In 2002, Randy Newman finally won an Oscar for Best Original Song, after being nominated without winning more than a dozen times.
This blog was in its early days, and I was desperate for material, so I live-blogged the Oscars, and at one point, I wrote, "Not sure what it means, but Randy Newman was the first person where I thought, 'hey, that's one of us up there!' This was rather silly ... by that point, even Bruce Springsteen had won an Oscar. And there was a far more noteworthy example at that Oscars of people getting to see themselves ... Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won the Best Actor awards, with Berry being the first African-American to win Best Actress. Berry made history. But I can't deny my instant reaction to Randy Newman's win.
Barbara Lee has been my representative in the House for 20 years. She does us proud. A campaign motto of hers, "Barbara Lee Speaks for Me", couldn't be more true. You might say that in Congress, she is both Halle Berry and Randy Newman.
She just lost her bid to become the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. The Intercept suggested she lost because of her association with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that she was punished for being on the side of the woman who unseated a man popular with centrist Democrats. I'm not sure about that. But neither am I surprised that the woman who Speaks for Me was unsuccessful in this case. I never expect the Democratic Party to make me feel good.
I was checking out Ocasio-Cortez' Instagram account, which is a delight. And I realized that the fact she uses Instagram the way many people do, as a way to present the "human" side of herself while also making policy statements, is one way she is of her generation. Instagram is more popular with the young than with geezers like me. Ocasio-Cortez' use of Instagram is just one item among many that tell us she isn't your father's Congresswoman. So far, I love her, but she speaks for a different demographic than mine. And that's a good thing.
So when she posted a brief Instagram video from a meeting of some sort for progressive Democrats, it warmed my heart that sitting right next to Ocasio-Cortez was ... Barbara Lee.