Heart of a Champion
by alegre, Wed Feb 20, 2008 at 04:38:02 PM EST
We had a rough day yesterday to be sure. I finally called it a day around 1am and as I was clearing out the dishes hubby left in the sink (sigh, again) I paused for a minute - leaned on the sink and thought... how in the HELL does Hillary keep on going in the face of the hate, the anger, the unfair media coverage, the sexism, and - tonight especially - this latest disappointment?
What drives this sister with the heart of a lioness?
Getting back into the White House?
Nooooo. She's been there before.
Receiving more adulation and love from the MSM & the press (Tweety & Russert)?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she is the very definition of a public servant. She sees how much work there is to be done and she knows she's the one person who'll actually get results. She's got a long history of public service and sticking up for those without a voice.
Make the jump - you know you want to...
Over the summer I attended a state-wide meeting of volunteers, and a woman from Hillary's staff mentioned something that really stuck with me. She said they were getting Hillary ready for a debate and there was this briefing book full of the things she'd accomplished in her career. That book was 312 pages long (single spaced)!.
No I won't list everything here, but take a look at a few little known facts about her record...
As a law student Hillary worked to identify children who were victims of abuse and neglect and volunteered at the New Haven Legal Services offices. Her first job out of law school was going door-to-door with the Children's Defense Fund to find out why children weren't enrolled in public schools. Her findings prompted Congress to pass laws ensuring that kids with disabilities were accommodated and taught in our public schools (setting up programs in which my son and countless others have benefited enormously).
When Reagan was President, Hillary was Chairman of the Legal Services corporation- -legal services for the poor. In a head-to-head battle with the President, she successfully fought Reagan off when he tried to shift $300 million legal services to defense spending.
In Arkansas Hillary ran the University of Arkansas's legal aid and prison projects; reformed Arkansas' education system; instituted a model parent education program; created new scholarships for single parents; and expanded medical facilities in Arkansas' poorest areas.
As First Lady Hillary helped create the State Children's Health Insurance Program; spearheaded efforts to double child care spending, dramatically expand Head Start, and create Early Head Start; and expanded the federal after school program to a $1 billion formula grant program that reaches every state.
She could have gone back into private life when she and Bill left the White House. It would have been easy and she could have gotten a job that paid a boatload of money with her mind, intellect and background. Any law firm, foundation or University would have jumped at the chance to put her name on their letterhead.
But she didn't. She wanted to keep doing what she does best - helping folks as a public servant.
But instead she thought "I still have work to do on behalf of the people of this world" and she realized she could continue her work as a Senator from NY. So she put together a campaign staff, rolled up her sleeves, put on her boots and took her message to the people of NY. She even headed up state when the "experts" told her not to bother.
Six years later she ran for and won re-election with 67% of the vote. She could have won re-election without the margin of victory in the City - that's how much the folks upstate (the people she was told to write off) loved, respected and trusted her. And they still do.
She's done a great job for her state and for the people of this nation from that post...
Hillary created a teacher recruitment program to bring outstanding teachers into low-income communities.
She sponsored legislation to grow childcare funding to $11.2 billion.
She fought off dramatic cuts to Medicaid and SCHIP.
She passed legislation with Lindsay Graham for expanded health services for military families.
She made sure that six million children have health insurance through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
She fought for and won health benefits for our troops in the National Guard and Reserves.
She fought to preserve combat pay for injured National Guard and Reserve soldiers and passed a law establishing health tracking for returning soldiers.
She passed the Kids Car and Safety Act.
She successfully stopped efforts by the FDA to keep Plan B off the market.
She led the effort to get rid of the head of the FDA.
She held the Senate's first committee ever on environmental justice.
She fought to extend unemployment benefits, and won.
She successfully advocated for education reform.
She fought to make abortion safe, legal and rare.
She wrote and secured passage of legislation to assist family caregivers in accessing affordable and high quality respite care.
She fought to make sure the medicines we give our children are safe.
She was the first US Senator to label what was happening in Darfur genocide.
Her work on behalf of the environment and the health of first responders after 9/11 is nothing short of heroic.
She fought for and got enhanced body armor for our troops.
She got the Pentagon to respond to the Congress in terms of planning for Iraq withdrawal. The list goes on.
Being Senator's a great job and yet she thought "I can accomplish even more from the Oval Office". So she tossed her hat in the ring after a lot of thought and preparation and she's been on the road nearly 24/7 taking her message to the voters for over a year now, working for the chance to take on the republicans in the general election.
And you KNOW that's not going to be a fun contest. Most people would say, "screw this, I'm outta here" after the way they treated her and her family over the past 15 years (I know I would have and - admit it - you would too). She knows better than anyone what awaits her if she makes it into the general and yet she's still determined to work her ass off for the right to be sent into that cesspool of a contest against the right wing attack machine - the RNC & the multitude of 527s that are waiting in the wings.
This woman has the heart of champion and she's fighting for the chance to fight for us. We need to let her know we have her back. We've got to keep our chin up - stay strong - and keep fighting for her the way she's been fighting for us.
Because at the end of the day, we need her more than she needs us.
Ya know I doubt many besides her family, closest friends or aides ever think to ask Hillary how she manages to keep going like this. In fact, that moment when she let her guard down at that event in New Hampshire a few weeks back gave us a brief glimpse of just how unusual it is for voters, the press, the media or anyone really to ask her questions like that. She listens - her main focus is always on other people and she always seems to be looking for ways to help others. She was actually caught off guard there and I think it moved her deeply to know that someone - a stranger - actually cared enough to ask. She's answered tens of thousands of questions about her record, her proposals, and all that other stuff. But this had nothing to do with policy. It had nothing to do with her record. It was just one simple question - "how do you manage?"
And that's when we saw this...
She's fighting for us because in her heart of hearts, she knows she's the one person who can tackle the problems that await our next leader in the most effective way possible. She knows she can get the job done like no one else can when it comes to ...
Making UNIVERSAL healthcare a reality, knowing she's the only candidate with a truly UNIVERSAL health care plan - one that will cover everybody and leave no one behind.
Rebuilding our middle class.
Stopping the foreclosures.
Locking in loan rates to help steady the housing market.
Bringing our combat troops home asap and safely (starting in 60 days - no later).
Developing Green Collar jobs & breaking our dependence on fossil fuels.
Making college more accessible and affordable.
Ensuring that all four year olds have access to Pre-K programs.
Ending no child left behind.
Creating a new $3,500 college tax credit.
Increasing the maximum Pell Grant.
Protecting our public schools from those who would push for their privatization via vouchers.
Protecting our reproductive rights and making birth control readily available.
Providing our troops with what they need to do what she asks of them
Dealing with our skyrocketing budget deficits.
Providing our nation with a functioning government that abides by the laws of our land (ie the Constitution).
Restoring our government to one that can respond to natural disasters (or goddess forbid - unnatural disasters).
Forming a government that relies on & is guided by science again instead of a neocon agenda.
Restoring our good name around the globe through her contacts with leaders.
Dealing with whatever the bad guys might throw at us
Leading our military as Commander in Chief
And most importantly...
Kicking some serious GOP @ss in the general election!
After all that she's been through she still wants to be of service to the nation she loves - and continue fighting for the causes that we Democrats have been fighting for over the years.
She sees the work that still needs to be done.
She sees the battles that still need fighting.
She sees people who are hurting and who still need her help.
She's fighting for the chance to do the work.
She's fighting for the chance to win those battles.
She's fighting for the chance to help the millions of people who are counting on her.
I plan to stand by her every step of the way - and I know I won't be standing alone.