A Vision in Orange

She was a vision in Orange. A bright star, radiant and strong, committed and determined and rightfully proud of the part she has played - not only during these past couple of years, but throughout her life, as an advocate for principles and issues most of us believe in. Her speech endorsing Senator Obama was exhilarating, substantive, and seemed to emanate from the depths of her soul.

I started watching the pre-Hillary Rodham Clinton speech warm-up at about 6:00pm LA time. My husband and I had decided months ago that we wouldn't attend the convention in Denver. Not only did it conflict with settling our daughter into her first year of college, which in any case was an event I wasn't willing to miss, but truth be told, so much of the wind had been kicked out of our sails when Hillary lost her bid to be the democratic candidate, that we have drifted to the sidelines, watching and waiting - hoping to be inspired beyond words.
Shifting allegiances has been a slow, arduous process for us, and lingering doubts about ability and agenda still bubble to the surface in any political discussion that ends up at our family round table.

At any rate, the electricity of energy in the convention hall last night was palpable, even across the airways. The video hors d'oeuvre that was dished up prior to the Senator's speech quickly and brilliantly synopsized a woman of character, of life-long caring, of determination, of serious goals and ambitions of quality. My tears started forming during this entrée. And then, when a glowing, confident Chelsea gracefully and powerfully introduced her mother, I felt my heart squeeze in pride, and a tear trickled down my face. I have had the privilege to meet and get to know the Clinton family over the course of the past twelve years or so, and even as a peripheral friend, I know how profoundly close this family is, and can only imagine what a moment in time it was for all of them.

Watching Hillary Rodham Clinton deliver this profoundly moving speech replenished the hope in my heart that had seeped away. Oh, don't get me wrong - I've already decided that I'll vote for Senator Obama. I did not seriously consider abandoning my party - though I can only speak for myself on this issue. My husband is still grappling with his feelings on this one. However, despite the fact that I will vote the party line, I haven't been injected with the happiness elixir so many of my democratic friends appear to be inoculated with. Just having hope and desire for a thing is not always enough to ensure success at it.

I have been watching the incessant volleys back and forth between Republican and Democratic journalists in a never-ending debate about who is best prepared to carry the title of President, and who has what it takes to tackle the overwhelming problems now faced by our country and the world. Problems, in my estimation that have become even more complicated due in great part to mismanagement by the administration currently in charge. Yet, the opinion polls and ubiquitous information mills state that Senator Obama is nearly neck-neck with Senator McCain; that even with the clear unalterable fact that the current administration has made significant strategic errors, it is still possible our country will vote to have more of the same.

With all due respect, no.

We need to change gears, change the way we do things, and change administrations. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is formidable, and she will continue to be a strong advocate for our country from her position as Senator, or whatever role she chooses to play. Her acknowledgment of Senator Obama, and her shout-out to all the sideliners was a clarion call, and we need to heed it. It's not that we should merely hope for change - we're getting change whether we want it or not. Change is the only thing we can truly count on. We need to work for positive changes, and these can be brought about if a winning team is in place.

I still have my hopes. I hope that Senator Obama with Joe Biden at his side, will take advantage of the brain pool at his disposal. I hope he seeks the counsel of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, of our indefatigable and brilliant Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and that he creates a dialog with a host of other knowledgeable and committed Senators, Congressmen and women, lawmakers, strategists, and diplomats to help him articulate his agenda, and manifest his vision. Ultimately, I am hoping that my vote for him, armed as he needs to be with a specific roadmap, will help Mr. Obama take this stellar opportunity laid on his table, and and that he runs with it to change our country for the good.