November 23, 2013

Dare To Compete, Mrs. Clinton. Dare To Compete...

For the better part of a decade I have carried in my wallet an article.  I can't say exactly why, other than it resonated with me.  It has nothing do with politics or the ideology of Republicans or Democrats.  It has nothing to do with working women or stay-at-home mothers.  It has more to do with the drive that separates women as leaders and followers.

In March 2006, I vaguely recall tearing a one page article out of a magazine after it inspired me to think.  I have no idea from what publication it came, as the only identifying mark, which shows through a yellowing fold on the thin glossy paper, reflects that it came from page 214 of the March 2006 edition.  There is a sizable photo of Hillary Clinton surrounded by her own words chronicling the day a young high school basketball star threw her for a loop and gave her the final nudge to run for office.  The article talks about the fact that there had been much speculation about an impending New York Senate run for Mrs. Clinton.  Turns out, though, that everyone except the soon-to-be candidate was convinced that she had the chops to take on an opponent as something other than a supportive wife.

The day was organized to celebrate a documentary that was being released about Title IX and young women in sports.  In attendance was the great Billie Jean King, as well as many young women, who had participated in high school and college sports.  Mrs. Clinton stood under the banner that read "DARE TO COMPETE", which was the name of the documentary, while a young basketball star by the name of Sofia Totti introduced her.  I cannot imagine being a young woman with the task to introduce the former First Lady, and muster the confidence to do what she did next.  As she approached the podium, Sofia grabbed her hand and whispered into her ear: "Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton, dare to compete."

Was the young female athlete the voice that finally convinced Hillary Clinton to find her inner strength and courage to to forge ahead in the political arena?  We'll never know for sure, but it was a short time later that she officially threw her proverbial hat into the ring.  Ultimately prevailing and distinguishing herself as a impressive member of the U.S. Senate.  Followed by an even more successful stint as Secretary of State.

This writer chooses to believe that long before she was FLOTUS, this hard working, wickedly brilliant, tireless advocate knew deep down that her marital counterpart would surely shine as one of this country's great political leaders.  So I ask, did it take the words of another woman to give her the final push to find her own voice and confidence to emerge as a political player?  A voice that continues to elicit energy, controversy, and discussion from both sides of the aisle.  

I think we can all agree that her impending bid for the 2016 Presidential election is only a matter of time.  But I would be remiss if I did not put forth my own two cents.  Dare to compete, Secretary Clinton, dare to compete...    

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