A politician looks forward only to the next election. A statesman looks forward to the next generation. Thomas Jefferson

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we had when we created them. Albert Einstein

My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned, not bought. Margaret Chase Smith

Suffragist's Conference, 1888

If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation Abigail Adams

Recently a young mother asked for advice. What, she wanted to know, was she to do with a 7-year-old who was obstreperous, outspoken, and inconveniently willful? "Keep her," I replied.... The suffragettes refused to be polite in demanding what they wanted or grateful for getting what they deserved. Works for me. Anna Quindlen

07 November, 2012


 "Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.

It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people..."

 "...I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else.
You'll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You'll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy..."
"...That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future..."

 "...Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin..."

" ...The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on..."

"... What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great..."

"... despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight."

 "...I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting...
... I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America."

05 November, 2012

"The Responsibility is Clear" -Be Counted!

"And what they’re counting on now is that you’re going to be so worn down by all the squabbling, so tired of the dysfunction, so weary of what goes on, on Capitol Hill, that you’re just going to give up and walk away—and just put them back in power, or let them stay there. In other words, their bet is on cynicism...my bet is on you. Barack Obama


"The margin is narrow,but the responsibility is clear"  
John F. Kennedy

I grew up in the Post-Watergate era, deeply rooted  political cynicism left me asking for many years -"what's the point?", why bother?" Politicians were just actors after all and then of course Ronald Reagan was elected and proved me right. I have, however, always been a political junkie-watching an election unfold and sitting on my high horse examining the "people", such fun! and one of my favorite spectator sports....but a spectator cannot change the game and then must live with the final score-that doesn't work for me. Nor does it work in a world where every decision a leader makes reverberates around the globe, where too many have too little, and where the future sits in the hands of so many who can only look backward.  

Does one vote count? Who would miss my vote if I stayed home on Tuesday? Well probably no one, but then again Al Gore might think differently about that. I have learned, as I hope we all have, that one vote or not it is the act  of voting itself that has significance, it has power and it matters. 


"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people"  John F Kennedy

It seems like such a simple thing, why such a fuss?  History that's why.  We take the responsibility of voting for granted because we have always had the right to vote or not vote as we pleased.  For so many  for so much of history voting was not their right.  Of all my memories of September 11, which was also a primary day in Massachusetts, I remember my grandmother insisting on going to vote that day.  I tried to dissuade her fearing I don't know what given the events of the day, but as a first generation American, who came of age just as women received the right to vote, she understood what I did not- voting is not a casual exercise,nor a whim, but an act that whether it changes an election or not demands respect not simply for its power, but also because of the ghosts of all who could not vote.  The act of voting is a right and a privilege that so many battled so hard to win, many died for this simple act, and many around the world still do not have the ability to just cast a vote and make their voice heard.


 "We would say to people,you know,you've been living here for 40 years,for 50 years.  Your street is not paved.  You have a dirt road.  You don't have clean water.  If you want to change that,you must register and you must vote.  You can get someone else elected.  Come to a mass meeting,come next Monday.  The neighbors are coming.  Your Uncle is coming.  Your children are coming.  You should be there.  I tell people,we're going to have a march for the right to vote.  Don't be afraid.  You may get arrested but a lot of other people will be getting arrested with you.  And some people would be convinced,and some would not."  John Lewis


 So I can sit by and fuss and fume over what does or not get done, what does or does not change, what does or does not improve, all the privilege of living in a democracy---or I can pick up a marker and fill in a circle--not too tough. It may not change the planet right then and there, but I will be standing for not only my opinions but for the generations before that could not vote and the generations to come that hopefully will benefit from my filling that little circle. In an election where "Forward" is the only path, we need to look back first and realize -Yes, it Matters!

"In the words of my Mom, go vote. 
It makes you feel big and strong"  Bob Schieffer

15 April, 2012

Runway to the White House

Tory Burch Tote

via Vogue

...And They're Off---well campaigning never really stops does it??   but at least as we start the long journey on the campaign trail to the 2012 election in November we can dress for success!

Jason Wu
 This White House as we know has great style ...

...so no surprise that The Obama Campaign  has joined once again with the fashion community and celebrated designers to create an exclusive line for Obama 2012 with proceeds going to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fund-raising committee authorized by Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee.  Four Years ago Runway to Change put candidate Obama on the fashion pages and now President Obama's Re-Election campaign is underway on the runway and off the racks.
Thakoon Scarf
Designers from Tory Burch to Jason Wu, Thakoon,Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenberg, Rachel Roy, Vera Wang...have created a collection of Ts-

Rachel Roy
Narciso Rodriguez

Beyonce and Tina Knowles

Accessories Sweatshirts and Totes-

Derek Lam

Alexander Wang
Vera Wang

 and even Nail Polish

Richard Blanch
  ...all to support the Re-Election campaign for President Barack Obama.  I'm scooping the Jason Wu T, that fab Thakoon scarf and this Tote from Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig.

Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig

Can wearing a T shirt or carrying a Cute Tote create Change---Why Not!! 
 Visit Runwaytowin.com

Marc Jacobs

17 September, 2011

An Icon Speaks

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy was First Lady of the United States in a time of great change, promise and turmoil in this country. This very young woman with extraordinary poise, grace and style would capture a nation and the world's eye unlike any other First Lady,a term she did not like. The Kennedys were in the White House briefly and before my time, yet her images and her presence have captivated me as they have  so many for whom she became larger than life...but she was very real, and very human.  This week 50 years after her husband's inauguration we heard her voice, that soft breathless almost little girl voice that would reveal a great deal about the woman behind the fashion shots

In March of 1964, just 4 months after her husband's assassination, Jackie Kennedy sat for a series of recorded open conversations with her friend and historian Arthur Schlesinger to talk about her experiences as First Lady. These were not conversations about that horrific day in Dallas, but rather a love letter to her husband and a revelation about this woman's vulnerability,insecurity, strength and candor.  These never revealed recordings, 8 hours in total, along with a book, Jacqueline Kennedy:Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy, have just been released to a great deal of hype ,chatter and an ABC Diane Sawyer special "Jacqueline Kennedy: In Her Own Words" which drew 8 million viewers, ABC's largest non sports audience in five years.  Jackie Kennedy throughout her life was a fiercely private public woman,..perhaps the most famous woman in the world, who for obvious reasons guarded her privacy, her children and her life.  So why would she have done this and what did they tell us about Jackie? At just 34 she knew that time would move and alter the history, and I believe she wanted a record in her words for the record of history of  not only the man she loved, his work,but also the extraordinary experiences of being in the White House in those years.

I think what surprised me the most about the interviews was that for all her sophistication, her very well read intelligent mind, she seemed almost naive at times- though we know how sharp and shrewd she could be. The image that emerges of Jackie from these interviews is one that scrapes against the perfectly coiffed and adorned icon who smiled through such times.  She had very strong and judgemental opinions and voiced them about everyone and everything, almost catty and snobbish, she was quite candid about her opinions on people from Indira very Ghandi ,who she called "a real prune" to LBJ.  She was also so conscious of her role not only publicly but privately. I was most surprised by her feelings of inadequacy and her own self image. Here the most admired revered woman in the world, the woman every other woman wanted to look like and be, admitted to weeping and bouts with exhaustion and depression, and her feelings of being so not up to the role..."I felt like such a dud" she would say and she talked about apologizing for what a poor campaigner she thought she was- ironic because once in the White House Jackie would become one of the Kennedy's greatest political assets charming world leaders and assessing the President's friends and foes while enthralling a nation and decorating literally and figuratively a new era in Washington.

Her determination was to fulfill what she saw as her most important job, that of sustaining and supporting her husband and shielding him, creating a safe and haven like world from the stress of the Presidency. She wanted the fairy tale world to be real and worked to be sure both during and after her time in the White House that the myth become truth for herself and for the world. Stunning because she lived a life so very far from a fairy tale. Jackie saw her role as extremely traditional, in almost "Victorian" terms, "I get all my opinions from my husband".  Well that obviously wasn't the case.  "Women should not be in politics, we just aren't suited for it."-ironic because she was in her own right a very political woman who was in fact a master of strategic relationships.  Her opinions on a "Woman's Place" did not surprise me as much because of the time she lived in, we know her life would change as would her opinions on women's role, she would later lament the fact that "women are not encouraged to use their full gifts"...but at that moment, this is where women were-they were by their husband's sides, they were creating perfect homes and perfect worlds for their men and their children.. We know now of course what all that "perfection" would lead, ironically it was Jackie's image that fueled that desire in women of the 60s.

 Jackie felt her purpose,her job, was  to be there for her husband. Her role was to create "a climate of affection and comfort and detente when he came home...I think a woman always adapts, and especially if you're very young when you get married. You know, you really become the kind of wife you can see that your husband wants," she said. She relished the role of a "Japanese Wife" happy to stand in the shadow of this man, but ironically she was the one that shone and  in that house she very much became her own woman.

The interviews also show an irreverent almost acerbic wit that at times was surprising in her comments that seemed so unlike the image we have of this graceful, classic icon. Yet it has to be remembered that this was 4 months after his loss, and she seemed so very determined to begin monument building and be sure the world remembered him as she saw him and as she wanted him remembered.   "Camelot" was the romantic cloth she spread, and I think was determined to cover so much with it.  Since her husband would never be able to write his memoirs about his presidency and give his story and view, Jacqueline Kennedy would do it for him, ensuring that it would be her view and memories that would be recorded for history.

Yet the voice I wanted to hear was Caroline's.  I was disappointed in Diane Sawyer's interview--so many questions that only she can answer. I wanted to hear more of her reaction to her Mom's comments and get to know more from the daughter that must have so many stories to tell.  It is amazing and so commendable  that Caroline did release these tapes which do show that her Mother was real and honest and perhaps not as pitch perfect as the cultural icon we have revered.  We see a woman of her own mind, complex, a woman filled with contradictions and judgements and a woman determined in her grief and throughout her life to maintain the image of John F. Kennedy as hero. I understand and applaud Caroline's reserve and her determination to guard  as much as she can the world her Mother built while allowing a new and fuller portrait into her family's history.  

Caroline said "...I think people really need to understand the purpose of an oral history. And it really – the value of it is it is immediate, it is honest...I think that was very brave of her to do that and to be honest. But it’s got limitations. It’s just – it’s a primary source document. It’s like a diary or something like that, it’s really a snapshot...This was something where she felt the obligation to be honest and she had always told us that she was going to put it away for 50 years...There are flashes throughout where I hear her and there are parts to me where it sounds like it was a very long time ago, just the way she speaks and the things she said...It was funny because my daughters listened to it too and they were just absolutely horrified…’Did she really think that?’ And of course time has moved on and it shows you both there are many timeless things in here but it really is a snapshot of a world that we barely recognize,” 

14 June, 2009

Get me Rewrite! Out of Print-Losing a Way of Life, The Disappearance of the American Newspaper

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.
Arthur Miller

I just received a terrific gift. A shopping bag filled with newspapers. I know it's not a new bag or bracelet but I was thrilled none the less. I won't be wrapping fish or dishes in them...these are keepsakes to be put carefully away. They include copies of papers from Inauguration Day from all over the country and they will be stored along with so many other papers I have collected ever since I can remember...papers reporting and commemorating important events that chronicle my time elections,championships,tragedies,celebrations, even snowstorms.

So many daily life memories that I cherish include the newspaper...digging through the snow to find the morning paper, my dog tearing the Sunday paper to shreds in clearly an act of rebellion from paper training days, my Grandmother cutting out coupons, my Grandfather taking his daily walk to buy the paper, my Dad on the couch with the sports section or any section and my Mom picking those sections up off the floor where he had dropped them.

I learned to read from the newspaper-sitting on my Daddy's lap sounding out word by word the sports section and the Funnies. Miss Peach, Mutt and Jeff, Peanuts...were my reading buddies. Dr. Seuss came along later but by then I already knew how to make out the words. My relationship with newspapers started that early and a daily paper has been a part of my world ever since.

I read about eight newspapers in a day. When I'm in a town with only one newspaper, I read it eight times.
Will Rogers

I truly cannot imagine everyday life without a newspaper. There was a time when I read 3 or 4 papers a day. I have a collection of front pages from major events,and not so major,that have happened throughout my life. The morning after Election Day I drove from news dealer to news stand in search of national and local papers announcing Barack Obama as "Mr. President" and I was not alone. I found empty news boxes and shelves wherever I stopped. I had to order most editions and waited quite a few weeks for the Chicago papers to arrive as they went to reprint on that special addition. Why? Newspapers are records of our history, politics, arts, sports...but they are also chronicles of life in a city, in our towns,and they document the people and events that make up day to day.

No matter the world newspapers have been a constant,reliable, dependable. The morning paper is always there-sometimes at the front door sometimes in the bushes but it is always there somewhere. In my house it was the morning Boston Globe there to greet you. During the Blizzard of '78 we couldn't drive for days, there was no school for weeks, we walked to get groceries, but the newspaper somehow got delivered---I still have those copies reporting life at a standstill. On September 11 The Wall St. Journal found its neighborhood in horror but it had to report and publish a paper...it did this despite its offices being in the midst of terror.

There is a romance of course to newspapers and the newspaper business that is ingrained into our popular culture...I think of Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday, Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, Citizen Kane,All the President's Men, Clark Kent,the trench coat/ fedora wearing/cigar chomping beat reporter notebook or typewriter by the side...think Spencer Tracy of course.

Many of us worked on a school newspaper and grew up in an era that the definition of journalism could be found only in print. The importance of newspaper to journalism aside, there is the institution, the habit, the dependability, the constant in a world without constants, of a daily paper in our lives.

Now newspapers are finding that they are reporting on themselves. That is certainly what is happening in Boston. The Boston Globe is reporting the major story of the potential of their own demise...and it is perhaps one of the most shocking stories they could ever write. Boston without the Globe--unthinkable!

Life without newsprint is really unthinkable, yet that appears to be where we are heading...and fast. Rapid changes in how we communicate and consume information, the speed at which events can be reported and received, coupled with an economic meltdown have meant that the Daily Paper has become a dinosaur...not to me!

As more Americans turn to online news and the recession eats away at advertising dollars, some newspapers are going out of business and others are struggling to stay afloat. The newspaper business is in serious serious trouble. In April media columnist Michael Wolff dramatically declared that in “...about 18 months from now, 80percent of newspapers will be gone."

According to the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press only 33% of those polled say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available. Many papers have already shut their doors and countless numbers of small town and big city papers are teetering on the brink of doing the same. Papers that were considered institutions are gone. In March, the 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer published its last print edition and Denver's Rocky Mountain News closed down its presses after nearly 150 years of putting out a daily paper.

Not only are we facing a future of one newspaper towns but many towns with no daily paper at all. It is a horrible thought for a civilized society...do I sound out of touch, not progressive, stuck in my ways? so be it! I have a Blackberry, I have a laptop, I have a cell phone--they aren't newspapers...period!

Newspapers are a valued cornerstone of our lives. We turn to them on good days and on bad. Thomas Jefferson who of course never had a Twitter address, believed that newspapers were critical for creating and maintaining a true democracy by informing the public. In 1787, he wrote "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to choose the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers, and be capable of reading them."

The need for consuming news will of course never disappear. How we receive news has changed dramatically in a very short time,however, and traditional newspapers either didn't see it coming or don't have a clue how to do it differently and still turn a profit. Today as we redefine "what news is"-Twitter, Facebook, blogs, online e-zines... a printed piece of paper that arrives on your doorstep 24 hours after an event some claim has lost its relevancy. This coupled with the fierce competition for ad dollars and the the true loss of the Classifieds to sites like Craig's List has left the business of newspapers and their survival in deep deep trouble. Ironically this happens at a time when we need newspapers more than perhaps ever before.

Television has a real problem. They have no page two. Consequently every big story gets the same play and comes across to the viewer as a really big, scary one. ~Art Buchwald, 1969

In an age filled with "get it out there" news the truth, the facts are missing very often. Yes,you can get info anytime anywhere..but what is that info, who is putting it out there and how carefully? Reading on a laptop does not give you the ponder ability, you lose the flip through,clip out,curl up, sit with..component that we have taken for granted. A newspaper is unique in its ability to present life from birth to death and everything in the middle in one net format.

"...For every disgrace there is triumph, for every wrong there is a moment of justice, for every funeral a wedding, for every obituary a birth announcement." Anna Quindlen

Old fashioned? Antiquated? Dinosaurs? perhaps, but I for one will not easily toss my newspapers recycle bin yet.

"More than 100 million adults in the United States read a printed newspaper every day — more than watched the Super Bowl. As troubled as the U.S. economy is, if 100 million consumers want and use something, that product usually doesn't go away," Gary Pruitt, CEO of the newspaper company McClatchy Co.

I refuse to even imagine a day without a newspaper, tangible, ink stained,bulletin board postable. As generations before me have done I hope to always pick that paper up off the front step and greet the day knowing that if the paper is there the world is still in orbit.

05 April, 2009

"I Do Hugs"-The First Lady's Real Fashion Statement

"If you want to know the reason why I am standing here, it's because of education... "I never cut class. I loved getting A's, I liked being smart. ... I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world."

Azzedine Alaia

This week Michelle Obama stepped onto the world stage in her Jimmy Choos and did more than show off her Thakoon clad style...she showed her heart.

While the President carries the weight of the world with a desk filled with nightmares, it is Michelle who is the uplifting presence, spreading inspiration and hope with a warmth and spirit that is genuine-winning over even Her Majesty.

Isabel Toledo

While watching the First Lady enter to meet the Queen I got a rush of excitement for her. The little girl from the South Side of Chicago, who shared a room with her brother while growing up, was having tea at Buckingham Palace with The Queen of England!...and she looked very much at home.

Thakoon Coat

Much has been written about her wardrobe this trip of course-she chose versatility and designers that reflect her personality from Michael Kors to Azzedine Alaia, Isabel Toledo, Thakoon and J.Crew!

As she stood next to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, pussycat bow to pussycat bow and kitten heel to flat,I thought one of these women is playing a role- costume design by Dior of course, and the other is being who she is-independent, strong, smart, glamorous and yes, real! An American woman living her life under extraordinary circumstances while staying true to her core.

Junya Watanabe Cardigan

It was at the Elizabeth Anderson Garrett School,however, her first solo of the trip, that Europe had the chance to see up close the woman that is Michelle Obama.

As she watched and listened to performances and speeches from students of the school it was clear she was moved by them. When she spoke to over 100 students, ages 11-17 all from an incredibly diverse backgrounds ( over 55 languages are spoken at the school) she left them with a moment and a message they will always remember.

"When I look at a performance like this, it just reminds me that there are diamonds like this all over the world... All of you are precious and you touch my heart, and it's important for the world to know that there are wonderful girls like you all over the world."

"I am an example of what is possible when girls, from the very beginning of their lives, are loved and nurtured by the people around them.""I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity...

You too can control your own destiny, please remember that...Whether you come from a council estate or a country estate, your success will be determined by your own confidence and fortitude...It won't be easy, that's for sure, but you have everything you need. Everything you need you already have right here...

We are counting on you, we are counting on every single one of you to be the best that you can be. We know you can do it, we love you..."

As the world becomes darker it is obvious that it is Michelle Obama who will carry that message of Hope and be the face of promise. This First Lady will be the force that creates change in the hearts and minds of young girls all over the world. A role model and an inspiration, she will lead them to believe in themselves and in their ability to be whoever they want to be no matter their background, no matter their upbringing , no matter what they look like or where they live in the world.