By Cody Lyon
On New Hampshire Primary Tuesday, at around 730 pm, the work out floor at the Lafayette Street Crunch Gym in New York City was crowded, as it often is that time of night. Chests being pressed, arms were being curled, squats were being squatted and the cardio area filled with exercise bikes, cross country ski machines and such were occupied by woman and men, mostly accompanied by IPOD headphones, tuning out the grunts, groans and loud conversation around them.
This three level Crunch provides also provides patrons with several television screens some which face the busy cardio area, and include a variety of network selections, including on this night, CNN’s coverage of the unfolding events in New Hampshire.
While most of the cardio crowd listened to tunes, watched the screens or read US Weekly, a group of four gym political pundits, two on machines, two standing, discussed the election and analyzed the potential future strategy for the woman candidate. In serious, worried tones, three argued that Senator Clinton was the better equipped to bring serious nuts and bolts change to America and rescue it from the morose state of mind and sense of insecurity it finds itself mired in, thanks in great part to current White House policy.
While all four claimed to identify with Senator Barack Obama’s message of hope and change, the loyalty was obviously with Clinton. They worried aloud that Obama’s lack of experience and failure to articulate a clear and specific agenda were he to be elected. They agreed with President Bill Clinton, that Obama had received a free ride by the press, but, that Obama’s victory in Iowa was historic, moving and a hopeful sign that America was slowly overcoming its racist curse.
Still, each argued that the Clinton campaign, with its "safe" promotion of Clinton as an anchor of staid leadership, was until recently, stale and un-enthusiastic. Where was that "Don’t Stop Thinking about Tomorrow" energy of yesteryear that culminated on Election night 1992 when those young looking Clintons and the Gores waved to a crowd of change seekers in Little Rock?
The frustrating conclusion among the Crunch Gym Pundits was that Hillary hasn’t owned her womanhood, and effectively sold the novelty of her own historic moment to voters, a moment they say should be an asset that might actually fire up the un-decided, both male and female? They claimed the coverage of the tears was sexist and that in fact, even if she’d been acting as some had claimed (an actor was among the pundits), it was a brilliant campaign moment.
In short, Hillary has not publicly embraced her power as a woman and icon, who as a serious contender for the White House, could along the campaign trail could chip away at the inherent plague of sexism that still infects America’s culture and power structure.
Where is the "Sisters are doing it for themselves" attitude on the campaign trail, the "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar" sense of confidence and catchy nuance in her television ads? Sure, her record speaks for itself and is available for all to see in this lifetime public servant’s long resume, but this is marketing 101, and America’s attention span is, well, short, so put on the pumps and work the campaign runway Hillary.
Hillary Clinton’s love for country is as evident as her obvious dedication to change. It’s clear, she wants a future America where all Americans are provided with ladders of opportunity that raise the socio economic bar for every person living within our borders, male, female and every race and ethnicity as well as sexual orientation. She is also someone to be reckoned with, what some would say is a force of nature, who on the world stage, has the nuts and bolts knowledge necessary to deal with any world leader.
She just happens to be a woman, the gender by which the majority of us were raised by, nurtured by, influenced in a classroom by, disciplined by, fed and clothed by and for many still intimidated by.
Unfortunately, we live in a nation obsessed with sexist pop culture drama where daily details of disturbed Hollywood type breakdowns fill headlines and network executives make a buck through false tawdry reality television shows like "The Bachelor" that reinforce sub conscious stone age imagery of women, images that little girls every where see and think this is something to aspire to be.
That night at Crunch on Lafayette in New York City, the selection on the screens was not just the election returns in New Hampshire.
Perhaps the Clinton Campaign needs to step up to the political and cultural plate and display some necessary courage and market Hillary not only as a staid leader, but show some female swagger and in their own iconic way, confront America's female imagery and mind set, own it, overcome it, and own it again, and yes, change America. Hillary, come on and Go Girl.