The Last of the Mohicans

Okay, so I just couldn’t resist Ed Rendell’s speculation on the possibility of a Hillary Clinton run for the Presidency. He’s bullish on 2016.

“I think, and this is just my thinking, that if she leaves after the president’s first term is over and she leaves and she teaches, does something like that, and rests, I think the possibility of being president and being the first woman president in history would probably be too much for her to resist,” Rendell told POLITICO.

“Her life is public service, that’s all she cares about, and I dont think she’s ready to retire,” he added.

Rendell was quoted in Monday’s New York PostOne as saying, “It’s going to be Hillary Clinton in 2016.”

 One of the more fun quotes was about persistent Hillary hold-outs.

Rendell told POLITICO that what he meant was that Clinton would decide whether to make another run for the White House only after she leaves the State Department. That means she wouldn’t run until at least 2016 because Clinton has said she will stay in office until President Barack Obama’s first term is over.

Clinton has said in many recent interviews that she is looking forward to returning to private life when Obama’s first term is complete and that Secretary of State will be her last public job.

Rendell said there is a core group of 2008 Hillary Clinton supporters — they call themselves “The Last of the Mohicans” — who continue to urge her to run for president again.

Anyway, it’s a fun read and much more inspiring than any of the crap coming out of the 2012 race.  We can dream, can’t we?


Monday: Hillary, Gerry, and No Limits

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears during a pre-taping of "Face the Nation" to discuss the latest developments in Libya, Syria and the Middle East, in Washington March 26, 2011. (Reuters)

Hey all. Wonk the Vote here filling in with some Monday Reads for Kat while she rests up. Get well soon, Kat! We’re all thinking of you and sending you healing thoughts.

Alright news junkies, let’s get this morning roundup started.

Hillary on the Sunday Shows

  • Yesterday Hillary did a bunch of joint interviews with Robert Gates on the Sunday morning shows, basically doing all the leg work for Obama’s speech tonight. If you missed the Clinton-Gates interviews and would like to judge for yourself, Stacy at SecyClintonBlog has all the transcripts and videos up here.
  • I’ll let the headlines do the summarizing:

NYT: Clinton and Gates Defend Mission in Libya.

Huffpo/AP: Clinton, Gates: Libya Operation Could Last Months.

David Gregory: Clinton and Gates try to clarify U.S. involvement in Libya.

CBS News: Clinton: No military action in Syria for now.

Jake Tapper’s Political Punch: Clinton Cites Rwanda, Bosnia in Rationale for Libya Intervention. From the link:

In an interview with ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper on “This Week,” Clinton said that the United Nations-backed military intervention in Libya “is a watershed moment in international decision making. We learned a lot in the 1990s. We saw what happened in Rwanda. It took a long time in the Balkans, in Kosovo to deal with a tyrant. But I think in what has happened since March 1st, and we’re not even done with the month, demonstrates really remarkable leadership.”

[...]

In an interview on “This Week” in December, 2007, Clinton told George Stephanopoulos that she urged President Clinton to intervene in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide there.Then-Senator Clinton said, “I believe that our government failed. … I think that for me it was one of the most poignant and difficult experiences when I met with Rwandan refugees in Kampala, Uganda, shortly after the genocide ended and I personally apologized to women whose arms had been hacked off who had seen their husbands and children murdered before their very eyes and were at the bottom of piles of bodies, and then when I was able to go to Rwanda and be part of expressing our deep regrets because we didn’t speak out adequately enough and we certainly didn’t take action,” she told Stephanopoulos.

Hillary, on the passing of Gerry:

  • At the end of the Clinton-Gates appearance on Meet the Press, David Gregory played the “Ms. Ferraro, could you push the nuclear button” clip and asked Hillary to react to it. Here’s what Hill had to say (scroll to the end to find this in the transcript at the link):

SECRETARY CLINTON: It just makes me smile because she was an extraordinary pioneer, she was a path-breaker, she was everything that – now the commentators will say an icon, a legend. But she was down to earth, she was just as personal a friend as you could have, she was one of my fiercest defenders and most staunch supporters, she had a great family that she cherished and stood up for in every way.

And she went before many women to a political height that is very, very difficult still, and she navigated it with great grace and grit, and I think we owe her a lot. And I’ll certainly think about her every day, and thanks for asking me to reflect on it briefly, because she was a wonderful person.

“Gerry Ferraro was one of a kind — tough, brilliant, and never afraid to speak her mind or stand up for what she believed in — a New York icon and a true American original. She was a champion for women and children and for the idea that there should be no limits on what every American can achieve. The daughter of an Italian immigrant family, she rose to become the first woman ever nominated to the national ticket by a major political party. She paved the way for a generation of female leaders and put the first cracks in America’s political glass ceiling. She believed passionately that politics and public service was about making a difference for the people she represented as a congresswoman and Ambassador.

For us, Gerry was above all a friend and companion. From the rough-and-tumble of political campaigns to the important work of international diplomacy, we were honored to have her by our side. She was a tireless voice for human rights and helped lead the American delegation to the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Through it all, she was a loyal friend, trusted confidante, and valued colleague.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gerry’s husband John, her children and grandchildren, and their entire family.”

(Note the use of Hillary’s trademark “No Limits” in the statement. There’s no higher compliment from Hill than that.)

Remembering Gerry from Queens

  • If you haven’t read Stacy’s tribute to Geraldine Ferraro yet, it’s by far my favorite. I was barely three years old when Mondale picked Ferraro. Stacy’s post gave me a sense of “meeting” Ferraro in the way that she was introduced to many of you in 1984.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department

Europe

Gulf of Mexico

Louisiana officials were confounded last weekend when a thin oil slick washed up on around 30 miles of Gulf shoreline. Initial tests sought to determine whether it might have been residual oil left over from last April’s massive Deepwater Horizon spill, but it turns out that yet another offshore drilling accident may have occurred. Tests matched the oil with crude that Houston-based Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners had reported spilling from one of its wells. The latest accident comes at a bad time for federal regulators, who have just approved four new permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf — not to mention Gulf fishermen and residents.

MENA region

First, from NY Mag’s roundup… Five Men [allegedly] Arrested in Connection to Libyan Rape Allegations.

LA Times… Libyan woman who alleged rape remains missing:

The whereabouts of a woman who was taken away by security officials while making allegations of rape to Western journalists are unknown. A government official says she is a prostitute and that an inquiry is underway.

Nicholas Kristof, via twitter:

The heroic Libyan woman #EmanalObeidi turns out to be a law graduate, age 29, seized at checkpoint http://bit.ly/fNp4Nf

  • Speaking of Nick Kristof, he has an important piece out about the battle for human rights in Egypt…what Kristof calls Freedom’s Painful Price. He calls attention to the torture, humiliation, and degradation that the women protesters of Egypt are facing…the horrifying circumstance of virginity tests and calling women prostitutes to scare them into silence and submission. Kristof concludes:

The lesson may be that revolution is not a moment but a process, a gritty contest of wills that unfolds painstakingly long after the celebrations have died and the television lights have dimmed.

Previewing Obama’s Week-Late, Leadership-Short Speech Tonight

The speech from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., will be his first major attempt to explain his thinking.

He offered a preview in his weekly address on Saturday, saying that the U.S. should not and cannot intervene every time there is a crisis somewhere in the world.

But Obama said, “When someone like Gadhafi threatens a bloodbath that could destabilize an entire region, and when the international community is prepared to come together to save many thousands of lives — then it’s in our national interest to act.”

President Obama plans a Monday evening address with an increasingly common goal, to sell the American public on an increasingly unpopular war. But while those previous speeches were about the decade-long Afghan War, the Monday speech will be about the new war in Libya.

[...]

President Obama’s effort to sell the American public on support for a third major war will be complicated by admissions from top officials that the new war isn’t even a vital American interest in their eyes.

So what’s on your blogging list today?


Saturday: Women in Active Control

Rise and shine, news junkies.

Here are my Saturday offerings. Enjoy.

But former Obama administration official Anne-Marie Slaughter says that “this idea of the women going to war is wildly overplayed.”

“On the one hand, you get the women in the administration criticized because they focus on development issues and empowering women and humanitarian issues, and the next minute they are being stylized as Amazons — that’s ridiculous,” says Slaughter, who ran Clinton’s policy planning office at the State Department until recently.

Clinton initially took a cautious line on military intervention, turning only after she was assured that Arab states supported it and would play a role.

Only the day before, Mrs. Clinton — along with her boss, President Obama — was a skeptic on whether the United States should take military action in Libya. But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention.

Was President Obama “henpecked” into waging war on Libya by his “Amazon warrior” female advisors? Only if you’re shocked by the thought of women in positions of power actually asserting their power. It also helps if you consider skepticism of military engagement to be inherently “feminine” and think that getting convinced of something by a woman is in and of itself emasculating. And if you’re Maureen Dowd you repeat all that stupid, backward cant, because you’re the hard-charging award-winning New York Times columnist with the most retrograde conception of gender relations this side of Hays Code-era Hollywood.

  • Photo (at the beginning of this post): U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledges the crowd at a ceremony marking World Water Day at World Bank Headquarters in Washington, Tuesday, March 22, 2011 (Reuters).

The water crisis can bring people together. In fact, on water issues, cooperation, not conflict, is and can be the rule.

  • This year’s theme for the UN’s 19th annual WWD was

Water for Cities: responding to the urban challenge.

  • Heather Allen at NRDC, on the MOU (memorandum of understanding) agreement on water, signed by Hillary and World Bank president Robert Zoellick on WWD 2011:

Last year Hillary Clinton’s speech on World Water Day catapulted water to the top of the mind among the diplomatic and humanitarian communities. Previously water had done well in Congress (regularly receiving signficant appropriations and passing the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act), however focus from the White House or Administration had been lacking.

In Clinton’s 2010 speech she called water the ‘wellspring of all life’, and characterized it as central to international development. From that speech and other actions over the last year we have seen significant progress toward prioritizing water. Just last month the Rajiv Shah the Administrator of USAID appointed Chris Holmes to be the new Global Water Coordinator – a position designed to help build a water strategy across government agencies. In addition President Obama requested just over 300 million for water appropriations for 2012 – the largest amount ever, indicating an increasing focus on water.

This MOU will help to ground these advances and build support at all levels throughout government agencies for cooperation on water. Agreements like these can be powerful tools to support innovative projects on water, because they make it clear that the highest levels of government intend to see progress here.

Today’s agreement on water helps people in the World Bank and the U.S. Government focus attention where we need it most – to bring water and sanitation to the billions who lack it, a great reason to celebrate on World Water Day.

  • Hillary and Zoellick exchanging documents after signing the MOU (click to view larger):

  • Perusing through the various links I came across on water day, I was reminded of the Guardian’s John Vidal recently asking What does the Arab world do when its water runs out? (h/t Minkoff Minx for pointing to this piece in one of her roundups last month.)
  • Check out this brilliant slideshow of twenty photos from around the globe on World Water Day (via SacBee’s The Frame).

He raised the bar for what it means to be a public servant and set new benchmarks for what a private citizen can accomplish to make the world a better place. He also has more energy and travels more miles than anyone I know—aside from maybe his brilliant wife.

“With the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, America has lost one of its greatest talents and fiercest advocates for HIV/AIDS research. Born in England, Elizabeth became thoroughly American royalty. For more than a generation, she brought to life unforgettable characters on film, and her tireless efforts to combat AIDS brought hope to millions of people around the world. We were honored to host her at the White House in 2001 when she received the Presidential Citizens Medal for her relentless crusade for more AIDS research and better care. In founding amfAR, she raised both millions of dollars and our level of awareness about the impact of AIDS in the United States and around the world. Elizabeth’s legacy will live on in many people around the world whose lives will be longer and better because of her work and the ongoing efforts of those she inspired. Our thoughts are with her family, her friends, and her many fans. We will miss her talent, her heart, and her friendship.”

Taylor was an avid Hillary Clinton supporter during the 2008 presidential race and donated the legal maximum of $4,600 to Clinton’s campaign.

“I have contributed to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign because she has a mind of her own and a very strong one at that,” Taylor said in 2007. “I like the way she thinks. She is very savvy and a smart leader with years of experience in government, diplomacy and politics.”

As Walker’s biography indicates, Taylor wasn’t afraid to go public with these sorts of feelings. Although Taylor is widely recognized for her work as an AIDS activist, she clearly saw the world in feminist terms. One public event chronicled by Walker shows how fiercely vocal Taylor could be when she felt women were not taken seriously:

The senator was addressing a policy forum of Republican VIPs and saying that women should be exempt from the draft, when Elizabeth gave vent to a dissenting mutter and then, to the surprise of many, a prolonged boo. Warner, in what was interpreted as an attempt to placate her, succeeded in looking as if he were slapping her down. Women, he claimed, were volunteering for jobs in the services. Elizabeth’s hard-edged voice split the tense atmosphere….’What kind of jobs — “Rosie the Riveter” jobs?’ Laughter broke out. Emboldened by feeling that the audience was with her, she backed up her position. ‘Women have been in active control since Year One.’ Look at Margaret Thatcher, she said: look at Cleopatra. Warner, now flushed, appeared to try and subdue her with a wave of his hand — a gesture that brought her leaping to her feet. ‘Don’t you steady me with that all-dominating hand of yours.’

Today, 85 countries from every region of the world joined together in a historic moment to state clearly that human rights apply to everyone, no matter who they are or whom they love.

  • This next one is from a conservative think tank, so you’ve been duly warned — Christina Hoff Sommers, via the American Enterprise Institute — Tina Brown’s Post-Feminist Summit:

When panelist Anna Holmes, founder of the website Jezebel, denounced fashion magazines for retouching photographs of female models, Brown refused to see it as a pressing moral issue. “When I get photographed,” she quipped, “the first words out of my mouth are, ‘Am I going to be retouched?'” A dismayed Holmes replied, “But you still want to look human!” “No,” said Brown, “I just want to look great.”

  • For something more inspiring — Homa Sabet Tavangar met up with Hillary’s go-to person between sessions at Tina Brown’s summit in NYC the other week and posted this interview on Huffpo a couple days ago: Don’t Know Melanne Verveer? Why you Should.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the famous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, which killed 146 workers and prompted labor reform in the United States, HBO is letting the basic-cable-subscribing public watch its recent documentary about the events.

“Triangle: Remembering the Fire” will re-air on CNN on Saturday, Mar. 26 at 11:00 p.m. ET – just one day after the anniversary.

That’s it for me. What’s on your blogging list today?

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Taylor Marsh and Liberal Rapture]


Saturday: Solidarity, Sisterhood

Good morning, gleaners!

Grab your morning brew, and let’s go!

Wisconsin

  • It’s farmer-labor day today at the WI Capitol building, starting at noon, complete with a “tractorcade.”

Hillaryland

(second link will take you to an AFP report on Hillary’s remarks at Friday’s Women in the World conference in NY. See also her remarks at the 2011 Women of Courage event for more.)

  • This week–on International Women’s day no less–our advocate-in-chief helped to launch a Global Partnership on Maternal and Child Health, bringing a long-neglected development goal further out of the shadows. Brava, Madam Secretary!

(see also Hillary’s 100 Women Initiative. If you don’t know what it is, click and find out.)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, introducing the president of Kyrgyzstan at a State Department event.

Women’s Rights

  • See here for RH Reality Check’s exhaustive coverage of the latest developments from yesterday. Also, Minkoff Minx wrote to her Georgia state representative, Stephen Allison (R-8) and received a letter from Rep. Allison that you might find of interest. Scroll to the end of the post to see it.
  • My $0.02 on Allison’s response: The excuse that the most draconian of these bills will never pass is baloney. The rise of mini-Stupaks in states across the country has built up a momentum in the war against women, and that momentum is helping to get other horrible versions of these bills passed. Furthermore, the preponderance of such nonsense legislation clearly indicates a concerted effort to use women and their civil rights as a tool of division and distraction from the economy, degrading those rights in the process and blocking unfettered access to reproductive healthcare for women–all women. The rich will get their safe abortions on demand one way or another, and we all know it.

Tired of hearing about Charlie Sheen?

Economy

  • Bernie Sanders introduces The Emergency Deficit Reduction Act. Sanders’ press release says the bill would a) create a 5.4% surtax on millionaires, yielding up to $50 billion annually for the US Treasury, and b) end tax breaks for Big Oil, yielding about $3.5 billion a year in new revenue. Thank you, Bernie Sanders!

CLICK TO GO TO ECONOMIX

US Politics: 2012

  • US News & World Report says wedge issues are back just in time for the 2012 electoral cycle. In other news… Water? Yep, wet as ever. (When did wedge issues ever leave?)
  • Here’s a derivative piece if ever there was one… Cameron Lynch says Barack Obama is the “Surprisingly Silent President.” This echoes Ruth Marcus last week suddenly discovering that Obama is the “Where’s Waldo” president. Obama told America who he was from 2004 to 2008. The creative clueless class was too busy chattering away and creating “a different kind of politician” narrative to take note that Obama was telegraphing very clearly that he would make an indifferent kind of president.

Civil Liberties

King hearings

  • Adam Serwer (via the American Prospect) has an important read up that puts it all in perspective… Good Cop, Bad Cop: “On counterterrorism, the only difference between Republicans and Obama is rhetorical.”

Disaster in Japan and Elsewhere

(Also, Crowley confirmed his comments about Manning to The Cable:”What I said was my personal opinion. It does not reflect an official USG policy position. I defer to the Department of Defense regarding the treatment of Bradley Manning.”)

  • See the NYT’s photojournalism blog — Lens — for dramatic shots of the devastation from the 8.9 quake and tsunami in Japan, as well as other harrowing pictures from around the world yesterday, that tell the story of tragedy and strife.

Environment

  • “The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century. Human beings have fabricated the illusion that in the 21st century they have the technological prowess to be independent of nature. Bees underline the reality that we are more, not less dependent on nature’s services in a world of close to seven billion people.”

–Achim Steiner, the executive director of UN Environment Programme

This Day in History (March 12)

  • First fireside chat: “It is your problem no less than it is mine. Together we cannot fail.” –FDR, 1933 (even FDR sounds like he’s saying Solidarity forever!)

What Kind of Liberal are You?

  • Take the quiz. I’m a “Working Class Warrior.” How about you?
  • I mostly linked to this silly quiz so I could share this priceless bumper sticker quote from the first question: “May the fetus you save be gay.”

Song of Protest for Saturday

Extra verse added to the PPM version: “Show me the famine, show me the frail, eyes with no future that show how we failed, and I’ll show you the children with so many reasons why there but for fortune, go you or I.”

I’m turning the Saturday reads over to you in the comments… Take the quiz and let us know how you score, share a song, link us to what’s on your blogging list this weekend…and have a great day!

[originally posted at Let Them Listen; crossposted at Taylor Marsh and Liberal Rapture]


Women, Workers, and The Sisterhood

Hillary has marked today’s 100th International Women’s Day by releasing the following op-ed. As soon as I heard the title, I knew I’d hear, “women do two-thirds, yet…”

Real life Rosie the Riveter. Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber, Tennessee (1943). Library of Congress, LC-USW36-295 (P&P)

March 7, 2011:

Women’s Work-More, Earn-Less Plan Hurts — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

[Bloomberg headline -- "I Know the Secret to Economic Growth: Hillary Rodham Clinton"]

“Throughout the world, women do two-thirds of the work, yet they earn just one-third of the income and own less than 2 percent of the land. Three billion people don’t have access to basic financial services we take for granted, like bank accounts and lines of credit; the majority of them are women. [...] If we invest in women’s education and give them the opportunity to access credit or start a small business, we add fuel to a powerful engine for progress for women, their families, their communities and their countries. Women invest 80 percent of their incomes on their families and in their communities.”

Whether Hillary’s in or out of US domestic politics, Hillary is working for all women and for all workers. She’s the woman who first introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2005 after all.

Over the last thirty-something years, Hill’s even gotten Bill speaking the language of women power.

September 2009:

“According to the United Nations, women do 66% — two thirds — of the world’s work, produce 50% of the world’s food — a fact which would stun people in this country given the way agriculture is organized — earn 10% of the world’s income, and own 1% of the world’s property.” –President Bill Clinton, at the Clinton Global Initiative, discussing why we need to invest in girls and women

I’m more familiar with hearing the “two-thirds work, 10% income, 1% property” set of figures. Hillary’s “two third-one third-less than 2%” is a new one on me–I wonder if it’s an update or tweak. Anyhow, another great companion piece to read with Hillary’s op-ed today is this interview at Democracy Now – “Women’s Rights are Workers’ Rights:” Kavita Ramdas on History of International Women’s Day and Challenges Women Face 100 Years Later. From the link:

“I think there is a need for us, I think, at this moment, particularly as there’s an effort to marginalize the rights of workers, as you see across many of the states, particularly Wisconsin, Indiana, an attempt to kind of roll back some of the achievements that workers have fought for so hard. You see that happening simultaneously, Amy, as you mentioned, with the attempt to sort of roll back women’s rights. And this is happening exactly at the moment that globally, the voice says, ‘Oh, you know, the way to have development and democracy is to invest in women.’ So, on one hand, you have what’s right for the rest of the world; on the other hand, you actually have a situation in which people are losing rights, in the context of the country where those rights were fought for, you know, to begin with.” –Kavita Ramdas

I’d love to hear our resident economist and blogger extraordinaire Dakinikat weigh in when she gets a chance and give us her thoughts and analysis on where women’s wage earnings stand and the road forward. In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to revisit some of Hillary’s earlier op-eds from the last three years, to see how her current piece tackling “Work-More, Earn-Less” fits into her overall vision. I’m just going to pick the op-eds that come to mind for me and excerpt a small passage from each. I want to let Hillary do the talking here and illustrate the framework she’s been putting in place, piece by piece, with each of these editorials.

This will go backwards in time (reverse chronological order.)

November 10, 2010:

An End to Human Trafficking — SecState HRC

“It is especially important for governments to protect the most vulnerable – women and children – who are more likely to be victims of trafficking. They are not just the targets of sex traffickers, but also labor traffickers, and they make up a majority of those trapped in forced labor: picking cotton, mining rare earth minerals, dancing in nightclubs. The numbers may keep growing, as the global economic crisis has exposed even more women to unscrupulous recruiters.”

October 28, 2010:

The Key to Sustainable Peace: Women” — SecState HRC and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store

“Whether they are combatants or survivors, peace-builders or bystanders, women must play a role in the transition from war to peaceful development. And we must urge men and women to focus on changing the conditions that produced the violence in the first place. In the coming weeks and months, our governments will be pressing to ramp up meaningful implementation of Resolution 1325. As just one part of that effort, our governments are among those participating in an important international conference in Copenhagen this week, where the focus will be on the role of women in a broad range of global security issues. If we want to make progress towards settling the world’s most intractable conflicts, let’s enlist women.”

October 2009:

A New Approach to Global Food Security and Hunger– SecState HRC

“Food security represents the convergence of several issues: droughts and floods caused by climate change, swings in the global economy that affect food prices, and spikes in the price of oil that increase transportation costs. So food security is not only about food, but it is all about security. Chronic hunger threatens individuals, governments, societies, and borders. People who are starving or undernourished and can’t care for their families are left with feelings of hopelessness and despair, which can lead to tension, conflict, even violence. Since 2007, there have been riots over food in more than 60 countries. The failures of farming in many parts of the world also have an impact on the global economy. Farming is the only or primary source of income for more than three-quarters of the world’s poor. When so many work so hard but still can’t get ahead, the whole world is held back.”

August 2009:

What I Saw in Goma– SecState HRC

“There is an old Congolese proverb that says, ‘No matter how long the night, the day is sure to come.’ The day must come when the women of the eastern Congo can walk freely again, to tend their fields, play with their children and collect firewood and water without fear. They live in a region of unrivaled natural beauty and rich resources. They are strong and resilient. They could, if given the opportunity, drive economic and social progress that would make their country both peaceful and prosperous. Working together, we will banish sexual violence into the dark past, where it belongs, and help the Congolese people seize the opportunities of a new day.”

August 9, 2009:

Women Are Drivers of Positive ChangeSecState HRC

“National Women’s Day commemorates the 20 000 South African women who marched for justice on August 9 1956. Fearless, they sang an anthem that has become a rallying cry: ‘Wathint’a bafazi, Wathint’ imbokodo’ (You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock). Women can be the rock on which a freer, safer and more prosperous Africa is built. They just need the opportunity.”

June 17, 2009:

Partnering Against TraffickingSecState HRC

“When I began advocating against trafficking in the 1990s, I saw firsthand what happens to its victims. In Thailand, I held 12-year-olds who had been trafficked and were dying of AIDS. In Eastern Europe, I shared the tears of women who wondered whether they’d ever see their relatives again. The challenge of trafficking demands a comprehensive approach that both brings down criminals and cares for victims. To our strategy of prosecution, protection and prevention, it’s time to add a fourth P: partnerships. The criminal networks that enslave millions of people cross borders and span continents. Our response must do the same.”

September 25, 2008:

Let’s Keep People In Their Homes -- Senator HRC

“I’ve proposed a new Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC), to launch a national effort to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. [...] The original HOLC returned a profit to the Treasury and saved one million homes. We can save roughly three times that many today. [...] If we do not take action to address the crisis facing borrowers, we’ll never solve the crisis facing lenders. These problems go hand in hand. And if we are going to take on the mortgage debt of storied Wall Street giants, we ought to extend the same help to struggling, middle-class families. [...] This is a sink-or-swim moment for America. We cannot simply catch our breath. We’ve got to swim for the shores. We must address the conditions that set the stage for the turmoil unfolding on Wall Street, or we will find ourselves lurching from crisis to crisis. Just as Wall Street must once again look further than the quarterly report, our nation must as well.”

August 6, 2008:

No Crisis Is Immune From Exploitation Under BushSenator HRC

“The examples of the waste, fraud and abuse are legion — from KBR performing shoddy electrical work in Iraq that has resulted in the electrocution of our military personnel according to Pentagon and Congressional investigators, to the firing of an Army official who dared to refuse a $1 billion payout for questionable charges to the same company. In another scam, the Pentagon awarded a $300 million contract to AEY, Inc., a company run by a 22-year-old who fulfilled an ammunition deal in Afghanistan by supplying rotting Chinese-made munitions to our allies. But the fraud and waste are not limited to the war. In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, for example, FEMA awarded a contract worth more than $500 million for trailers to serve as temporary housing. The contractor, Gulf Stream, collected all of its money even though they knew at the time that its trailers were contaminated with formaldehyde. [...] If we’re going to get serious about putting our nation’s fiscal house in order, let’s talk about putting an end to billions in no-bid contract awards to unaccountable contractors. Let’s talk about the number of lucrative contracts and bonuses being paid for duties never performed, promises never fulfilled, and contracts falsely described as complete. And let’s talk about reforming the federal contracting system so that we can take on the real waste, fraud and abuse in our federal government.”

Are you detecting a pattern yet?

Disaster capitalism… No Profit Left Behind…. Mortgage Crisis… Modern-Day Slavery… Opportunities for Women… Banishing Sexual Violence… Global Food Security and Hunger… Women’s Progress as the Key to Sustainable Peace… Enlisting Women… Investing in Women’s Education and Economic Security…

These are just a few of the challenges and objectives outlined, and the above is hardly an exhaustive compilation.

When I think of Barack Obama’s op-ed writing, I think of his ode to deregulation at the start of this year. When I think of Sarah Palin’s, I remember this summer of 2009 anti-cap and trade diatribe that never even mentioned global warming (or climate change). Two Reagan-wannabe peas-in-a-pod.

Hillary stands out as presidential–a champion for every man, woman, and child to have a level playing field in this world from which to rise. But, as our own commenter paperdoll says, “1600 PA Ave. isn’t big enough for Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.”

And, that’s because Hillary’s work is bigger than her and belongs to all of us.

On this International Women’s Day, I’d like to leave you with the photo below. Because when it comes to Hillary and her work, it’s not about her being likeable, and it’s not about paternalism and rescuing damsels in distress who are incapable of freeing and governing themselves–it’s about all of us supporting these young women, and for that matter one another, so we can each lift ourselves up to our God-given potential.

When Hillary gave her speech at the DNC in 2008, she asked “Were you in this campaign just for me?”

Hillary, I’m still in the campaign for all of us, and I’m in it for the sisterhood:

A group of girls reach in to hug Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during a tour of the Siem Reap Center, a shelter that provides rehabilitation, vocational training, and social reintegration for sex trafficking victims, in Siem Reap.