I guess the first thing that I find off-putting is the concentration on Clinton's gender as a point of contention for both sides. We should first ignore the fact that the fact that Clinton's a woman as a question of governance should really remain the province of the Republican party flat-earthers and not something progressives should be arguing about. Republicans are really the guys the miniature units that should be threatened by a female president. On this side of the aisle we shouldn't need to compensate.
With this in mind I find it more than a little offensive that any Clinton supporters would resort to gender framing to defend Clinton in her debate performance a couple of nights ago. In presidential politics the person leading in the polls is going to take the most hits in a debate with the other candidates. That's the simple political reality and has nothing to do with what position the candidate takes while peeing (I'm personally fond of the "leaning drunkenly against the wall of the police station position" myself.)
I don't want Hillary Clinton to be the democratic candidate for President. I've said it many times and remained more convinced of that position as the campaign has progressed. She's not alone, however, on the list of democrats I don't want to see nominated. All of the declared candidates are less than inspiring IMHO. Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson, etc. leave me flat.
In 1984 when I was just a pup when it came to politics I went and saw Jesse Jackson on a campaign stop in his own run for the presidency. I'll never forget that speech. I remember distinctly how he started out slowly, speaking in an almost monotone voice. I was initially disappointed and wondered if Jackson was really the firebrand he'd been portrayed as on television.
Jackson slowly became more animated and changed his cadence until, by the end of the speech, he was essentially preaching to the crowd. We went nuts. We were on our feet screaming our agreement as he ticked of problem after problem that Ronald Reagan had failed to address and how we could do better. My favorite line was when he said he'd take "Franklin Roosevelt in his wheelchair over Ronald Reagan on his horse any day of the week." I left that rally exhilarated, full of hope and convinced that politics could be used to changed the world for the better.
What Americans are screaming for is this kind of leadership. The vast majority of us want the war in Iraq to be brought to an end. We want the the problems of health care and inequity to be addressed. We want action on global warming. We want America's role in the world, as a partner not a bully, restored. We want hope.
I don't give a rat's ass about the gender, race, sexual orientation, religious orientation or whatever the hell else even progressives seem to be debating as qualifications for the presidency. We have real problems. Until a candidate can give me that kind of hope I and millions of others crave then I refuse to give them my attention or my support.