Of course, our thoughts and joyous best wishes, and even a few happy, tear-filled, smiling eyes have been focused on Rhinebeck. As far as we can tell from afar, everything went smoothly for Chelsea and Marc. Even the weather cooperated. I know the Hudson Valley very well and Saturday became a perfect mid-summer day for that part of the world. After weeks of unusually humid, stiffling heat with no wind and little breeze, Saturday dawned with a sparkling sun, cool temperatures and a gentle northwest wind. Perfection. And that is what we wish for the young couple’s future. Perfection. Of course, they won’t have it, but it’s good to send that kind of message to start them off.
The media was in a frenzy--of course. The Rhinebeck estate is situated in such a way that it was possible for the wedding party and their guests to experience some privacy. And, yes, the Secret Service and the local police certainly helped in keeping the press at bay. Chelsea deserved it. When she was growing up, her parents strived to allow her some privacy and normalcy. And the result from that strained cocoon is the emergence of a gracious, modest and accomplished young woman.
It’s hard not to feel some “what-might-have-beens” when we see the pictures of a radiant Hillary arriving with Bill for the pre-wedding dinner. At this moment the country is in need of national healing. We are politically battered and bruised. To borrow from Yeats, the center is in danger of not holding. Would things have been different if Hillary’s hand had been on the tiller and Barack Obama had waited another eight years???
Yes, I know it is foolish to speculate but it is impossible not to when one sees both shining charismatic parents, Hillary with Bill, waving at a cheering, welcoming crowd.
One thing is for certain. Hillary’s White House would never have made the mistake that the Obama White House made--and continues to make--about the Sherrod affair. The Boston Globe’s Derrick Z. Jackson quoted Shirley Sherrod as saying: [Here]
One of the hard things I found out, when they were dealing with me, was that there was no person of color in the inner circle who talked to me to hear my story or whom I could talk to...
Jackson went on to add:
Sherrod’s rich and tragic 62 years makes it all the more embarrassing for Obama. Her father was murdered in 1965 by white men who were never indicted. Her younger sisters endured cross burnings for integrating schools. Her husband was a courageous civil rights worker who was beaten by an ax-handle-wielding white mob. The family home was shot into and the Sherrods lost their own farm to discriminatory loan practices. All that also makes it, in her words, “unbelievable’’ that the national NAACP at first joined the chorus condemning her.
She said if someone with her history can be treated as if she had no history at all, the Obama administration risks being oblivious to real racial rot.
This is a shocking statement and we hope that Obama finds the time, when he isn’t on “The View” or other celebrity talk shows, to accept Sherrod’s invitation to visit her in rural Georgia.
We promise to continue to monitor the Sherrod story. It tells us much about the current administration. In the meantime, we shall enjoy the reports and pictures from the wedding of this young woman whom, over the years, we have watched grow into an unusually graceful young adult.
We raise our glasses high to Chelsea and Marc.