The Ascent of a Woman

August 27, 2008

Everybody's buzzing today about Senator Hillary Clinton's historic speech last night on the stage of the Democratic National Convention.  How ironic it was that the woman who put "18 million cracks" in the U.S. presidential glass ceiling gave her concession speech to the nation on the 88th anniversary of American women finally winning the right to vote. 

 It was a bittersweet moment for me.  Bitter because I committed to Senator Clinton years ago and still feel that she was the most qualified candidate in the race.  I also believe she would have been an outstanding president at a time when the Unites States is battered and bruised -- at home and abroad -- and standing at a critical crossroads. 

The sweet part was in watching one of the most accomplished and impressive women of our times ascend to an even higher level of leadership.  After coming within a whisper of becoming the first woman in history to earn a major party's presidential nomination,  what did it take for her to swallow her own ambitions, walk on that stage and rally a standing room only crowd to giddy heights around a theme of party unity?  In my mind, Senator Clinton never looked more presidential.  Never were her strengths as a leader more clear.  

If you didn't catch her speech, you should.Here's a link: 

I can only imagine the reasons behind Senator Obama's decision to pass over a leader and winning candidate of her caliber for the vice presential slot on his ticket.  Was it because she had give him the political scare of his life?  Was it because he believes that electing the first African American as president is enough of a stretch for Americans and that we just "arent' ready" for both an African American and a woman to lead our nation?  Why doesn't matter anymore.  That's water under the bridge. 

But I believe America and Americans are capable of anything we put our mind to.  And I have a feeling momentum is building for opening our minds in new ways.  That can only be a good sign.  And regardless of our inidividual politics or preferences, there is no question that the historic campaigns of both Senators Clinton and Obama have already dramatically expanded our national vision of what a leader looks like.  At a time when our country is becoming more culturally diverse by the second that is a histroic breakthough in itself.  And it bodes well for our ability to see talent and leadership in every human being, regardless of the package it comes in. 


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