A Vote For Barack Is Not A Vote Against Hillary
This message is primarily to the women of California, especially white women.
I, as a man, admit to carrying 10,000 years worth of guilt. This is a sexist planet we live on and that has to change for the better. If the race were for president of the world, I would say, let's go for Hillary. We need a woman at the top. At the global level, gender is a bigger issue than race. I would know, I am a Desi, a South Asian. South Asia is one of the most sexist parts of the world.
But in the American context, race is a much bigger factor than gender. Race is the bigger issue to be resolved. And also, a black man in the White House, biracial man, would be a much more powerful message to the rest of the world than a white woman. But I am for putting both, Hillary would be a great Vice President. Barack is JFK. Hillary is Lyndon Johnson.
Let's give February 5 to Barack.
It Is Hillary Or It Is Nobody
(I wrote most of this on November 9, 2007 thinking Barack will be the nominee, and I would want Hillary to be his running mate.)
The Grassroots Power Woman
Muscular Gender Agenda
Bill And Hillary: A Love Story
Bill Clinton came to Yale a year late. He had gone to Oxford. He left Oxford without completing his degree there. He came over to Yale. Hillary graduated before he did, and she stuck around. Bill Clinton graduated and left for home. They were then in this long distance relationship. They would visit each other. Bill Clinton had proposed to Hillary more than once. She had said "No, not right now." Finally Bill Clinton gave up, "When you are ready, let me know." In her mind, Hillary was doing work that spoke to her mother's childhood travails. To Bill Clinton it felt like maybe she is not so sure. Arkansas was too much of a stretch.
After one of the trips Hillary made to Arkansas to visit with her boyfriend and left, Bill Clinton turned to his mother Virginia and said, "Mother, pray for me, it is Hillary, or it is nobody."
Once he ran round and round a field, and lost major weight. He became thinner than he had ever been since high school. Maybe Hillary will find thin attractive. The dude was getting desperate.
If Bill Clinton thinks so very highly of Hillary, that goes into the standard wisdom that she is the smarter in that marriage. What if this had not been a sexist planet? Where would Bill be? Where would Hillary be?
I first came across the Clintons in the Time and Newsweek magazine articles at high school in Kathmandu when they first surfaced in 1991. I have not not liked them since, not for one split second.
In my mind, Bill Clinton's presidency has been one of the top five in history.
He made dot com possible. Dot com allowed me to dream again. No thanks to term limits, before I could take any of my concepts to fruition, I found myself facing what is called the "nuclear winter" in the industry.
If you are a progressive, the Clintons are like royalty.
Men have been ruling for 10,000 years. Now in this 21st century it is about time women started getting into leadership positions in all countries all over the world. Enough.
Women are not unequal - all human beings are equal, equality is a political concept - but women are different, like the Chinese and the British are different from each other, only women are more so different.
I think the Monica thing might have done major emotional damage to Hillary. I refrain from commenting on that issue. It is between two individuals.
Women's participation enriches the overall experience. We are all better off for it.
Men have feared women over the centuries. It is the fear that the powerful have of the powerless. The fear of that which is not understood. Like Freud said, "What do women want?"
Barack had Boston, Hillary had Beijing.
Hillary's Beijing Speech
I am Madhesi in Nepal. The Madhesi have been outsiders for centuries. When I left Nepal for America, I had the feeling, finally it is over, I am leaving. But years later, I found myself very invested and very involved in the Madhesi Movement in Nepal. I got this very real, strong feeling that unless the Madhesi in Nepal achieve liberation and equality, a major part of me will always feel the bondage, it will keep me pulled down. Getting and staying involved was not social service, it was self interest. I needed it for me.
If Hillary feels the same about the women of the world, that has got to be a major tug down. It must be painful to be aware of all those women who get trafficked like they were so much cocaine.
Lincoln liberated the blacks from slavery. Who will liberate these trafficked women?
Forgiving Hillary On Iraq
What Hillary lacks on the foreign policy front, she more than makes up for on the domestic front. She has encyclopedic knowledge on health care, for example.
She has been wrong on Iraq and Iran. But then she has already paid the price for it by losing the nomination. Now she has to toe the winner's line. But, mind you, you can not blame Hillary for the mistakes of Bush. Iraq has been Bush' war, first, foremost and last.
But don't throw the baby with the bath water. Hillary has much to contribute.
After a decade of Ken Starr and Lee Atwater, no wonder Republicans feel negative about Hillary. I don't. I never bought into their lies. We can't let Hillary's political enemies define Hillary for us. The new kind of politics, the politics of hope that is the Obama brand is about redeeming Hillary's image from the right wing demonizations.
New York, Eliot
If you are going to be competing against Rudy, and the most serious third party ticket ever, possibly of Bloomberg and Arnold, a match made in Omaha, you better have a New Yorker for running mate. The Dems must carry New York. Got to beat the Republican nominee on home turf.
The only other person I have thought of in terms of running mate has been my Governor Eliot Spitzer. This guy is sheer possibility. Spitzer has to end up president, that I know. As to how to get there, I don't know. Will he go there the Vice President route? Or the two term Governor of New York route? I don't know.
I think the two term Governor route might be better.
Before Hillary announced she will run, she had a breakfast at Spitzer's residence. She wanted to seek his advice on if she should run.
After Hillary left, Spitzer's daughters saved Hillary's tea bag for memento.
Hillary was a woman. Spitzer's daughters are women. They felt the bond. It is a valid bond. That bond has to be celebrated.
Saving Spitzer For The Next Round
Spitzer is a raging bull. He rams head in. There is no tough issue he is not willing to tackle. I don't see anyone like him in American politics. He is my idea of a progressive. You carve out ground that is right, and then you bring along the people because democracy asks for it.
The vice presidency will kill Spitzer's spirit. It is too national, too second in command.
After eight years, Obama-Clinton will be over. Clinton will likely retire like Cheney. She will be almost 70. And then Spitzer bursts onto the national scene like he had been in the opposition all along. He has tackled all the tough issues in New York in eight years, including gay marriage and total campaign finance reform. Then he will be ready. When he comes from that angle, he will be able to go in for eight years. Coming in as Vice President, he might get only four.
Spitzer, Watch Out For Bobby
I have a feeling Spitzer and my fellow Indian Bobby are going to collide. I do take ethnic pride in Bobby. I am one of those who do not think an Indian has to be Hindu to count for Indian.
Bill Clinton, Back In The Ring
You buy Hillary, you get Bill free.
Anyone can do AIDS, even Bill Gates can do AIDS. But only Bill Clinton can do Palestine. Send him out to create Palestine. A separate state, a model democracy. And once he does that, give him the Nobel.
Palestine really is the thorn. You can't imagine peace in the broader Middle East without the creation of Palestine. A democratic Palestine will also create a tsunami for democracy in the Arab world, the only true cure to the problems arising out of that region, all the numerous headaches.
Bill Clinton, Global Citizen
This white guy from the South has done enough for the world that he has made serious amends for the racial sins of his South. Let him do more. The South has sinned plenty.
60 Is Not Old
The Clintons will live to be 100. They are only half way there.
(January 8, 2008)
I am not American. I was in my early 20s when I came to America. I could have told you minute details from the lives of Lincoln and MLK before I ever got here. But that was intellectual knowledge. I lacked emotional knowledge of personally experiencing racism in a persistent fashion, although the British had given me a good headstart right there in Nepal, but there it was mixed up with ethnic prejudice of the most serious kind. In Kentucky I got it unfiltered.
My point being Hillary's understanding of global sexism is primarily intellectual. Pound for pound gender is 10 times bigger than race as an issue, globally speaking. America's wealth is a veneer. America is not that less sexist than India as it might like to believe.
My mother's cousin was Education Minister of Bihar, India's second most populous state and the state with the most imponderable brand of politics. My mother has had six years of schooling. I think the only institution she really understands is the family. That makes for some really interesting conversations. For example, she does not recognize the institution called the US embassy in Kathmandu.
You can't badmouth sexist Indian men enough for me. And they exist right here in America. There is an organization called Sakhi run by the wife of my good friend Sree, dean of the Columbia Journalism School, the most networked Desi I know in this country. That is what women friends call each other, sakhi. A lot of Indian women come along to the US as tag-alongs. Sometimes they find that leads to major abuse. Major, mainstream emotional abuse because you are so dependent on your spouse. What is your Plan B? You got no Plan B. You are in America. What could you complain about? People back home will not understand why you are in America and complaining.
The idea that you can't badmouth sexist Indian men in my presence because I am Indian and male, makes me wanna puke.
If not now, then when? If not Hillary, then who? I just read in the news two men in New Hampshire went into an anti-Hillary chant in her presence: "Iron My Shirt!" How would you like to shove that shirt up yours? That is your Plan B for ironing your shirt. Those two guys just helped me cement my resolve that it is Hillary or it is nobody. Bug Hillary for her Iraq vote, not for being a woman. If you like men, who is your man? Huckabee? Chuck Norris? McCain is kind of good looking. Rudy? Romney is rich. Do you like rich men?
It is Hillary or it is nobody.
Hillary's Beijing speech was far superior to Barack's Boston speech. But Monica messed her up big time.
Hillary's Beijing Speech
Relating To Hillary
I am not in the same league as Hillary, nowhere close. I am a nobody. She is somebody. But I relate to her in a very personal way.
When she was working on health are in 1993, there was so much sexism out and about. Newt Gingrich said to Robert Reich, "Tell the president, we like him, but his wife should not be making policy." Her response was to produce a 1300 or 13,000 page document. She thought if she could only prove she is smart, the sexism will go away. Not true. You don't make progress on gender by talking about the weather, or health care.
Within six months of landing, I broke all college records at the number one liberal arts college in the South to get myself elected student body president. In office, when I got hit with my first bout of racism, my response was to socially cut myself and to dig deep and to try and come up with the most dazzling policy proposals possible. I was naive too.
Every sexist man out there who wants to go after Hillary can find at least one, usually more than one woman suffering from internalized sexism who will happily talk more sexist than the men: they will badmouth Hillary. I know how that works all too well. Race and gender and all the ISMs come with triangles. There are three angles: the racist, the anti-racist, and the internalized racist. The racist and the internalized racist exist in a seeming happy equilibrium. Together they always outnumber the anti-racist. And their bonding is often intense, dense. Same applies to gender. I have experienced on ethnicity and race what Hillary has on gender. I know how Hillary feels when the internalized sexists badmouth her.
Terry McAuliffe: E=mc^2
Maybe he will just be a wonderful Attorney General at the federal level after having served two terms as Governor of New York, I don't know. How would that be a bad thing? I need him to turn Albany around, from being America's most dysfunctional state capital to being its most functional.
Albany's dysfunction: it is racism. The upstate whites have so far managed to deny one person one vote democracy to the state because they don't want the nonwhite big city to take over the state. New York state has so far treated New York City like it were constipation.
Citizen or noncitizen, give everyone a right to vote in this city. If you pay a utility bill in the city, if your landlord certifies you are a tenant, you should be able to vote. That would be the best, cheapest way to spread democracy into all corners of the earth.
Reorganize the Senate and the House. Let the Senators be elected through a fully proportional election system. How many seats are there? 50? Then a party must get at least 2% of the votes to get recognized as a state party. And each state party must get state funded. And you are looking at the existence only of state funded parties. No more fundraisers. And all parties must keep their bookkeeping totally transparent and online. For the House, you go for multi-member constituencies. That happens to be the most popular form of elections in the world. The Governor would be directly elected, of course, and must get at least 50% of the votes or there would be a second round between the top two.
Transparency, democracy, transparency, democracy.
You think he is running for president? No. He is running for Governor. He wants to run for president and lose and then cash the national name recognition two years later to unseat Spitzer. Not happening. Bloomberg does not get Albany. But Spitzer sure has his work cut out for him.
Nobody Quite Like Bill Clinton
He is going to be a progressive inspiration globally for the next 40 years. This guy never accidentally does something. There is always, always a method to the madness. He is Pele, he is Michael Jordan, he is Elvis, he is one of those guys. Get him back in the ring. This horse is not done running yet.
When the Monica thing first surfaced, and I mean no disrespect to the two Clinton women, my first reaction was, this guy got sick and tired of Ken Starr. This was Maradona taking the ball from the midfield to scoring.
I don't know what he looks like. I have never seen his photo. Perhaps he is a shy person.
A Personal Message To Hillary
Guys on your payroll messed you up. At some level they were never able to imagine you as president. Sexism runs deep. I never met a man who is not sexist. It is just that some are less sexist than others.
It is okay to shake a few thousand fewer hands.
I Want To Join The DL21C Steering Committee
I think you are overqualified to be Vice President, but you should take it nevertheless to make it easier for the next woman who might give it a shot.
Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don't
I be damned if I believe a word of what the cons have to say about Hillary. Her negatives are high for a reason. If someone spent a few hundred million dollars to paint me as a bad guy, I would also start looking like a bad guy. But I am not a bad guy.
I am not listening to the cons and the sexist Dems on Hillary. I have a mind of my own. I had read a ton about her before I got to meet her in person twice. She is real. She is substance. She is ready to lead.
There is nothing status quo about a woman holding the second most powerful office ever invented. You know why? Because it has never happened before. And if it does not happen this time, we might have to wait decades more. Why wait? Hillary is available and she is ready to lead.
Smarter Than Bill
She got better grades at Yale. What more is a woman supposed to do?
As long as Barack is president, actually it is a good thing that Hillary voted the way she voted on Iraq and Iran. There are bad guys out there. Evil does exist. You need a hawk in the wings just in case.
Iraq: Not Hillary's War
W misused the authorization. He was supposed to let the inspectors do their work first. If you are going to blame Hillary for the mess in Iraq, you are also going to have blame her for the trillion dollar tax cuts, and W's broken English and half brain.
She Has Good Judgment
I have always thought Bill stands out in how he can shake so many hands and learn so many names. I have also always thought Hillary is such a better judge of character than Bill.
Act 1, scene 1. 1991. Little Rock, Arkansas. Bill Clinton has invited over George Stephanapoulos, a DC guy, a whiz kid. It is Hillary, Bill in his underwear and Boy George. That was a bad idea by a smart but desperate, insecure Southern governor. Don't show your underwear to someone you can fire at any time, technically speaking.
Scene 2. A few years later. His mother has just died. He is grieving. He is on a conference call with his First Lady wife and Boy George. The debate is should or should not Ken Starr be authorized to start investigations. Hillary says a firm no. Boy George says a big yes. Boy George wins. Bad idea. Very bad idea. The single biggest mistake of the Clinton presidency. George acted Judas. That was evil on his part.
Hillary can smell rat. Bill has a running nose. This woman's got something up her sleeve.
Switching To Obama
"First Nancy Pelosi, Then Hillary"
Google Video: Bill Clinton
Hillary 2008: Enough White Men
YouTube: Bill Clinton
Hillary In The White House, Bill At The UN In 2010
Advice To Hillary
Hillary's Formula For 2006
2008 Countdown: Hillary-Obama
Karl Rove, Hands Off Hillary
Hillary In Person
The Spectrum On Gender
Michelle Bachelet: Yet Another Woman
Bill Clinton Is Now Anti War Like Dean
The Israeli Wall Is Wrong, Hillary
Bill Clinton Had Icecream For Lunch
Bill Clinton Has Left The Building
50% Women Friends, 50% Women Colleagues
Hillary Speaks Up For NYC
Obama Was In Town And I Missed It