3.31.2011

The right place at the right time

“I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And, doggone it, people like me.”

That mantra was the title of Al Franken’s first book. It became a favorite saying of David Letterman. Al Gore even read it on The Late Show as one of the “Top 10 Rejected Al Gore-Joe Lieberman Campaign Slogans.”

According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released today, that oft-repeated slogan could apply to a woman I admire and respect:

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorable rating from Americans is now 66%, up from 61% in July 2010 and just one percentage point below her all-time high from December 1998. She continues to get higher ratings than Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and she scores better with women than men, 72% vs. 59%.”

Hillary has topped Gallup’s end-of-the-year “Most Admired Woman” list 13 years since 1999 and has won that distinction for the last nine consecutive years.

I mention this for two reason:

First, a blogging buddy who keeps abreast of the liberal-progressive blogging world assures me that Hillary supporters are a strong element of the Obama-bashing coming from the hard left. (The left has done its share of Hillary-bashing as well.)

Second, since I supported Hillary for president, did not hesitate to vote for Barack Obama and do not now find myself part of the bashing, I’ve thought a lot about this capable – and popular - woman over the last few days.

We live in a time of amazing communications technology where news and opinion can be flashed around the globe as it happens. The world stage, tumultuous with natural disasters and civil unrest, is at our fingertips. Perhaps never before in the history of the world has reasoned diplomacy been so important.

In her memoir “Living History,” Mrs. Clinton recalls meetings with leaders around the world. With great courage and tact, the former first lady spoke out for women’s and children’s rights in countries where they do not exist.

Many across the U.S. Senate aisle found her likeable and said so. During her presidential campaign she charmed her archrival, Richard Mellon Scaife, into endorsing her. Diplomacy seems to be her long suit.

For these reasons, I have concluded that Hillary is exactly where she needs to be. And, President Obama is pretty damn smart to know it. Reading Obama’s address to the nation on Libya convinces me that this leadership combination is in the right place at the right time.

Carl Bernstein wrote in “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton” (2007):

“Hillary is neither the demon of the right’s perception, nor a feminist saint. Here is a story of strength and vulnerability, a woman’s story. She is an intelligent woman endowed with energy, enthusiasm, humor, tempestuousness, inner strength, spontaneity in private, lethal (almost) powers of retribution, real-life lines that come from deep wounds, and the language skills of a sailor and of a minister, all evidence of her passion—which, deep down, is perhaps her most enduring and even endearing trait.”

God forbid if her legacy includes disrespect for the American president.

Sixty-eight years of life experiences have taught me there are people who love to hate. These people, whether on the left or the right, can, in blogosphere terms, “piss and moan” all they like. I am content that our country is in the very best of hands.

Best to stop all the bitching and make sure it stays that way.

7 comments:

Lynn said...

It's always interesting to read your insightful thoughts, BJ.
Lynn

tnlib said...

"These people, whether on the left or the right, can, in blogosphere terms, “piss and moan” all they like. I am content that our country is in the very best of hands."

Couldn't agree more.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I've always respected Hillary's intellect. She would have made a great president. And Barack Obama is turning out to be the right man at the right time, IMHO.

Too bad they were competing at the same time.

When one compares the leaders the Dems have vs. the Repubs. one realizes the how lopsided it is.

Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin?

A stateswoman vs. a high school cheerleader.

LOL!

tnlib said...

I agree, Shaw. I didn't support her but would have done so very willingly had she been nominated. I was even hoping Obama would select her for his running mate, but as it's turned out I think she's the best person for her job as Secretary of State. And I've always liked Biden and am just as happy with him as VP.

She's enormously smart and dedicated, and somehow I don't think she'd support the hard-left hard asses whether or not they supported her in 2008.

Tiny said...

Tiny always thought Hillary as president and Obama as VP would give the dems 16 years to clean up the mess of the previous occupant of the White House. Bill Clinton would have been good as Secretary of State also.

But it is what it is and Tiny thinks both Pres.Obama ans SOS Clinton are doing excellent in their job performances.

Hopefully a bunch of Tea Partiers will be recalled come election time and Americans' hope will be restored and more citizens will get involved in working toward the greatest good for the greatest number of people in this great country.

Without a vision the people perish. Hopefully more people are beginning to vision working together instead of against each other. Time will tell.

Octopus said...

BJ: I am content that our country is in the very best of hands.

And I believe when historians assess this presidency, they will come to the same conclusion.

What disappoints our compatriots is a perceived lack of feistiness in the face of relentless partisanship from the far right, and some believe Hillary would have been more effective in defending our core values. I don't see much profit in arguing over hypotheticals and shoulda-coulda-oughta scenarios.

What Obama brings to the presidency is a style that is under appreciated and very much needed. As toxic as our current political environment has become, can you imagine what our public life would like if the irresistible force meets the immovable object?

Contrast the deliberative and patient approach of the Obama presidency with the belligerent and in-your-face style of GWB. Hopefully, folks will start noticing.

Nance said...

What Shaw said. But, oh, I would love to hear that debate. Tiny's line-up ain't bad, either.

My only consistent and unrequited plea to the President: Talk sooner, give us the benefit of your thinking earlier, talk to us directly like you trust us and, perhaps, more of us will. While the rest of them play politics, look straight at the camera and speak to us.