Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Go Hillary Go!

Now if we harken back to election time, we all remember I am not exactly a fan of Hillary Clinton. Her campaign methods made me shudder, I found her personality grating, and I wasn't sure if I could trust her. There was just something I didn't really like about her. Of course I am totally biased in my Obama love, and my Smith love (Hillary went to rival Wellesley).

Then when she got the Sec. of State position I thought "huh. Now she might be the perfect person for that job."

And I do think she's doing well.

Recently, while in the Congo (and honestly, let's give her props for even setting foot in Kinshasa) someone asked her what her husband thoughts were on a political issue - I believe it was a loan to the Congo. She reacted and said that she wasn't going to channel her husband. Now there are all these snarky comments about how "Hillary lost her temper" "Hillary lost her cool" "hell hath no fury" blah blah blah blah blah.

I ask you this: do people ask Bill what Hill thinks?

Do people ask Barack what Michelle thinks?

Oh hell no. You know that does NOT happen.

So in my opinion, Hillary's reaction was more than fitting. Actually I probably could not have held my sh*t together as well as she did, because when I heard the transcript I actually said "What the F*CK?" The local radio said the question was translated from the french and that perhaps something was "lost" in translation. Uh oh I'm sorry, is it not easy to translate "what does your husband think?"
Agh. The misogyny of it all.

This is actually where my rant is going to stop. Why? Because Natalie Holder-Winfield at the Huffington Post sums it up with much more eloquence.

After this, I think I'm starting to become a fan of Hillary. Do NOT let the bastards get you down, lady. You ARE the Secretary of State, dammit, and don't let anyone else convince you otherwise, or suggest that Bill is feeding you everything you need to do your job!

Ha. Can't believe I'm becoming a Hillary fan. Oh well.

**read this: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/was-hillary-clintons-answer-in-congo-the-right-one/?hp

I think there's still more to this than simple mistranslation. I think there are a lot of different perspectives working here, but right now, I think this particular post in the nytimes blogosphere might have to most accurate representation of what happened. I respect your defense of the Congolese student, EE, but I do not think this was an empowering question by any means. I think he probably wanted to cover his ass after Hil's reaction though.**


everything and nothing said...


Alexandra Strong and Able said...

haha I think the exact same thing. I saw her (rightly justified) reaction and thought "you go Glen Cocoa" Seriously, rock on wit yo bad self Hillary!

Al said...

LOL "You go Glen Cocoa" bwahahahah I actually laughed out loud at that one.

I brought this up with the fam last night and we all agreed that she came up with a great answer. Even my right-leaning dad agreed, but that is to be expected since he is outnumbered by women :)

Elizabeth said...

In defense of the man in the Congo who asked the question, "What do you think of your husband's POSITION on such and such when he was president (as opposed to Obama's)," the problem really was with the translation. The translator just completely missed the nuance of the question and wound up with "What does your husband think about such and such." The irony is that the question was actually empowering, as the questioner was interested in her opinion of her husband -- rather a progressive viewpoint -- not her parroting her husband's views.

That said, she was totally right to react the way she did! I mean, I totally cringed when I saw the footage, but just because the lighting was bad, she didn't look so hot, and I could just imagine what all the idiots were going to say about this. I loved how genuine her rage was though. It was such a human moment. Her reaction is immediate! It's like,

Hil hears question.
Hil responds from a deep, primal, and utterly unpolitical place with WHAT THE F?!!
Hil speaks the F UP.

And then later, after the misunderstanding is worked out and the translator is properly lashed and flogged (no idea what really happened, but ooh boy! that's a bad day at the office!), she graciously shakes hands with the questioner. Of course that nuance (it's always all about nuance! and how we don't have the attention span in a 15 second sound bite culture! but I digress) was instantly forgotten by all who heard the news.

So. Yay for Hillary. You GO girl! I've always been a fan, and I'm glad to hear that feminism is the key to win over even the most ardent Obama-supporter/ Clinton-disliker. Way to be, Al. :)

P.S. Your blog has so much spice just the way it is. Seriously! I love it.

Elizabeth said...

Ahh! Got my facts wrong, but the gist right. The questioner was asking Mr. OBAMA'S opinion on an issue, but it was translated as Mr. Clinton's. There you have it folks, the truth of the matter straight from Jon Stewart's lips. ;)

Al said...

I guess part of the problem is the media feeding us the wrong information, too. Blah.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Al. Thanks a lot for posting that NYT article. I had no idea of the nuance of all this, and um....wasn't that supposedly my point? I guess I just didn't want to believe a student could have said something so completely horrifying to me, and the media led me right along in my biased liberal westerner's interpretation. How dumb do I feel. I feel even more strongly now that Hillary was amazing in that moment, because she was making a bigger statement than, "I'm important. Don't insult me." She was taking a stand for all women. That we matter. That our views should be taken seriously. I just hope her reaction to that question knocked some sense into that boy, or the beginnings of sense. Changing the culture of the DRC is a huge undertaking, but man do I feel good about Hillary doing her part -- and with such fire! BOO-YAH!