H/T Sugar N Spice. I didn’t watch The View today. I don’t watch much TV (Project Runway notwithstanding), and I hate commercial television for the most part. But Bill was apparently on today.
In 1992 I was a 20 year old waitress in a coffee shop, tasked with first dishes, then cooking, and eventually in conceiving our political theme for the election that year. I was very involved. It was my first presidential campaign. I supported Clinton very early on. I made posters that took full advantage of the facts of that year. I remember one had pictures of Clinton, Bush, & Perot with the caption The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. When we won I marveled. I was surrounded by armchair politicos in the coffee shop, where discourse thrived, even if it was pretentious and overwrought.
I will never forget the shining January day he was inaugurated, and the poem Maya Angelou read, On the Pulse of Morning. I bought a tape of it and still listen to it from time to time. It’s still so good all these years later. I remember how the next day my boyfriend and I crouched together over a table with the local paper spread out, where the entire poem had been re-printed. We read it and literally wept, realizing the power of the work, and the power of the fact that a long poem had been published in full in newspapers across the land that day. The news was poetry! Poetry was the news! A new age was indeed ushering in. We did not then know what a mockery the haters would make of it all.
I do recall that late on the November night Clinton/Gore won, after I had consumed a significant amount of beer in celebration, I leaned into my drinking buddy and cynically said, “Doesn’t matter. They’ll elect a Republican Congress in 2 years, and it’ll be gridlock all the way.”
Anyway, regarding his appearance on the view, this clip is amazing. He talks about respecting voters choices and not demonizing the other guy. He’s always been that way. Which may be why I’ve always loved him, even during his darkest days. Check it out, because he says it way better than I ever could:
In keeping with our nostalgic theme today, here is Maya Angelou’s poem, read at the first inauguration of William Jefferson Clinton: