By Randy Stelly and Carol Forsloff
MSNBC said Hillary knocked it “out of the park.” Other pundits may disagree. But from the perspective of two senior citizens, both media people with one African American male now in Denver and a white female partner back home in Natchitoches, Louisiana, the former contender for the Presidency took race and gender and tossed them aside as non-factors in getting a Democrat in the White House.
With strong conviction and that touch of elegant pant-suited sizzle, Hillary Clinton wowed the crowd in Denver and removed virtually all doubt about her intentions to support Barack Obama in his upcoming fight against John McCain in the fall. Images of suffragettes juxtaposed with a black woman, Harriet Tubman, and her strength displayed in leading slaves to freedom combined with strong oratory cast Hillary as sympathetic, competent and willing to get behind Obama for President. We loved it.
Gender and race have played key roles in media analyses and diatribes. Constant chatter about the femme factor and skin color became talking points long before they became issues for anyone serious about winning. Faux pas are possible when tensions are high, debating periods long and tiresome, and candidate’s campaign posses try to lasso anyone with real or imagined slips. Both Obama and Clintons (Hillary and Bill) made blunders of commission or omission, but the potential impact of Hillary’s speech should be to get the race-gender controversy divide smoothed over so that Dems can get on with it.