Mom, but what about Hillary Clinton?

How does Hillary and Obama’s run for the presidency transcend race, gender and power … and why is it more than just Politics? I have tried to answer this in many different ways but one particular incident made me a believer.

Yesterday over dinner our conversation circled around politics, gas prices and the like; later during that evening the discussion steered to Time Magazine list of 100 Most influential people for 2008. At this point something profound happened – my 6 year old niece, who was until then busy pushing her food around the plate, decided to join the conversation to ask her Mom if Hillary was on the list we were talking about. We were quick to laugh it off as childhood inquisitiveness – but later that night the more I thought about it, the more I was struck by how important what had taken place was.

To a 6 year old – the world is relatively simple. They are trying to comprehend the world around them and look for commonalities. My niece probably saw a lady like her Mom, her teacher or herself whom everyone was so eagerly talking about and picked up on that topic. A young African American boy would see Barack in the same light – and whether he or she would ever realize it, a lifetime of prejudices and glass ceilings have been irreversibly diminished by this historic Presidential bid.

It also fortified my belief that the next generation is eager to absorb ideas and are most influenced by dialogue and conversation around the dinner table rather than by big speeches, protests and rallies.

Regardless of whether Barack or Hillary wins, I would like to believe that my niece will never question how much women or minorities can achieve; she will never set her goals low because of her gender or race; and she will never know a time when people would question her abilities because of whom she is.

Vote Wise. Your vote matters. This I believe.

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