Sunday, August 23, 2015

A look back to the Hillary Clinton Event in Portland, Oregon, August 5, 2015

It was a pure expression of the Hillary/Sanders match up.   Bernie spoke to crowds, and excited them.  My preferred candidate, Hillary, raised some very useful money, very well and competently.  But not passionately.

Bernie was coming to Portland in a couple of days for an event and some 20,000 were expected, and that is how many showed up, it turns out.  We later learned that it was the largest event in the campaign so far, in either party, more people than Trump.     The Hillary event was at a lovely home in a great area of Portland.   A fundraiser.  The capacity was 157, set by a fire marshall. There was a minimum donation of $2,700.   She stood and chatted with people in an orderly reception line for a little over an hour, then moved directly to a dais where she spoke extemporaneously for another hour.

She looked vigorous.   She didn't look tired in the least, standing for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  She wore flat shoes.  I had worried that she was looking haggard in some of her Secretary of State photos.   She never sat, not for a moment.

The event raised some $500,000, and it was the second of three events for the day.   Her jet flew her from Salt Lake City for a brunch reception, to this afternoon reception, and then on to Atherton, California, the Mother Lode of tech money.

She said all the right things for this audience:   support for Planned Parenthood, support for the Iran agreement, support for early childhood education, support for reversing the mass incarceration policy of the drug war, support for empowering the middle class, a higher minimum wage

I was struck by what she did not say:  actual firm policy regarding breaking up break up the big banks, Keystone Pipeline, free trade TransPacific Partnership.   She spoke generally and did not make waves or enemies within a Democratic donor class crowd.   I am in that crowd.  I was comfortable.  I was delighted by the chitchat while we had our photos taken.

But it was prose, not poetry.   There was a template of good things, but it wasn't set to music.   It pleased my good mature judgement.   But I want my heart to beat fast with real excitement.  I wanted some vision of some sort of better improved world.  I wanted something uplifting to be said, but it wasn't, at least not yet.  Maybe someone can write her a speech, something that soars about the possibilities of some better world, not just another decade of the current grind.

I want transformation, and Obama offered it.   But the world didn't transform.   Hillary offers an experienced competent warrior in a world of ugly endless political trench warfare.   The Democratic candidate will have a billion dollars spent on ads attacking her.    I was hoping for something better than a fight, but if that is what we are doomed to be in, then Hillary knows what to do in a fight.

Note a vigorous Hillary, toward the end of her talk.


1 comment:

  1. Your post really sums up the range of expectations we all have from wanting policy commitments to inspiring leadership, and wanting both. You made Hillary sound a lot like Jeb Bush, kind of a boring policy wonk. Obama made us soar with his rhetoric and values, but not with his policy implementation. ObamaCare was a moving success on the moral imperative of "health care for all", but the legislative process and the outcome seemed like banal politics and corporate control. I would prefer no more soaring but inevitably disappointing rhetoric from our democratic nominee-- unless that is a requirement for winning. Just give me a liberal who will plod along and move the ball forward, and I will be satisfied. Hillary I think fits that expectation..

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