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Would Our Country Vote for a Oneler? October 1, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Singled Out.
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In response to an earlier post, Professor What If asked the above question and answered it with a definitive “no.” Unfortunately, I must agree. The United States may be (remarkably) ready for a black (mixed) president (we hope!!!), but it most certainly isn’t prepared for a single person to take the lead as commander-in-chief. As a case in point, let’s take Hillary Clinton:

Christina and I had a long discussion a few months ago about why I would have voted for Senator Clinton for president over Obama, and during our discussion, Christina expressed her dismay that Clinton hadn’t divorced her husband after the Lewinsky scandal. Christina argued that Clinton should have divorced Bill; and in doing so, that would have demonstrated the kind of strength she admired and hoped for in a (female) presidential candidate. While I agreed that it would have been nice to see Senator Clinton take this kind of a stance, I pointed out that it was likely that even as early as 1997, when the Lewinsky scandal broke, Clinton was positioning herself for a future presidential run.

“So how,” I asked Christina, “could Clinton have possibly divorced Bill? If she had, she would never have had a chance to run for president!”

First of all, when Clinton ran for Senate in 2000, she was critiqued simply for being a woman: I have a vivid memory of watching the results on TV, seeing her waiting to declare victory, and hearing the commentators commentate on how the color of the suit she was wearing may not have been the best choice! Like that was NEWSworthy (and of course things haven’t much changed since then — apparently Clinton’s selection of 4 or 5 different-colored suits prior to her speech at the DNC in August was newsworthy, too).

Just think, if Clinton had been DIVORCED and running for the senate, she would have been seen as:

  • even more of a bitch than she already is perceived to be by some
  • anti-family
  • feminist (!)
  • anti-man
  • any number of a variety of poorly chosen adjectives often applied to older single and divorced women, such as: “dried up,” “lonely,” “unhappy,” “power-hungry,” etc.

My hypothesis is that Clinton could never have become a senator – and much less a presidential candidate – if she had divorced Bill. Sadly, she needed a man and a marriage to run for president. The way I see it (and the way I explained it to Christina), Hillary’s choice to stay married was a power play — and in a lot of ways, I respect her for it. The whole time, she was looking toward the future. She knew what she wanted, and she knew – even in the midst of what was surely a humiliating and stressful time in her personal life – she knew what it would take to get there.

So I say, you go girl! And I’m nominating Hillary for a place as an Honorary Oneler!

What say you, fine readers? — L

Comments»

1. professor what if - October 1, 2008

Well, I plead the 5th on Clinton… That is way too big a can of worms for me to wade through just now…

However, I will add that a single woman is running — Cynthia McKinney. Does she have a chance? Well, as a black female progressive who speaks her mind, she is not seen as ‘presidential material.’ Plus, like all independents, she is barred from the big debates and rarely covered by the media. To top it off, not only is she single, but divorced. In some ways divorce is seen as even worse than singledom as it represents failure at the whole monogomy game…

2. Single-Issue Voters? Hell No — But We *Are* Single! « Onely. - November 4, 2008

[…] because he is pro-single (we’ve posted about politics and singlism previously: here and here); rather, because we feel he stands on the “correct” side of issues concerning Human […]

3. Honorary Oneler: Hillary Clinton! « Onely. - January 27, 2009

[…] hillary clinton, progressive mindset, secretary of state trackback Way back in October, I wrote this post about my debate with Christina about why I think Hillary Clinton did not divorce Bill way back when […]


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