Hillary Bliss or The Sigh of Relief Heard Round the World by Theresa Rebeck

Okay, it's not that I ever doubted her.

But at this point I doubt a lot. I doubt justice, I doubt sanity, I doubt a hope for common decency. I doubt the banks. I doubt the press. I doubt history. I doubt many of my fellow citizens. I yearn toward an agreement of common values, but I doubt our ability to get there.

I don't doubt Hillary.

That debate did not disappoint. She was, not to put too fine a point on it, dazzling. She was prepared. She had a strategy in place to deal with the fact that her opponent, a known liar, was going to tell a whole series of whoppers. She knew how to handle the fact that he was going to interrupt her incessantly, rudely, like a six year old with no impulse control. She knew how to negotiate all of it, including the fact that her moderator would do little to keep the rules in place. She was polite, and clear, and she gave no ground.

People who want to shred these moments inform me that she wasn't as good during the first 20 minutes, Coming from the theater, as I do, I'm here to tell them that the first 20 minutes are nowhere near as important as the LAST 20 minutes as well as the 50 minutes in between. Listen everybody, forget the nitpicking. She was firm, canny, smart, unflappable. She was funny. Oh, and she smiled, for all of you boys who seem to need that. She also smiled a lot for those of us who need it just because it's great to see her smile.

And at the last minute, when she finally got pissed off and decided to throw it in Trump's face how hideous he's been to women in all ways, for decades he has demeaned and discriminated against half the human race, and he still sneeringly insists on his right to do so—that's when I thought, she's not above taking a killer punch. It was there for her, and she took it.

No matter what the nut jobs including Mr. Trump want to tell you, she had stature. She looked like a president and she sounded like a president.

She sounded like MY president.

I have been negotiating a lot of heartbreak in the last few weeks, and not because I think our Hillary ever dropped the ball.

I just got so tired—again—of people shooting at her: Her health, her personality, her emails, her emails, her emails. The psychotic insistence that she's a "liar," as if everyone else in government and the media weren't constantly telling fibs a zillion times worse. Mr. Trump's lies are so enormous and interminable it's hard to even put them in the same food group. But the attacks just kept coming.

The weeks of relentless attacks and weirdness did start to get to me I'm not going to pretend it didn't. So when that debate showed up, I truly felt like I just couldn't take anymore. I was thinking about hiding under my bed with a bottle of vodka. Luckily I was at a friend's house and she was not going to put up with that, unless the debate took a turn for the worse in which case she was planning on joining me down there.

So we sat down to watch.

And then there was our Hillary, wearing that wonderful red pantsuit. And the orange man was screaming and making faces. And she was brilliant in every way. And the relief was so palpable it felt a little bit like bliss.

Look, we know the country has problems to solve. But she's got this. We've been watching her face down the ugliest and most bizarre campaign anyone's ever seen. Global warming, new infrastructure, reforming the university system, Isis, Putin and the Republican Party might just be a snap after that. After what we've watched her handle, don't we pretty much think she can handle anything?

In any event, I woke up this morning feeling blissed out, hopeful, and ready to get to work.

So look: It's time for people to stop suggesting that she's not inspiring. The world has never seen anything quite like this! It's intelligent, funny, full of ideas, charismatic, determined, unflagging and fierce. And it's not only our Hillary! it's a whole movement!

She's just at the front of it, because she's the president.


September 29, 2016

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