In Which I Talk to Hillary Clinton and Have a Little Blub

I was just on a conference call with a bunch of other bloggers and Senator Hillary Clinton, who was talking about the economy and the state of the presidential race at this point and what she's doing at the moment to help get Senators Obama and Biden elected.

She was, as ever, dazzlingly brilliant on policy—and typically generous and funny. She said that last night's debate "closed the deal" for Obama and allowed the American people to "close the chapter" on the Bush administration. While not taking anything for granted, she's "encouraged and optimistic," and believes Obama will win. She talked a little bit about media bias and sexism ("part of society's unfinished business"), and encouraged us to "be part of the change we want to see in this nation." It was interesting and inspiring; I wish I were better at taking notes during these things so I could share more of it with you.

It's not the first of these calls that I've been on with Senator Clinton, but it was the first time I was able to damn the fucking paralyzing shyness I feel on those calls and ask a question, mostly because I just couldn't stand to not thank her for her work with Senator Murray on the HHS rule change.

I managed to stutter out something resembling a thank-you that was evidently vaguely coherent, because she kind of laughed and talked about what an important issue it is and said she couldn't wait for Bush to be out of office so instead of having to fight all the time to stop further restrictions, we can start fighting to create more opportunities. Totally. Totally.

I said something utterly Lissish, like, "That will be awesome."

And then I asked if she'd had an opportunity to speak to Senator Obama about the rule change, and if she had any sense of whether he realized what a potentially serious economic issue it is for American women. She said she hadn't spoken to him specifically about the rule change, but that she'd spoken to him about related economic issues and felt "very comfortable with the commitment the Obama-Biden campaign has to women's issues."

There was more, but my ears were pounding and I felt light-headed, because I am a huge nerd who is easily overwhelmed by things like Senator Hillary Clinton on the other end of my phone talking about how much she can't wait for Bush to be gone. And about progress. My favorite word. Progress.

The call ended shortly thereafter and I had a little blub. I'm jaded as hell about politicians generally (who isn't?), but contemplating how hard the good ones work for us, day in and day out, to make this country better, who take seriously the truly important job with which they've been entrusted, who know that the personal is political and vice versa, and always keep sight of that—it never loses its capacity to awe me.

I hope it never does.

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