After my blog of May 19, 2016 in support of Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency, a reader sent me a column by Gail Collins that appeared in the New York Times. (Click) The gist of her remarks were a warning to the presumptive Democratic candidate that she avoid wrapping her identify too closely around that of her husband, Bill Clinton, former U. S. President, and the current President, Barrack Obama.
On a shallow level, her argument made sense. If Hillary gave her husband a role at the center of policy-making in the White House, it would, indeed, be tantamount to “adding a blue whale to the goldfish bowl.” No one would wish to make waves opposing him. Collins suggests Hillary send Bill abroad as a good will ambassadors. Despite its stumbling, she admits, the Clinton charity “has done good work in developing countries.”
Likewise, Collins warns Hillary to avoid appearing to be Barrack Obama’s surrogate. It’s time for the presumptive Democratic nominees to step away from the men’s shadows, particularly as Collins describes this country as being “full of women who’ve become senators, governors, C.E.Os, diplomats” each of whom has achieved success in her own right. Hillary, she warns, should worry her profile might become too “fuzzy.”
This is the point where I laugh. First, it’s true women have made some progress toward equality over the last 30 years. But the nation is far from “full” of women in leadership roles proportionate to their numbers. (Blog 5/19/2016) Second, does Collins really fear Hillary’s image is in danger of becoming fuzzy? Love Hillary. Or hate Hillary. No one will accuse her of pulling herself up by a man’s bootstrap.
Hillary is a feminist of the old school, my school. She’s strong enough to know ideas don’t have a gender. If Bill or Barrack have something to say that’s good for the country, Hillary won’t be diminished if she listens.