Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Punditry: The Audacity of Genuine Communication

This was a powerful episode for Hillary. She had a huge turnout in NH of Democratic women of a certain age right after she masterfully managed a moment of genuine emotion in public. She did this while certainly physically exhausted and emotionally demoralized. Her campaign thought they were 10 points down.

What's been missed in this deplorable freak show of criticism around this moment of hers is that she is a human being. A regular person. The now famous photographer (in so many words) asked her how she was doing. It seemed to me that it may have been a long time since someone genuinely asked her that question--someone who was really interested in the answer.

She met that genuineness with her own genuineness. Weak people suppress tears. People who are so unfamiliar with their own emotional territory that they don't trust themselves to have the strength to maintain their composure while traversing it are the weak ones.

What Hillary did was manage a bit of genuine communication about her frustration and fatigue. Her eyes teared up. She did not cry. She did not deflect the pain with humor or stoic denial, she lived it, and she lived it with dignity and grace.

That is strength. That is what you want in a leader. They need 100% of themselves to be available for making judgments. They can't afford to corner off their sadness or doubt, they need the information it contains. Why? Because people are counting on them.

This is not an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, but it is a defense of her. Cut her, she bleeds.

To those for whom *seeing video* of someone they don't like who is genuinely communicating human frustration is so unnerving that it sends them into fits of sadistic ridicule and/or compels solemn declarations of disbelief, may you be well, may you be free from suffering, may you at peace.

To Hillary, I am proud to have voted for you to be my Senator.

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