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Tuesday night ramblings

As per Scrubs57, I have to do penance for my absence, so here goes:

Continue reading


Beyond politics: learning from Hillary Rodham Clinton

(crossposted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri)

Yes, I would feel better about the country and the world were Hillary Rodham Clinton about to be inaugurated our next President. Millions of primary voters shared my view. Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that President-elect Obama lives up to the highest hopes of his wisest supporters. Something larger even than the Presidency of the United States is at stake though, when one considers Hillary Rodham Clinton. What is at stake is the question of how to live a life.

I have learned from watching Senator Clinton pursue her career.  I have learned that she processes what might be a permanent setback for a different sort of person, and then looks at the options available to her, picks one, and puts her talent to work for her as she retrains her focus. Some of being able to do that is just having the temperament to keep on keeping on – but we can all work to be that kind of person. And we can look to Senator Clinton as an example of just what one person can accomplish when she does. Because I am a student of the Nixon years, I followed Senator Clinton’s career before she moved to Washington D.C. I knew of her post-law school involvement in the effort to prosecute Richard Nixon. I know that whatever Senator Clinton expected of herself or foresaw when she addressed her classmates at Wellesley or when she graduated from Yale Law School, most of what has happened in her life and career could not have been within her scope of vision at those junctures. Moving to Arkansas? Improving the schools for millions of Arkansans children?  Moving into the White House? Putting the idea of universal health care at the heart of public, political discourse? Addressing personal difficulties in the glare of the harshest public spotlight? Becoming a U.S. Senator? Winning more votes in a primary season than any other Democratic Presidential contender, yet having to deal with a party power structure that refused to even permit an open and honest convention roll call vote? Campaigning in the general election harder for a rival than any other politician has ever done? Choosing to give up the relative safety of her Senate seat to accept, if confirmed, the position of Secretary of State in that rival’s administration?

Most people’s lives turn out to include twists and turns that they could not have foreseen in their early twenties. But most people’s lives are not, for better or worse, lived out as publicly as Senator Clinton’s has been. And because her life has been so public it is easy to focus on a particular triumph or a particular setback. Today, as I listened to the confirmation hearings regarding the Secretary of State appointment, I realized that Senator Clinton’s life is one that supersedes politics. Whether you agree with her political positions or you do not, you can observe her powers of concentration, her tenacity, her buoyancy, her steadiness. These excellences see a person through the unforeseen circumstances, bad or good. Because Senator Clinton is public servant, we, her countrywomen and countrymen, will derive instrumental benefits from her competence. More importantly, though, because Senator Clinton is a public figure, we, her fellow members of humanity, can look to her life and the dignity and wisdom with which she conducts it. From Hillary Rodham Clinton, we can learn how to tackle the unforeseen in our own lives. That is a legacy that transcends politics. It is the legacy of true leader.

Senate Confirmation Hearing Wrap-up

The best and brightest

"Smart Power"

The last thread is full, keep going here

Senate Confirmation Hearing Live Blog III

This is what a leader looks like

This is what a leader looks like

Afternoon session – Hillary shows America what they could have had.

If you’re watching the hearings on television, post the play-by-play for those Conflucians who can’t watch.

Hillary Clinton’s Senate Confirmation Hearing Opening Statement


CLINTON: Thank you, Senator Schumer, for your generous introduction, and even more for your support and our partnership over so many years. You are a valued and trusted colleague, a friend, and a tribute to the people of New York whom you have served with such distinction throughout your career.

Mr. Chairman, I offer my congratulations as you take on this new role. You certainly have traveled quite a distance from that day in 1971 when you testified here as a young Vietnam veteran. You have never faltered in your care and concern for our nation, its foreign policy or its future, and America is in good hands with you leading this committee.

Continue reading

Senate Confirmation Hearing Live Blog II

The last thread was getting full.

If you’re watching the hearings on television, post the play-by-play for those Conflucians who can’t watch

(NOTE:  Use “Hillary” not “HRC” cuz Spammy reacts to her initials)

Senate Confirmation Hearing Live Blog

If you’re watching the hearings on television, post the play-by-play for those Conflucians who can’t watch

(NOTE:  Use “Hillary” not “HRC” cuz Spammy reacts to her initials)