Copyright © 2006 Henrietta W. Hay
September 8, 2006
Way back on March 29, 1993 I wrote in my Sentinel column, "Somebody asked me the other day what I think of Hillary. That's easy. I think Hillary Rodham Clinton is a national treasure, and that she is opening a door for all future first ladies and for all women."
You have to admit that I am consistent. For my 90th birthday party in 2004 my friends wangled an autographed picture of her and a personal letter, both of which are hanging in a place of honor today.
Hillary Rodham Clinton: the name that, in 2006, probably creates more emotion than nearly any other name in America. People love her or hate her. There doesn't seem to be very much in between. But her name is in the pot for president in 2008.
So why do so many people dislike her? Most of the comments I hear are about her marriage, because her husband cheated on her and she stayed married to him. That is scarcely a rarity in this country.
But whatever her reasons for doing so they are none of our business.
After all, she is in a one man, one woman legal marriage, which should satisfy the right wing. Other complaints include, "she is uppity and bossy." They hated Bill, so hate her by association. They say she would let him run the country. Now there is a sexist joke for you.
Oh yes, she is female.
Some Democrats worry that Hillary has become "Centrist." If that means she will listen to the opinions of others, learn from experience and still maintain her basic liberal ideals, yes, she is probably somewhat Centrist.
Whatever they say, she is now a United States Senator, very highly respected there. But now comes the tricky part. Where does she go next? Does she continue a growing career in the Senate where she might well become Majority Leader? She is a shoo-in for re-election from New York where she is very popular. Or does she make the big jump and run for the Presidency?
This involves several issues, and I mean political issues, not theological issues. Electing the first woman president will be difficult, no matter who she will be. And the election of 2008 will be a pivotal one. It is vital for the Democrats to elect the president, someone strong enough and smart enough to put this country back together again after eight years of the Bush administration.
Could Hillary win? I don't know, but it's time for a woman president.
With Hillary, American women are approaching true political equality with men. Here is a woman with the necessary character, intelligence, and experience to be President of the United States. She represents us all whatever she chooses to do.
Certainly we don't know what is in her mind now. But her behavior as a first lady and as a Senator has been dignified and caring. She is intelligent, well educated, willing to take on hard jobs. She is said to have a good sense of humor, which she will need in either choice.
If I couldIf I could have lunch with any public figure, I'd like to sit down with Hillary. We would talk up a storm.