Tag Archives: news and notes

In 2008, Hillary Clinton said mother would have been in foster care today

She was Senator Hillary Clinton in 2008, when she ran against Senator Barack Obama and John Edwards in South Carolina, the last state before Edwards dropped out of the race.

I spoke to her for NPR’s News and Notes, and she mentioned her mother, saying, “If she had been born at a later time, I believe she probably would have been put into the foster care system because her parents essentially abandoned her.”  Today, former Secretary of State Clinton is expected to formally announce for President, foregrounding themes of her mother.

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The New York Times says:

Sharing that story is a shift for Mrs. Clinton, who in her 2008 campaign was fiercely protective of her mother’s privacy and eager to project an image of strength as she sought to become the first female commander in chief. And in this campaign, her mother’s story may help address one of Mrs. Clinton’s central challenges: convincing voters who feel they already know everything about her that there is, indeed, more to know, and that she is motivated by more than ambition.

But she did, in fact talk about it… perhaps not extensively, but you can still listen here (sometimes with a long page load time). It begins at 5:17.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2008, for NPR’s News and Notes, 1/25/2008, responding to why she has done children’s-rights work in her legal and political career.

I think it was initially important because my mother had such a very difficult life.

If she had been born at a later time, I believe she probably would have been put into the foster care system because her parents essentially abandoned her and her grandparents were very unwelcoming, and basically she had to leave their home when she was 13 just to go work in someone else’s home, just to have a safe place to live and to try to be able to make some way in her life.
They let her take care of her children but she had to but she had to get up and get the other children off to school, and they let her go to high school. I really saw at a very early age, that despite my comfortable, secure upbringing in my family that wasn’t the case for so many children.
It just became the cause of my passionate commitments here in public service to do what I can to give every child a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential.

 

RIP, Chinua Achebe

via Reuters: http://reut.rs/10stEyp

The influential novelist Chinua Achebe passed away, leaving behind a legacy of fiction, poetry, and political discourse. He’s the author of the seminal novel Things Fall Apart.

I spoke with him in 2007 for NPR’s News and Notes. Unfortunately we had a vexingly bad phone line. But listen carefully to his words not just on human nature and creativity, but also politics and the Biafra Civil War.

Audio is here.

Obama Year One: A story of fear and hope.

(Note: This article can also be viewed on the Huffington Post, where I would encourage you to post comments.)

A year ago today, I was in NPR’s Los Angeles studios, providing commentary for the network’s election night special. I’d worked a double shift, first as the host of the African-American focused show News and Notes, then rolling on into the coverage of returns and looks at ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 8. After Barack Obama was announced the winner of the U.S. Preidency and we wrapped up the special, I drove down Jefferson Avenue in Los Angeles… and almost got carjacked. I’ve rarely spoken about the incident, but it’s time for me to examine its resonance as I look back on the last year of American life, of black American life, and of journalism. Continue reading »