Saturday, September 6, 2008

Patti Davis' Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

The daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan reacts to the cheap pandering of the GOP's decision to make Gov. Sarah Palin their VP candidate with an open letter to the junior senator from New York and former Democratic presidential hopeful.

Newsweek:

What Hillary Should Say

An Open Letter to the Almost Nominee
by Patti Davis

Dear Hillary,

Where are you? We haven't heard from you since your strong and eloquent speech at the Democratic National Convention. You might be taking a well-deserved vacation--certainly you must need one after all those arduous months campaigning. But we need to hear from you right now. We need your voice to speak for all the women (and there are many of us) who are angry at the assumption that, just because Sarah Palin is female, we will fall in line behind her.
We need you to make clear that women do not automatically judge someone because of gender; we are more concerned with the quality of their character and the depth and breadth of their experience.

We do not see rudeness and snarkiness and sarcasm as admirable; in fact, most women teach their children not to treat others in that manner, and they tend to steer clear of adults who never learned that lesson.

We respect the right of other women to raise and educate their children the way they see fit. We also respect their right to make their own child-bearing decisions with no interference from the rest of us. We ask for that same respect in return. We don't want the government in our homes or our wombs. It is, in the simplest sense, a respect for privacy, a word vehemently used by the Republican Party in reference to Sarah Palin's family. But it's not just families in the public eye who deserve privacy; we all do.

There are many definitions of toughness. Most women would probably define it as meeting the daily challenges of raising a family in an increasingly treacherous world. They would think about the nights with no sleep sitting up with a sick child, or a race to the emergency room with a child in pain. Most would not define toughness as the ability and willingness to shoot and kill an animal. Nor are they impressed by seeing a woman brandishing an assault weapon, or sitting on her couch with the skin and head of a dead grizzly bear behind her.

Hillary, you have a more prominent voice than the rest of us. We need to hear your voice reminding people that women are smart and perceptive, and perfectly capable of doing research on a candidate who chose to be snippy rather than informative about her political record.

Many of us are frightened about the future of this country. You once said, with tears in your eyes, that running for president was very personal to you--that where America goes from here was deeply personal. It's personal to us also. Please help us communicate that putting a woman on a presidential ticket is only a good thing if it's the right woman.

Certainly, those of us who watched the Republican convention saw a woman who knows how to throw zingers. But few of us, if any, were encouraged by that. America is in trouble. We need hope, we need solutions, we need dignified, compassionate leadership. If we want zingers we'll turn on Comedy Central.

Respectfully,
Women who are waiting to hear from you

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