5 reasons Hillary Clinton is not your date, your mother or your friend

Bill and Hillary

Oh, for heaven’s sake, you are not asking the woman to be your prom date. You’re asking her to be President of the United States. What do you care whether Hillary Clinton smiles, gets her hair done or stays married to Bill? You don’t. You’re just — as my dad would say — bumping your gums.

Knock it off. The former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator is not your date, mate, mother or your girl-group buddy. She’s not your Nana and she’s not going to kiss your boo-boo and give you a cuddle. What is wrong with us that we demand women political candidates (and assorted other business bosses) go all chief-cook-bottle-washer-bed-mate-fashion-plate?

Don’t be telling me, either, that the men candidates get the same. I gar-ron-tee you that we find Bernie Sanders’ rumpled fustiness (look it up) endearing. We smile benignly when he shuffles up to the podium. Good ol’ Bernie. Just a regular guy. And Trump? The man’s a walking, talking caricature and we seemingly can’t get enough. That hair, those lips, those hands. Yeah, how about those hands? If Hillary were talking about her body parts, we’d have a collective, national stroke. No lady would ever, well, you know.

I am, as you can surely tell, at the end of my tether. One more tug like “You won. Smile,” and I’m going to climb so far up on my feminist soapbox that you’ll hear me over the Blue Angels getting ready to roar for Key West’s annual air show April 2-3.

cropped-KWWM_Letters.pngThe woman, who won the Florida presidential primary March 15, is inches away from securing the Democratic nomination for president. She’s spent so many years in the public spotlight that there can’t be a mole on her backside that hasn’t been discovered. She’s performed admirably as a senator and as secretary of state. She did the First Lady thing darn near coloring inside the Jackie O lines (well, except for that health care bungle.)

That’s just it. Hillary Clinton has a track record, complete with catastrophic slips and falls from which she dusted off, slapped on a Band-Aid and kept going. She and Bill reared a sane, intelligent, competent and productive kid, who then made the Clintons grandparents. You try living your life on stage. Trust me, you’ll forget and pick your nose or frown because you’ve got a screeching headache at exactly the wrong time. Snap and you’ve gone viral.

My dad who died two years ago was a Hillary Clinton supporter even before 2008. He followed her career, applauded her successes and wished her a speedy recovery when she stumbled, physically or politically. He was distraught when that philandering junkyard dog forced her into the public role of “stand-by spouse,” leaving little room for private healing.

“Why,” ask my Millennial nieces and nephews, “was Grandpa such a Hillary supporter?” They, like most who knew him, would have bet their money on him championing whomever the Republicans put forth. He didn’t. He was in Hillary’s camp from the beginning. So why? I talked to him often about the whys, and I know he’d say the same today. Here goes:

  • This is a global world. She’s got exceptional feet-on-the-street, international experience. No one has the depth and breadth of foreign policy expertise that Clinton brings to the table. Yes, there have been missteps. There have been successes as well. Live long enough and well enough and we’ll all screw up.
  • We need big picture and strategic thinkers and Clinton can do both. She believes in collaborative, community ventures that make a difference. She learned a lot of hard knock lessons battling that first health care legislation when her husband was president. It was a good idea; she had a plan. She didn’t execute it well. She learned.
  • We need a collaborative pragmatist in the White House to work with a divided, paralyzed Congress. Clinton doesn’t have the warm fuzzy charm of her husband. Instead, she has the tough skin of a weathered campaigner and she’ll work across party lines to do what’s right for the group, at the expense of the “do it for me” individualism that has all but shut down representative government by the majority.
  • She’s not a winger — right or left. My dad was never a fan of hardliners. He wanted his politics to do the right things and reach a collaborative middle ground by working through the extremes. Clinton will govern from the center left, a political position more in sync with the fiscally conservative, socially liberal GenXers and Millennials, some of whom at the moment, are having a fling with Sanders.
  • And, she survived Bill. Dad would never end a political conversation about Hillary Clinton without “she survived Bill.” Honestly, I have no idea how he felt about the former president. I do know Dad believed that anyone who could take on Bill Clinton and live to run for president herself was someone he’d support.

Not once did Dad ever mention that Hillary Clinton ought to smile more or wear a different pair of shoes. I don’t think he even noticed.

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of KeyWestWatch Media, a digital media solutions company for small businesses. She and her dad often disagreed on politics, religion, education, child rearing, West Virginia and the weather. We never disagreed on Hillary Clinton.




OMG, can you believe the GOP national chair just asked me for money?

GOP Fund Raising Email


Dear Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey. Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, just asked Tony Parker, the RNC treasurer, to get in touch with me.

Yeah, he did. I got the letter in the mail today. Had a handwritten note from Tony himself, promising that if I’d send him a pledge for $35-$50 he’d personally tell good ol’ Reince I’d anteed up the dough. Tony made it real easy for me; included a charge card form and all. He even shared with me Reince’s email.

“Tony,” it said, “please try to contact Ms. Linda G. Cunningham for me. If we are going to be able to give our Republican presidential nominee maximum support, I need Ms. Cunningham to send a Pledge of Support …. We must have the support of every Republican … or we won’t be able to provide all of our vital support services like voter registrations drives, phone banks and TV and internet advertising … You may just want to print this email and send it to Ms. Cunningham. Those reports we’re seeing about Hillary Clinton and her allies raising $2.5 billion for her presidential campaign — to smear our Republican candidate … have me worried. Tell Ms. Cunningham we need every Republican to pitch in or get ready for four years worse than Pres. Obama’s term.”

Bless his heart. Must be particularly awful to be Reince and Friends right now, days after Super Tuesday when The Donald ran the table and is now spending a few days in Florida before the March 15 Florida presidential preference primary. There’ve been Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz sightings, but who’s kidding whom? It’s Donald Trump that’s got the GOP national committee shorts in a knot.

The last time I checked, Trump didn’t need the financial support of the GOP, nor was he asking. He certainly doesn’t need my $35. And, the GOP national committee must be out of its collective mind if it thinks we registered voters will swallow a faked email, complete with computer-assisted handwriting, as the real deal.

Aside: For all those who think I am a far-left wingnut who’d never side with the elephants, I get these GOP mailings because the national committee hasn’t updated its databases in years. One ends up there when one pulls a Republican ballot in open primary states, which I’ve done frequently over five decades. And, yes, I’ve gotten similar entreaties from the donkeys; just not this campaign season.

So, nope, I’m not sending cash to Reince and Friends, though I will provide a re-write of the solicitation email.

Send money now. Please. We know you would never vote for the two scariest Republicans on the planet, Trump and Cruz. We know you Florida people aren’t exactly excited about Rubio either. We know all that because we feel exactly the same. So, if you send us money, we promise to use it to get a Democrat elected to the White House — because four more years of Hillary or Bernie is the best the GOP can do right now. Please help us. We’re drowning over here.

I’d keep the last sentence of the original “email”: “Tell Ms. Cunningham we need every Republican to pitch in or get ready for four years worse than Pres. Obama’s term.”

That’s the only truthful sentence in the whole faked-up email marketing campaign.

Linda Grist Cunningham is editor and proprietor of KeyWestWatch Media, a digital marketing company in Key West.  She has already voted in the March 15 presidential preference primary. Despite the hanky-panky of redistricting and the tossing up of roadblocks for voter registration (and both are legendarily ridiculous), Florida makes it easy to get an absentee ballot mailed to one’s home for every election. If you haven’t voted, get out there to the early voting polls or show up on March 15. Your vote matters more than cash to national committees. 




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