Posts Tagged ‘Susan Estrich’

On a gloomy Sunday in the northeast, and gloomy in America at the heartbreaking, untimely loss of a promising young American leader,  I took my own sweet time going through the newsfeeds.  I really just wanted the post about Beau Biden to sit there for awhile.  I added John Kerry’s touching statement and a link at the bottom of the page so readers can sign the White House condolence book and send thoughts to the grieving family.  That was all I did today.  It was a day of shocked mourning for the big-tent Democratic family that probably has not been this united since December 2000.

Republicans, too, felt and shared the grief of this tragedy. From Jeb Bush  to Donald Trump, the sentiments poured in.  Sarah Palin, whose son, like Beau, served in Iraq,  quoted scripture.  I am sure Joe’s former Senate colleagues from the other side of the aisle also offered thoughts and prayers, even if I did not see them.

I did see Maureen Dowd’s latest RPG against Hillary and the Clintons.  Writers can have a “got you when” moment.  Umberto Eco got me when he explained in the foreword of The Name of the Rose  that,  although this foreword is long and tedious, you will have trouble following the story if you fail to read it.  I then pursued him through about 100 encyclopedic pages of doctrine and heresy that years later I still consider the most valuable information in the book.

Writers can also have a “lost you when” moment.  MoDo lost me when she compared Hillary to the Jennifer Jason Leigh character in Single White Female.  I will not link to her op-ed.   If you really want to know who the Bridget Fonda character is in Maureen’s scenario, you will have to go find it yourself.

Amid all the gloom, both meteorological and existential,  of this difficult Sunday, at the close of the day, I found a little gem glimmering at the end of the dark tunnel.  It was this reasoned and encouraging piece by Susan Estrich.  She makes a great point.  I do not share many op-eds here unless Hillary has written them, but this one is worth a read.

Susan Estrich: At a Time of Malaise, Hillary Clinton Brings Out Smiles While Republicans Frown

By Susan Estrich |

It’s “June gloom” in Southern California, that period well known to locals when the sunshine you expect doesn’t show until the end of the day, if at all. This year, the gloom couldn’t wait until June, and so it came in May.

That may also be true for the country


The Democrats have a one-word answer to the national sense that our cup today is, sadly, half-empty: Hillary.

People smile when they say it. The idea of a woman who has paid her dues and then some and is so clearly qualified for the job finally getting that job is definitely a half-full cup.

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I think Estrich has hit something here.  The idea of Hillary has positive power.   When I attended my county grassroots organizing event I heard 150 people joyfully and confidently share the words they associate with her.  In the small group I learned that they really do not know very much about her – and these are the activists.  Even the facilitator did not grasp that in this listening phase of the campaign there would not be any broad, sweeping messages.  But there was an optimism in the air about Hillary – about the idea of Hillary.

Hillary’s Strategic Communications Adviser and Senior Spokesperson, Karen Finney, has said “People think they know her,  but she’s the most unknown well-known person in the world.”  Most American voters will probably never come to know Hillary the way Karen does.  Getting them to know her that way – or feel that they do –  is Karen’s challenging  job.  Maybe, though, the optimism around her  – the idea of her – is really what the country needs – at least for now.  Look at this.  It is worth 1000+ words and descriptors.


Many of us know that Hillary is patient, warm. concerned, understanding, dedicated, value-driven, empathetic, generous, sweet, and kind.  (I could go on.)  All of us here also know that she is brilliant, experienced, tested, adroit, prepared, and ready.   No 150 or 1,500 words  can sum up Hillary Clinton or portray her.  Maybe, though, if the idea of Hillary makes people smile  – maybe that, right now, is the important thing.

Susan Estrich is right.  Things are gloomy.  Hillary is the bright spot in a dreary season.  She has been listening.  Another thing we know about Hillary is that the listening continues, even when the listening tour ends.


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