In the summer of 1984, the hot, scruffy offices that Ms. magazine occupied in New York City's garment district were abuzz with excitement. Word was that Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate for president, would choose a woman for his running mate. For years, feminists had called for just such a turn of events, with Gloria Steinem at the vanguard. We were about to have our big political moment.
I was a junior staffer at Ms. -- just a year out of college -- and I often stumbled through my days in a cloud of awe and confusion, unversed as I was in feminist theory and literature.
It was a moving scene; a solitary, elderly, white-robed figure, kneeling in prayer on a brilliant yellow carpet amid the remains of what were once two of the world's tallest buildings. With that hole in the New York City skyline still an aching wound in the American psyche, we might be forgiven for thinking that the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Ground Zero was all about us. As firefighters, cops and families of the fallen exchanged words with the pontiff, many kissing his ring, it was tempting to believe that his visit was intended only to soothe the grieving.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has, at long last, endorsed one of the Democratic contenders for the party's presidential nomination, and that choice is Barack Obama.
As a former political appointee of Bill Clinton (served as energy secretary and, later, U.N. ambassador), it's interesting that Richardson chose to endorse Obama before the convention. According to Richardson's e-mailed endorsement statement (received via the Bilerico Project), he did so partly because of the speech Obama delivered about race earlier this week:
This year's Take Back America (TBA) conference, which concluded yesterday, had a distinctly different feel to it than in years past. Last year, of course, there was the thrill of having each of the major Democratic presidential contenders come to woo the conference-goers. The timing of this year's confab was presumably based on the notion that a nominee would have been apparent by now, and held to account by TBA's progressive attendees.
I know a lady, a close relative, shall we say, who has a few things in common with Geraldine Ferraro -- generation, ethnic experience, outer-borough accent. After Barack Obama, in his grand national debut, addressed the Democratic National Convention in 2004, she sent me an indignant e-mail, asking why everybody talked about him as this black star of the Democratic Party, when he was just as much white as he was black. In other words, she wanted to claim him, too (and perhaps claim his intellectual gifts as his mother's legacy).