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April 15, 2008

Hillary, Sans Q&A

By Rob Kall

last night I attended a Hillary rally in suburban, blue collar Philly, then had dinner with some Hillary supporting friends.


This started as an email, in response to an editor who rejected a nasty screed against Obama. Before posting it, another editor wrote me too, commenting on how unacceptable the article was.

* * *

I went to a Hillary rally last night and had dinner afterwards with two friends who are Hillary supporters.

Donna, who is one of my "drinking liberally" buddies, asked me what I was feeling, as an Obama supporter, amongst such a throng of Hillary supporters. "Sympathy," I replied.

I know, because we've talked about it, that Donna will get behind and campaign for Obama when he wins. She says "IF." And I know how much more passionate many of the over 50, over 70 women are about wanting to have their first female president. So I do feel sympathy for them, knowing that the odds are so against them. I also understand how angry they are. When they complain about how terribly Obama supporters are bashing Hillary, I know that Obama supporters are feeling the same way. There's a lot of anger out there, on both sides, a lot of indignation. I'm feeling indignant when I see Hilary's attack ad, running in PA, whereas Obama is not running attack ads. Of course, I may be seeing things differently than Hillary supporters.

My other Hillary supporting dinner companion, a guy I went to kindergarten with, could have said the same kinds of stuff as the article writer said. Last time we got together, I insisted we not talk politics. I knew where it would go. I'm used to it. My brother considers liberals to be "wackos," and supported Bush both times. This dinner, there was no avoiding talking politics. My friend said he was terribly offended by Obama having Rev. Wright as a minister, was disgusted by Michelle Obama saying "This is the first time I'm proud of America."

"No, that's not what she said," I told him.

Getting a bit excited, he replied, "Yes it is. I heard her."

"No. You've got it wrong, " I recountered. "She said, 'This is the first time I'm REALLY proud. There's a big difference"

Then after we were discussing Universal health care, which Donna agreed with me on, he asked us, "If you had to pick one kind of government, which would you pick?... "

I knew where THAT was going-- capitalism communist or socialist. I stopped him and I told him I loved him (thinking how we'd been friends over 50 years,) that I know he's brilliant, and smarter than me (he's an inventor who holds several patents) but, using my most, eloquent language, I explained to him, "when it comes to politics, you're a fucking idiot. We both laughed. What the hell. At least he registered to vote in this election, for the first time in 10 or 15 years, he reported. Go figure. What can I say. Old friends come with warts... and I do still love him.

Now about that article, which said, among other things:

I would probably have accepted the article you rejected. There's a lot of that kind of talk out there and its being spoken by passionate Democrats. I don't want to shut out their voices, even if I totally disagree with them.
The people at the Hillary event cheered louder and longer than the people at the Obama event I attended the week before, lapping up the canned stump speech lines Hillary has honed over the recent weeks. But the crowd was much smaller. And for me, the event was very disappointing. I'd come ready to ask a question and Hillary didn't do questions.

Obama did at least a half hour of questions, even though he arrived late. Hillary had arrived at about 7:15, 45 minutes early. That wasn't a problem, since the event was scheduled from 6-9 PM.
So she should have had plenty of time to ask questions.

The thing is, it's safer to skip the questions. When you answer questions, you go off script, off message and you expose yourself to risk-- the risk of making a mistake, a mis-statement, a mis-speaking. I mean real mis-speaks, not ones that are repeated over and over again as part of planned stump speeches. It takes much more courage to answer questions. The big plus of answering questions is you go further , out on a limb, but you also further enable potential supporters to find out who you are and what you are about.

That's why I'm looking forward to the debate at Philly's Constitution Center tonight.

One thing Hillary did say is that we're going to move toward Universal health care. She's saying she's the only one offering it. But doing it and moving towards it are two VERY different things. I see that as a step back from committing to getting it done.

An aside; I was surprised to discover just how short Hillary is-- about 5 foot three. I'd guess she's the shortest presidential candidate ever.

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes

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Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. 

For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. 

Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Talk Nation Radio interview by David Swanson:  Rob   Kall  on Bottom-Up Governance June, 2017

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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