So my Aunt Molly called last night after the results were in — we follow politics together, and we’d had a long talk last weekend when I called to thank her for the box of funny lovely old family pieces she’d sent me for Christmas (several years ago, she got my grandmother to start sending us things now, rather than waiting until after she dies). So anyhow, Molly and I have both been very excited about Obama, but she was a little cranky at both Obama and Edwards for their behavior at the debates last week. Smug, she said. They were just so smug. “They reminded me of those kids right out of school who come into my classroom and want to tell me how to teach,” said my Aunt Molly. “I’ve been doing this 35 years. Don’t think that just because you took a couple of classes …” I think there were a lot of women out there who saw the same thing.
And then Hillary’s facade cracked open just a little bit last week. Every woman I know has had that moment. You’re working so hard. You’re doing everything you can — at work, at home, at school — you might have kids or older parents you’re taking care of, or both — you feel like you’ve been stretched out as far as you can go and yet, you just keep going. And you’re fine until someone genuinely asks, until some kind person looks at you and says, “No, really — how are you?” And you realize how tired you are, and how you’re beginning to worry that you might not be able to pull it off after all, and you kind of crack a little.
I’m still not crazy about Hillary as the nominee, but there was something unpleasantly gleeful in the cries of the media pack, the braying that if she didn’t do well in New Hampshire she was done for. I’m not ready for the race to be over. I want a race. And I certainly don’t want to send someone who has done as much as Hillary has home after the first true primary. I’m not crazy about her as the nominee or as the president — but I sure do want her to prove that a woman is a viable candidate.
There was a woman on NPR this morning, who related that her own daughter, who supports Obama had called her yesterday. The daughter reminded her that when she’d come home from college and had told her mom that she “wasn’t a feminist” her mother had told her that she was being ungrateful. I think a lot of women voted with their gratitude yesterday. I think a lot of us might still have doubts, but we’re far from ready to send Hillary Clinton home.