January wastes no time. It’s 2012, the Republican Primary season is underway, The Obamas by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor is on the book shelves and ready for pirating on the Internet, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s purported plans post Presidential election are finally being taken seriously enough that the “high wire of American politics” has coined itself in a matter of days. This marks an unusual situation where the public is actually missing a sitting government official before they are gone.
At a town hall meeting last Thursday, State Department officials reckoned with the very real idea that Clinton would not only leave her post as the department executive in the case that President Barack Obama is re-elected, but retire from the political arena altogether and indirectly squash the hopes of some Brooklynite who has been drawing up a Obama-Clinton dream team comic serial to pitch to Marvel.
Regardless of the semi-officialness with which her impending departure was made, Clinton had expressed for years that she would like to take a break from the public scrutiny and tremendous responsibility that comes with the power invested in her numerous positions in government, none of which she treated with anything less than the utmost respect and weighted understanding, filling them with passion and pragmatism.
But people don’t seem to give a shit about what is going on until they fake the epiphany that something might be detrimental to the little lives they continue to lease from a government they are willing to blame for everything they are unwilling to account for themselves. But they know now, so…
Despite the great body of work she has accomplished in her political career, I am quite sure that this “new development” will incite a great deal of whining, grandiose disappointment, and insinuations of irresponsibility with the rationale that she is lifting herself out of a world at a time that we need her the most. Or at least want her; as of the end of 2011, Clinton’s approval ratings were substantially higher than that of the president, maintaining a percentage in the mid to high 60s.
By no means has Clinton been immune to disapproval. Any mode of policy is vulnerable, especially a politician, who is a person and can be scrutinized for what they are. However, Clinton has gotten to the interesting point in her career where she has smoothed out the rifts between her supporters and opponents, and picked out the fence-sitters who fell in-between.
Not only has she done enough recognizable work to cancel out criticisms (which largely have to do with her ostensibly staunch character unbecoming a woman, because who reads policy, anyways…amirite?), but the resilience demonstrated by overcoming certain adversities gives the public then all the more reason to like her.
When she was in college, she got fired from a job when she complained about unhealthy working conditions. She was the only First Lady to ever have been subpoenaed on her own behalf, and would stand by her husband with genuine support and astounding grace in an unnecessary public debacle that put the personal life of the presidency on display, the stem of it embarrassing in and of itself. She also attempted to initiate the huge baby that was the “Clinton Health Care Plan,” and failed without apology.
If not for the meat of her politics, Clinton garners tremendous respect. The same day of the town hall meeting, 53-year-old rapper, actor, and new director of a feature documentary Ice-T expressed confidence that Clinton will be the first woman President, after Obama is re-elected to his second term. “She did the Secretary of State job, she was a G, she held it down, [and] she didn’t cry.”
The almost in-your-face obviousness a VP bid seems to have for Clinton is a let down in light of what could very well be a coy political ploy, if we were so lucky. Hillary is an icon, recognized by many as a pinnacle example of an experienced, seasoned Democrat with an array of dimensions that cannot be separated from her character. Her name on the ticket might guarantee maintenance of Democratic control in Washington.
By default, I am afforded the position to regard the American condition with reproach. I’m not white, Christian, male, or of the Upper/Upper Middle class. I graduated college at the wrong time and am irrevocably versed in the single-serving lifestyle of the opiate Internet and desperate distraction.
However, as a way of self-preservation, I myself am a moderate and I can’t complain much about the government so much as politics itself. My ass hurts from sitting on the fence looking over it all because I want to see it all as a compromise to specificity. I can’t hope for much that is beyond the reach of my lifetime, and in 2008 I knew that we would sooner see a non-White president than a woman president, and might sooner see a male president of every race before a woman of any.
Yet, I still root for her. Little girls and boys dream of being President Of The United States in equal numbers before the world happens to them, and for the mere social strides a woman president would make, I would not find that vote a waste on whimsy.
Most importantly, how profound it would be that the first female Commander in Chief be a Ms. President Hillary Clinton, a person with the resume and the instinct to defiantly excel in a position that every man who has held it has tried to not fail at themselves.
She’s a G, man.