The Ups and Downs of Aging
Aging in the Land of Nod

Clinton: Refusing to Leave the Stage

In retrospect, anyone following the Democratic primary campaign for the past five months could have predicted it: Senator Clinton won’t leave the stage even when she has lost the contest. Why would someone who broke the rules, invented six new ways to interpret votes and can’t count exit the stage gracefully when her opponent is awarded the prize?

The only person Crabby Old Lady is more tired of than Senator Clinton is President Bush, but at least, in the waning days of his term, we don’t have to see much of him. Clinton, on the other hand, will not get out of the country’s collective face.

The candidates’ speeches Tuesday night said it all. Senator Obama’s was all about “we.” Senator Clinton’s was all about “me.” “What does Hillary Clinton want?” she asked with her id exposed almost as much as her husband’s when, earlier that day, he – a former president! - crudely referred to a journalist as a “scumbag”.

In addition, after Senator Obama had won the necessary number of delegates Tuesday, Clinton campaign manager Terry McAuliffe had the brass to introduce Senator Clinton as “the next president of the United States,” leaving open the implication that she’s not done yet. And she is not.

Although it took the strong urging of her Congressional supporters (who, it was reported by at least one news source, were contacted by Clinton campaign operatives asking them to intervene with Clinton), late Wednesday, Senator Clinton sent an email to supporters announcing an event in Washington, D.C. on Saturday when she will "suspend" her campaign and pledge her support for Senator Obama.

Senator Clinton has still not used the word "concede," and the suspension, rather than withdrawal, allows her to technically remain a candidate.

In her obstinate refusal to observe what may be the only courtesy left in politics - concession and pledged support immediately following a loss - Senator Clinton has kept the media spotlight on herself, tainting the historic moment of celebrating the first major-party candidacy of an African-American for president. From the first woman candidate to nearly gain the nomination, her behavior is especially contemptible.

Is Crabby Old Lady the only person who has had enough of both Clintons?

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mort Reichek tells another tale of his experiences in India in MEMOIR: Meeting My Boyhood Idol on Chowringhee.]


Hillary could have helped her image if she had delivered a concession speech as magnanimous as the one that Obama delivered that night.

I hope that her slavish followers are able to separate their desire for a woman President (most women want that) from the reality of what having another Republican in the White House will do for their other dreams. The Supreme Court judges outlive many Presidents and it is already tilted so far "right" that one more judge appointed by a Republican will undo decades of good.

It's okay -- she's announced she's stopping on Saturday. Letter here.

Let's see what she does with herself now -- the next few years will be the real test of whether her convictions, her policy passions, were real or just election fluff. She could do a lot of good if she is willing.

No class; no style; no surprise to me. Didn't she learn anything at Wellesley? I know the term "ladylike" is out of style but this is a situation where such behavior is needed.

I love your blog, but I have been profoundly disappointed in your coverage of Clinton, who after all got the primary votes of almost half of the Democrats. Read some Democratic history. Several candidates with far less support took it to the convention without having the same invective heaped upon them. I don't believe her being a women has nothing to do with it.

I hate what has happened to the blogosphere. Digby is just about the only blog I read that hasn't become either a Obama haven or a Clinton haven. We have to go back to respecting each other.

I'm inclined to agree somewhat with Mary Jo in re to Senator Clinton. I think she has show a remarkable resilancy to an obviously biased, mean-spirited press as well as the fall out that surrounds the former president. Going back several months, there was an occasion when Sen. McCain was speaking & an elder woman in the audience (it may be on YouTube)said quite blantantly to McCain: "What do we do about the B***c?" He appeared taken aback, as well he should, but recovered quickly by smiling & remarking in a non-committed way. I was sorely disappointed that after he recovered he didn't put this remark "down". That in itself was enough to write him off as a viable candidate. This incident only serves to emphasize Senator Obama's observation (from his book) that we have become a coarse society. I'd only add that we also lack a certain lack of taste & good manners. Dee

HRC makes plan, sticks to it even when it isn't working. Who does that sound like?

I agree with your feelings totally about both Clintons. I don't trust either one and how does that make me a hater of women.

The reason a lot of people don't want to see her stay on the stage is our desire for change in Washington and a belief that Obama is the one to bring it. The fear is that by Hillary pointing backward at the convention to her and her accomplishments, rah rahing her ego, it will weaken the chances to defeat John McCain in November.

To me Hillary was another George Bush and gender had nothing to do with it. Her statements about questioning everybody wonders what Hillary wants confirmed it if there was doubt. It's a shame that women would vote to cut off their own noses and end up with four more years of an administration that takes away not only the powers of women but all citizens, but I guess that is part of why some have felt women aren't qualified to vote at all. Women could prove that group of archaic naysayers wrong by looking at the issues in the fall, not being caught up in revenge, and voting for the person who will best carry their agenda forward. They could...

I love you

"no class, no style, no surprise to me" "a former president! - crudely referred to a journalist as a “scumbag”."
Archetypes of their generation, the baby boomers, who were originally described as the "me generation", the Clintons have shown their true colors for all to see. Silly Hillary almost had to be dragged off the stage. She finally got off kicking and screaming. What Hillary and her red-neck husband "Slick Willy" wanted was the presidency and if they can't have it they won't let any other democrat have it either. She should be VP for Captain Queeg ( I mean McCain). Now wouldn't that be a fantastically odd couple?

JFK got into only mild throuble when he said, "My dad always told me businessmen were SOB's, and now I believe him."

I was born the day after Trinity (the first atom bomb test) and am a few months too old to be a baby boomer. Still, I am very weary of generalizations about baby boomers and old white women.

Why are so many people assuming women will vote for McCain? Hopefully, most of the American electorate have not been reading blogs over the last 6 months.

I'm with you on this, Crabby. I'm pretty much done with both Clintons at this point - a couple of points ago actually - and I don't think the Vice Presidency would make a lovely parting gift at all.

I'm as sick of her as you are, Ronni, even while I have respected her determination. Up to a point. But I'm even sicker of the women who would vote for a candidate just because that candidate was a woman. I've lost some faith in women with this campaign. What happened to carefully determining one's choice for presidency (or anything else, for that matter) based on merits and policies? I don't give a flying leap whether the candidate is black, white, male, female, or any ethnicity whatsoever. I just want to vote for the person I think is best for the job.

Do those women I mentioned realize they have become just exactly like the men they say they must fight against? those men who would only vote for men?


As I’ve said, I would never vote for her because she supported the attack on Iraq.

But the next reason it will be a relief that she doesn’t get the nomination is that maybe the media will let the whole Bill/Hillary circus slide to the background for a while.

Yes, I’m sick to death of it and her and I don’t even live there in America where I’m pounded with it constantly.

I am not a supporter of HRC for president for several reasons. However I think she has been maligned, swiftboated if you will, because she is a lightening rod for all our fears and hopes about the role of women. So what if she wants to stay on stage? More power to her. We can still cheer Obama without dissing Hillary Clinton. I think.

It really is time to start reaching out to Clinton supporters. Among other things, that means it's time to stop heaping invective on their candidate—no matter what she says or does.

To do otherwise at this point is pretty much to decide that John McCain will be our next President. A divided Democratic Party can't put anyone in the White House.

What's missing from the personal analysis of the candidates is the change in the power structure of the party and of Washington itself. Obama is revolutionary in D.C. as much as Bush was for his party. Obama is taking the control of the party from the Clintons, that's why it is hard for Hillary to let go. She's not just losing the nomination, she's losing her control of the party itself.

It's a sea change for the Democratic party altogether. This isn't about who will be president, but about who controls the entire Democratic party itself. Even with Kerry as the nominee or Gore, the Clintons didn't lose their party power. Now they have, and that is the change Hillary is having difficulty conceding.

Do you remember the nightmare when the ship has already sailed and you are standing at the ticket office still trying to purchase a ticket?

I watched each of the three speeches on the NYT video page. Not only did Mr. Obama say "we" we referring to the up-and-coming election, he mentioned how much he respected Ms. Clinton (for the her contribution to the party and the future success of the party) and Mr. McCain (as an opponent). It was noticeable that neither of the other two candidates were able to show this grandeur. Or, if they did, it was so far into their speech that I got fed up with their political wish wash and turn off their videos.

I am in total agreement with Mary Jo Graves. I, too, have been very disappointed in your coverage of Hillary and was determined to just ignore it all, but enough is enough. In answer to Crabby Old Lady’s question—obviously, millions of people have NOT had enough of the Clintons, myself included!!

I guess since this is Ronni's blog, she entitled to her opinion, whether people agree with it or not. I happen to wholly agree with her.

I'm 49 and have mostly benefited from the older generations of women before me. I grew up dancing and singing the Virginia Slims commercial "You've come a long way baby" watching That Girl and Mary Tyler Moore living their single lives and loving it. I've called myself a feminist since the age of 10.

But, I just don't like Hillary. I certainly would have voted for her if she became the nominee (and wouldn't have pouted making claims to vote for McCain). I fully stood up for her during the sexist "cryingate" episode, but beyond that, I really don't see where the MSM were blatantly sexist in their coverage of her?

Listening to an NPR reporter this morning and to someone on Nightline last night, I can understand a little better how hard it must be to stop this huge campaign machine. Each candidate is in their own little bubble with so many people urging them, PLEADING with them to stay in the race, no matter what. I can see where it would be hard to say enough is enough and not feel like you are letting so many people down. So, I will give her the benefit of the doubt, but truly wish she would look beyond her supporters and really work to unify the party.

I couldn't wait to read your post today. This horse race has left me stunned. Hillary reminds me so much of Tracy Flick - played by Reese Witherspoon in the film "Election" (1999). The sort of arrogance displayed by Mr. Clinton hasn't helped. This must be why we (as in Founding Fathers) opted to leave a country that had a royal family.
My mother and mom's mom went to Wellesley...she would be most distressed at the unlady like behavior displayed as mentioned by Kay. Love your take on the issues. Thanks

Yes, I am dismayed by her behavior. I guess under duress people show their true colors... I was never a HRC supporter--never liked her stridency (probably will be attacked for this un-PC comment! despite my being a child of the 60s). I think Obama will chart the way to a new, more hopeful future--and I am for it!

Scumbag. Uh huh.

Ol' Bill shudda looked in the mirror when he decided to name-call.

Several old but sage sayings jump to mind, don't they?


I see snake people.

I'm with Stella--I don't care about the race or gender of the next president, I just want it to be the person who is most qualified. I admire Hillary Clinton, but she lost me when she claimed she had to avoid sniper fire when she landed in Bosnia. Libby used the term "stridancy" in describing her, and I think that's an apt term. Let's clear the decks and move forward.

I agree with those here who are saying enough HRC bashing. She came within a hair's breath of winning the nomination and carried on with great strength and stamina. The fact that she wanted a few days grace period to gather her supporters and make plans for a solid support of Obama in November is understandable.

Now is the time to unite. To continue heaping invective on Hillary Clinton is counterproductive for those of us who want to see a strong Democratic administration in the fall.

Feelings are obviously running high in America. I can only go by what reaches us newswise and it never does to trust the media. Sadly I have come to the conclusion that it is virtually impossible to find any politician who is not ruthless and selfish. On the surface, Obama comes over as the most likely person to make a refreshing change. I hope, for the sake of world peace, that America manages to end up with the right president. Let's hope the election can be held without any hint of a fix this time.

Yes, this is Ronni’s blog and I am grateful to her for all she does here. However, there is a space for comments, and, although I don’t know her personally, I feel she understands not everyone will agree with her opinions. When we speak what we truly feel, we take the risk that others might see things differently; sometimes, very differently.
BTW—I’m having a houseguest (relative) this weekend who voted for Bush and supports McCain (for religious reasons). It will be difficult, but my lips will be sealed!

hSenator Clinton has been badmoutned and spit upon everywhere. She is the only candidate who has the experience and determination to
take this country out of the mess
it is in.

Even through the hatred that some women and many men have for a woman who dares to aspire to the highest office in the land she has persevered.

Let's stop this campaign of hatred for a woman who is capable of running the Oval Office as well as the White House. When will a woman be respected as a viable candidate without being subjected to such
petty posts as so-called "crabby old lady" puts upon this website.

I'm with you Georgie....Well said...

I've been out of touch with the blog-world lately but I just wanted to express my north-of-the-border opinion on this topic. Here in Canada we have far shorter election campaigns so I have to say I was getting tired of the American campaign quite a while ago. However, I think it was great that you had/have a woman and a man, a white person and a black person, neck and neck for the Democrat candidacy. This is great. Obama may very well be the better candidate for the Democrats, but I am glad Hillary ran. Maybe she should have quit sooner? Perhaps, but maybe the whole process should have been shorter!

These days it seems like all political campaigns involve a certain amount of bad-mouthing the opposition and that is really too bad. It would have been better if just the issues were the focus, but apparently bad-mouthing gets more attention.

I personally will be enjoying wandering in the wilderness, being unwilling as I am to climb onto the Obama love wagon. I expect to be vindicated one of these days if I live long enough.
Here is a little test for any older women reading this. Express a serious opinion to someone. See how seriously you and your opinion get taken. Good luck. Oh, and if you can get cooperation from a man, have him express the SAME OPINION and see what reaction he gets.
Oh, and I'm not a Clinton backer. I have never fallen for the Clinton or Obama rhetoric. McCain is awful. So I'll vote for Obama but not with a happy heart.

I think Obama is savvy enough to know that he MUST garner the support of Hillary's base if he hopes to beat McCain. I would not read much more than that into his recent "magnanimous" public comments. To speak otherwise of her at this point would be political suicide. I think even Dubya would understand that. Okay, okay, maybe not...

Anyone else see the irony in Saturday hosting both Hillary's event in Washington D.C. and the Belmont Stakes, final horse race in the "Triple Crown"?

I think Hillary or Obama would be great candidates and that it was an exciting, interesting, insightful, historic race for the D nomination. I was very surprised when H didn't concede at the appropriate time, knowing it would tear this hole in the party. I hope we can heal before November.

You go, girl. You forgot to mention that she lied about the sniper fire, and later admitted that she knew it wasn't true. And yes, it was despicable the way she was treated, but that doesn't excuse her behavior.
Plus, that whole business about the Michigan and Florida primaries and her efforts to have "their votes counted" implied to me that "following the rules" still only works if you're white.

I echo possumlady's comment. I wrote about this on my blog and compared Hillary with Monty Python & the Holy Grail's Black Knight singing "I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls. Yes, a lady knows when to leave a room.

Interesting how many women hate someone who has stepped out of the box of female helper, coffee server, babysitter and a member of the low paid work force in this country.

Senator Clinton voted to give the president the power to act since the people of this country and the whole Congress were lied to. Many in this country still believe that Iraq had stockpiled WMDs. Our mega-media corporations kept that lie alive long enough for a lot of people to believe it even yet.

As a person who worked tirelessly for equal rights for all people in the world I am appalled that women particularly would badmouth a person of intelligence and experience and courage who could withstand the awful putdowns and terrible remarks that have been printed about her and the dirty inuendos and slams that have been available on websites.

Granted, no person is perfect when put up to universal scrutiny. When one is in the limelight one's faults are disclosed.

Many women hate a woman who has risen above them in this life. They want to pull such women down. We, as women, aren't supposed to step out of line or become leaders. I know. I have been one who has been in leadership positions much of my life.

With the history of the world so filled with hate, war and male leadership turned to killing wars it seemed to be time for a strong and intelligent female to have a turn at the helm. But the flawed system of choosing candidates took its toll.

I am not saying that just any woman would be any better than a man president. But when people in the world choose most of their leaders from the male category it seems that they are losing half of the brainpower and experience available to them. So far this country has run on half of the brains and intelligence available to the people. We must begin to utilize all the human resources available to us. To badmouth the one who has made it through the glass ceiling to become one of the Democratic party's hopefuls is historic. Maybe I should call it is herstoric. Whatever, it indicates that one female stood up and was counted, not always fairly, but she stood up proudly after being the first First Lady to ever run and make the position of senator in this country.

Snide remarks and expressed hatred are actions and feelings that I hope we women can shed from now on. Will we ever be sisters together? Not if a woman has to face such derision as Senator Clinton has faced.

Obama speaks well and has been a spark for change. Let us hope that he can recognize what his colleague in the Democratic Party, Senator Clinton, has done for the party and for this country. Her supporters must not be discounted in November.

I'm with possumlady. I would have voted for Clinton if she had won the nomination (and at this time last year, she looked like a shoo-in), but I would not have been happy about it. She just seemed to me to epitomize old-school machine politics, and while she's very smart, she also has a tin ear, which is a serious liability for a politician, and she really seems to have trouble saying she's sorry for her mistakes - she's very very good at the nonapologetic apology, which drives me nuts. (By tin ear, I mean that she really seems to have trouble understanding that just because she didn't intend something to be offensive doesn't mean it wasn't offensive.)

I think people's opinions on her and her campaign are based largely on how they were getting their news. For instance, I rarely observed unwarranted personal attacks on Clinton, but that may have been because I try to avoid the most outrageously sexist news outlets in my normal life. Obviously many of her supporters observed differently, and I can understand their anger. Yet the racism in this campaign was just as bad, so why do I have to choose which one riles me up to the exclusion of the other?

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