Jan 15 2008
Tonight I went to hear Bill Clinton at my college. It was a rally for Hillary Clinton that was organized, apparently, in less than 24 hours; nonetheless, there were at least 6000 people there (the news says 10,000, with 3,500 turned away), a thick line of people wrapped all the way around the football field. We waited for two hours in chill wind, but the only reason I got in at all was a friend of a friend who had already been waiting in line for an hour or so. (Social networking works; I got invited — and indeed, only heard about it — through Facebook).
He gave a superb speech, as usual, and reminded us all how a man can command an audience, reminded us all how to believe that politicians can be capable. He talked of energy funding and tuition loans and his wife as a younger woman, and was calm and folksy, the way you might remember; the way much of the audience certainly does not, as a freshman enrolled now would have only been two when he was first elected. Has so much time passed?
I like Clinton, I always have. Much of it is probably native patriotism; he is from my home state, and that was something, fifteen years ago when he was elected and the state was poorer, even less respectable. And I realized tonight that my warmth towards him is probably a bit subconcious for another reason. He sounds like my father — that is, if my father were prone to making speeches. Their rhythm, cadence when telling a story is the same, those dramatic pauses enlivening the tale of the New York firefighter after 9/11 (Clinton) or the old man down in the holler (my dad). My personal identification with the Clintons has always been strong; their daughter my age, their state mine. That is not a good reason to vote for someone; but it’s not a terrible reason either.
I was planning to vote for Hillary Clinton anyway. I want to see a woman president of this country; I want to see her president. But the rally worked, I guess; because I feel better about it, even glad.
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