Still Smarting

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign ended back in June, but the voters who "put eighteen million cracks" in a very high glass ceiling are still hurt, and still angry that it isn't Sen. Clinton accepting the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday night. Below is just one of them...

Sen. Clinton has said in no uncertain terms that she does not support that message — but I have to wonder what she thinks when she sees it. The primary battle was long, bitterly fought, and even people who supported Sen. Obama may have felt that it was, in the end, very unsatisfying. Gail Sheehy — one of our keenest cultural observers — covered Sen. Clinton's campaign, and her insider's view in this month's Vanity Fair gives more flesh to the limited portrait of Hillary painted by the media (yep, that's us, too). On the eve of Hillary's big moment at the DNC, it's hard not to wonder who she is now, after the bruising experience of the primary that continues to haunt the convention. Who better to ask than Sheehy herself? Comments welcome.

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i THINK SHEEHEY'S REMARK ABOUT HILARY NOT BEING ABLE TO "MANAGE" HER HUSBAND WAS TOTALLY OBLIQUE AND DOWNRIGHT CATTY. i HAVE LOST MUCH RESPECT FOR HER WITH THAT REMARK. I'M NOT A HILARY SUPPORTOR BUT I SIMPLY ABHOR WOMEN BASHING WOMEN IN ANY FORM.

Sent by MARILYN BUEHLER | 3:46 PM | 8-26-2008

I find Sheehy's comment that Hillary is a bad manager, evidenced by the fact that she failed to "manage her husband," deeply offensive and misogynistic. I'm not a Hillary supporter, but I'm disgusted by the use of sexist stereotypes to cut her down. Grow up and judge this highly successful and intellignet politician on her own merits, not her husband's indiscretions.

Sent by Lisa Franzetta | 3:46 PM | 8-26-2008

taking a leap...I will not put much into Sheehy no matter how famous or respected she is after hearing her say "managing her husband" at the beginning of the broadcast. In my mind this gives away inner opinion...if I am wrong so be it...hardly anyone admits things like this to the masses.

Sent by Rich Fuglewicz | 3:51 PM | 8-26-2008

I am relieved that I chose not to support Hillary it seems to me that someone being considered for the highest position of leadership in the nation would be a more gracious runner- up! The urgency of this critical juncture demands unity above all else.

Sent by Michael Livingston | 3:56 PM | 8-26-2008

Read Joshua Green's article in the Sept edition of the Atlantic Monthly. He offers a scathing view of the mismanagement of the campaign, based on insider documents.

Sent by Bill Reynolds | 3:57 PM | 8-26-2008

Unfortunately, the most significant thing I will remember about Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign will be, "SHAME ON YOU BARACK OBAMA, SHAME ON YOU!" She came off as an angry nag!! This did not bode well, and I look forward to Clinton making strides to improve her political image. The Democratic Party needs her to sincerely support Senator Obama, and put her best foot forward. The presidency is on the line.

Sent by Charlene Mize | 3:57 PM | 8-26-2008

Didn't we have this same conflict over 125 years ago befoe sufferage whhen there was this famous exchange between Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass about who would get the right to vote first? It caused a rift between blacks and women then, and now there's this same rift. Who gets to be first? Who cares?? I wish everybody would keep their eye on the prize!

Sent by Iris M. Gross | 4:00 PM | 8-26-2008

I agree, that woman is nuts...yea bill owed her, but he was doing everything he could to get his woman elected. And I really don't think having him be outspoken had anything to do with Hillary not being able to "manage" him or control him. They had good cop/bad cop going on. Trying to deflect the negative and put it on him instead of her. And who knows maybe they had a "marriage arrangement"...like many political relationships.

Sent by Tina | 4:02 PM | 8-26-2008

This reminds me of what turned me off about Michelle Obama last night. Not only last night but in the past she has held herself up as being a better mother and wife than the rest of us and Hillary because she is home every night. A lot of women would like to have this advantage, but because they can't it does not make them less of a mother or a wife.

Sent by Pennie Foster | 4:07 PM | 8-26-2008

Last night we saw Senator Ted Kennedy address the Convention. Here was a man who lost a Presidential nomination, who was linked to the death of a young intern, who was known to ne quite a drinker. But, here was a man who overcame all of those things and created a place for himself that has made him a legend in the Senate.

Senator can do the same thing. But first, she has got to get her knickers "unbunched" and recognize that there is a big wide world of opprotunity available to her in the Senate. As a Senator she can serve for many years. As President she has a maximum of 8 years (and maybe only 4).

My advice to Hillary is dump Bill (he's a major liability) and get on with the business of representing your employer, We The People.

Sent by Tom | 4:09 PM | 8-26-2008

I am not a fan of Ms. Sheehy. Ever since she settled the lawsuit by Roger Gould, Ms Sheey has been suspect to me.
Her comments this afternoon seemed as trifling as her books are.

Sent by Ted Michael Morgan | 4:19 PM | 8-26-2008

FYI, my name is pronounced Ah like saw/nuh. Suppose Hillary had won the nomination and Blacks opted not to vote for her for the same reasons her supporters are claiming now. Then Blacks demanded that even though Hillary won the delegates needed to secure the nomination, we insisted Barack's name still be acknowledged at the roll call. All hell would break loose. Some Hillary supporters have not only a grudge, but a huge sense of entitlement chip on their shoulders.

Sent by Ahna Neely | 4:34 PM | 8-26-2008

Maybe more important than being a "good loser" is being a good winner. After being strong armed at my district and state conventions to support Obama, and receiving phone calls saying I must be a Republican if I don't promise to vote for him (and send him money); I've come to the conclusion Obama needs to blame his own supporters for any lack of support from Clinton delegates. I will not vote for someone because I am ordered to, and Iwill not be guilted into it.
I'm voting for Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party.

Sent by Susan H. | 4:43 PM | 8-26-2008

I was a Clinton supporter up until the primary took two important turns. First, the Clinton campaign began to reveal aspects of Hillary Clinton's character that confirmed some of the worst public perceptions about her. She backtracked on illegal alien drivers' licenses in mid-answer in the debate. She told the story about dodging bullets in Bosnia. Florida and Michigan didn't count until they suited her purposes, then suddenly every vote had to be counted. In her Christmas message, she had all of her policy "presents" under the tree and only she could dispense them as "gifts" to a grateful public. Her "35 years' experience" working for regular people is largely a fiction. People in politics routinely inflate their resumes, so I didn't care, until she actually tied her "experience" to that of McCain in an ad, to use against Obama. At that point I started to look at - and listen to - Obama seriously and think, 'Hey what if we actually could throw out all the tactics and red-blue spin and stop fighting the last war?' McCain isn't making it easy, but Hillary was hardly a victim of press sexism or an attack machine. No one takes cable news seriously. She has herself, Bill and Mark Penn to blame.

Sent by Niels Erich | 6:56 PM | 8-26-2008

My, my, aren't we scathing today! Hey, for what it's worth I think you're firing on all eight cylinders Gail! Okay so maybe eight cylinders is no longer politically correct, it just sounds meatier than "pump'n out the amps in my hybrid..."

True story.

Called mom today to wish her a happy 88th and the first thing she gets on about:

"What's with these Clinton yahoos?!"

"Gosh mom, I'm really not sure, maybe unhappy in love, didn't get enough fiber (we chuckle), I don't know. Can we talk about something else?"

"No! I've been around a long time...1920 son and you are still my boy!"

"How could I forget" (said that to myself)

"If your father was the first person to be so stupid to be narrowly impeached over a soiled dress I would have managed him right out my life!"

"Hummm...you may be on to something there mom, sounds a little harsh though."

"Damn right, power is a beast unto itself and you have to show it respect, don't forget that. Always said if you don't know what end of the horse you staring at then maybe it's time to step out of the way." (At this point I'm picturing the options)

"I think I remember something about that..."

"Imagine it...waking up the next morning to McCain's face and being proud of the fact you had a hand in putting him there...because you were angry?? Wouldn't that be a nightmare! I'm worried. He looks too old..."

"I know mom"

"I know you do. I've got to pee...talk with you later"

(we chuckle again)

Sent by George Gekas | 7:15 PM | 8-26-2008

The speech that Sen. Clinton gave at the convention last night was powerful and moving. It would have been perfect if she had been accepting the party's nomination. My concern is that, while endorsing Sen. Obama and urging her followers to support him, she did not talk about any of his qualities that will make him a great leader of our country. That is what the country needs to hear.

Sent by Susan Smith | 1:46 PM | 8-27-2008

BEING A MOTHER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB THERE IS INCLUDING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, LADIES PLEASE DON'T FORGET THAT!

Sent by Rudy Martinez | 3:31 PM | 8-27-2008

When the stakes and passions run high, it seems that even the best and brightest delegates are prone to faulty thinking. It would be a tragedy for Democrats to shoot themselves in the foot because they don't have their heads screwed on right.

It is simply wrong headed to consider the Obama nomination a defeat for Hillary Clinton. In a primary contest, we choose a candidate, not a "winner over a looser." Both Barack and Hillary are winners. Both are brilliant politicians and leaders. Both are worthy of the presidency of the United States.

So what do Hillary Clinton's supporters do with their pain and anger? "Just get over it" is wrong-headed counsel. The gift of deep pain and anger is the clue they give to the presence of underlying losses and injustices--the ache of seeing America devolve into a second-class nation and the frustration of seeing sacred values ignored and golden opportunities squandered for the last eight years.

We don't just "get over" pain and anger. We have the option of capturing the energy and using it constructively. Paralysis or defiance that leads to sitting out the campaign ahead or voting for the other party's candidate feed the wrong-headed monster that would keep us from fixing what's broken and righting what's wrong.

Hillary Clinton becomes a loser only if her supporters ignore the losses and injustices that plague and harm our nation. America will be the real winner if they lead a unified movement of passionate supporters in electing a Democratic president this fall.

Sent by David Dunn | 3:32 PM | 8-27-2008

Why is there an automatic expectation that I should vote for Obama because I supported Hillary? Perhaps I do not believe he has the experience. I do believe there are still unanswered questionable relationships he has had in the past. I do not support him because I do not believe he is the best person for the job. It's that simple for a lot of us.

Sent by Barby | 3:55 PM | 8-27-2008

I think Hillary reacted to losing the political competition by acting bitterly and clinging to her delegates.

Luckily, the two hundred million she made with her husband over the last eight years will keep her from being bitter about the economy and clinging to her faith.

Even luckier, she does not have to feel the mental recession that leaves the bitter taste in the rest of our mouths.

Sent by Christopher M. Brown | 9:57 PM | 8-27-2008