the Party under the bus? Why were Dean and DFA so averse to Hillary, slamming her in their press release after Iowa, taunting brazenly, look at who’s not inevitable anymore?”

“So if she doesn’t want to continue or want us to do so either, what do we do? I mean, besides helping with the debt, I have to get back to work. It seems to me that now is the best time ever for a third party or a new movement, with so many people seeing right through these Dem schemes. But in order to mobilize people, you need a leader, Hillary, or someone with experience in government who can do the job.”

“Perhaps we need to create a more inclusive, compassionate, responsible, and responsive organization than the current Democratic leadership. Millions of voters are angry that they were manipulated, cheated and bullied out of their candidate. They don’t know what to do or where to turn, but they’re not happy. We need to build a group from this which can be a force for shaping politics.”

Americans Are So Stupid

I went out for the evening as planned, and ended up having a lovely time. On my way home, I stepped in to a take-out place to get a bite to eat. There was an older (than me), upscale-looking white guy who was jumping around excitedly. He exclaimed, “Obama! I was so excited to see the sign on the outside, and that’s why, that’s why I came in!” He was beside himself with glee. I’d entered from the other door, and now looked up to read the storefront window-sized sign from behind, Senator Obama, Yes, We Are Ready. “Oh,” I said.

In New York City, sometimes you get a cab driver who talks in mumbled tones on his headset the entire drive. Other times, you have an engaging conversation. Pretty discouraged after the Obama old guy, I must have been a glutton for punishment, because I dove back in. Believing I’d get an Obama answer, because the driver was black, I asked him, “So what do you think about the election”? He was from Haiti:

“Acchhh, He-lah-ree. I was forr He-lah-ree. She haas the expeerience. She knows what she’s doing. She’s smart. I like her programs. That Obama, I don’t like him. Not his wife either.”

“Oh, I’m surprised.”

“Because I’m a black man?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “Well, I supported Hillary too.”

We commiserated all the way across town. In the end he said, shaking his head,

“People in the United States are soo stuu-pid sometimes. They have something, the best candidate rright in frront of them, and they don’t choose it. The US is sooo stuu-pid!


12 thoughts on “Direction Home: Hillary’s ConCall And My Cabbie

  1. I dont care what people think of me. I will never forget. I will be voting for John McCain in the Fall and if that makes me bitter or a sore loser well I dont care.
    Hillary was the only reason I got involve in politics. Now iam going to send the DNC, the media, and BO a message.

  2. I’ve been street fighting with Obamalytes over at No Quarter, CBS and the Nation for the last 24 hours.

    So it’s nice to come over here and have a nice calm albeit disconcerting voyeuristic night out with Lady Boomer.

    I love that cab driver. That was a sweet ride.

    I tussled with a pretend Hillary supporter this morning who ragged me up and down for not “doing as Hillary asks” and supporting Obama. It can be maddening – pushing back on somebody who uses Hillary’s own words to…FRY MY BRAIN!

    Whenever the fur really starts to fly, the Discovery Channel swimming coach keeps popping into my head, whispering in my ear —

    “When you’re caught in a rip tide, don’t try to swim against it – it’ll exhaust you and you’ll drown. Don’t swim with it, you’ll be carried out to sea and you’ll drown. Do the opposite of what your head tells you to do – keep swimming with all you’ve got – to the right – or you’ll drown.

    (Or is it to the left?) See what I mean? This all feels so damned unnatural.

    “I don’t care what Hillary says” I blog with conviction. “I can think for myself and I’m going to vote for John McCain. He’ll be a one-term lame-duck President and leave an opening for Hillary in 2012. Maybe the threat will even change the super delegates’ vote in Denver. It’s a good strategy. It’s okay.”

    That’s when MSNBC’s leg-quivering Chris Matthews whispers in my ear. “He’s a REPUBLICAN.”


    I know – I can’t believe it myself.

    Hold on. Am I muttering to myself again?

    So I turn off the insanity, leave the blogs and check my email hoping a friend wants to talk about something not politics.

    Nevermind! There’s an email from Hillary. “Something I Want to Say” she writes.

    “OMG! Please don’t ask me to support Obama. Not to my face. Not here in my own private room in my own private email.”

    It’s a video.

    She thanks us for working so hard, sticking with her, giving her money we don’t have to give and talks about the glass ceiling not broken but almost. She asks us to join her in the next chapter of her fight for the country.

    She doesn’t say what that is. GREAT!

    She says she’ll be campaigning for Obama but she doesn’t say I have to. GREAT!

    Wait a minute…

    I play the video again. For some odd reason, I picture Bill tied to a chair just off camera, muzzled, squirming, red in the face with frustration.

    (I wondered where he was.)

    Does Hillary look a little dazed? She’s smiling but isn’t there a little lapse between the smile and the words that go with it?


    I knew it! I just knew it!

    This is going to be a blog hot summer.

  3. Linda A1, Despite all, I see your humor is still intact! Keep going through Denver. Lobby SDs and delegates!

  4. l am soooooo ready for a third major party…a centrist party that runs vetted, centrist candidates…l’m sick of both the gop and the dnc…they corrupt the vote with their right/left absolitist power(both parties tend to run their fringiest candidates…it’s just too much that they did in a year when they had a perfectly good candidate in hillary…still don’t understand why they were so bent on dumping the clintons….l can see hanging in till denver…don’t realy think it will do any good…so upset with hillary for staying loyal to her abusers..and letting herself be trotted out for same…obscene…still, l don’t know what would happen to her senate seat if she broke with the dnc…just hope she does the absolute minimum…then l want to work for a centrist major third party able to win in 2012…and then let them have to come to us to get anything done!

  5. Hillary can’t fight for the nomination, and there’s no way the DNC will dump Obama.

    The political repercussions of dumping Obama, the first AA nominee of the Dem. party, at the convention would be gruesome. And it would hurt Hillary as much as it would hurt the Dem. Party.

    (I can remember the disaster it was for McGovern when his VP candidate, Eagleton, had to drop out.)

    The sad truth is that in Nov. we will be faced with the worst choices since Humphrey vs. Nixon.

    I won’t be voting for Obama or McCain – unless I have to vote for the latter to keep Obama out of the office.

    Between a do-nothing Dem. in the White House, and a Rep. President who will (I hope) have to deal with a Dem. Congress, I figure we will be better off with the latter.

    Besides, both the media and the Democratic Party need to be taught a lesson more than we need an incompetent Dem. who has a massive ego.

  6. Nancy Maxwell, yab, Linda A1, Aidyn – Keep going, don’t get discouraged. Hillary is a politician — a good one — that’s what they do. There are conservatives that once railed against her that have since seen the error of their ways and she’s reconciled with them.

    This week, stay tuned for new and improved ways to take action. Stay active, it’s much less depressing. We will have our Democracy!

  7. I was a MoveOn member until I got their email about endorsing a candidate. IIRC The email said that their members had voted and decided to vote to endorse a candidate. I quit MoveOn then. I told them what I thought was wrong with the whole idea.I told them what I thought was wrong with endorsing Obama after their vote. If there was a vote. What’s odd is I don’t remember any members vote on whether MoveOn should endorse a candidate.Does anyone rember that? I’m beginning to think that vote was just as gamed as the DNC rules. And I use to like MoveOn. And the flying toasters in their previous life. My political world has turned into an angry robot mob.

  8. Ladyboomer,
    Your story about the Cabbie and the Yuppie illustrates the split we’ve all seen around us – I’ve had many cabbies like yours – some are African, or Pakistani or Middle Eastern and they’re big enough, smart enough and savvy enough to find their way through the thicket of propaganda and draw the same conclusion: Hillary is (was) the most qualified candidate in the race and Obama is not.
    Had a brush with my own ‘white male’ (my brother) this weekend – his strategy when politics came up over lunch was to laugh off the DNCs vote grab…he took as much pleasure in Obama’s nom win as he does when the Great One (Tiger Woods) pulls off a win on the 18th green. My bro has never been a dyed in the wool Dem as I’ve been over the years – I think he voted for Reagan – so pesky ideals don’t get in the way. Needless, I reacted emotionally to his prodding – something he’d do just bec. I’m his sister. And, wished I could channel The Great One’s (Hillary’s) own spine of steel that we were priveleged to witness time and again these last 17 months. (I’m making it a Thing To Do: Write talking points on hand for skewering brother over dinner; do NOT lost temper.)
    We’re left pondering these improbable splits amongst our once taken for granted fellow Dems. It’s time for a new party. I still don’t know how we do that but I hear Lou Dobbs bought 300 acres in Jersey – in a corner of the land I know well. I just might pop in for coffee and have a sit down with the dear boy.
    (Oh, BO pulled the faux presidential seal logo yesterday. Said it was only meant to be used once. But it will live on infamy. Score one for Us – a thousand more to go!)

  9. Hi, I just got this link to an article by Donna Brazile in 2004-Guess what she was already pushing Obama:

    “This is a new moment to identify and recruit better messengers. Perhaps it’s time to tap into the “Obama” factor: Scour statehouses for young, energetic, inspiring, and emerging leaders with the ability to connect the head and heart. ”

    IMO Hillary will not be able to push Denver because people like Brazile are continually menacing BLOOD on the STREETS.
    The whole thing is so unifying, so much a shared vision, so “Post-Racial”… snark

  10. Sasha,, to my knowledge, just sent out the vote email, they didn’t have a members’ vote to propose a vote.

    Claudia, thanks for your comments. Politics and family — eesh — can be difficult if people aren’t in agreement in the first place.

    Laurie, thanks for link as to Brazile’s intent – Aidyn sent one in, too, thanks Aidyn. It’s been floating around. Where were we all? I guess we were caught off guard. Obviously not aware of what was a-brewing in “Our Party” and the nastiness they’d use to disenfranchise their own.

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