Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why we can't quit on Hillary Clinton now either!

News yesterday that John Edwards and NARAL had endorsed Barack Obama made me sick...This morning, I contributed $100 to Hillary Clinton. We must continue to support her, and I hope you can take the time to read why I think so:

1) Senator Hillary Clinton still is the most qualified to be president, and I admire her ability/willingness to continue putting herself and her policies on the line in spite of daunting delegate math. She has waged one of the most incredible presidential campaigns in history, and I hope that she does not drop out until the last state votes and we get a final tally for 2008. Not incidentally, this campaign is also about the future of women running for higher office. Call it symbolic, call it pride, call it ambition -- I call it a HUGE step forward for a women, and an amazing performance by one of the most amazing women of our times.

2) As you well know, HRC has waged her campaign in the face of ongoing sexism -- including the criticism of how she has run her campaign and that senators generally have no executive experience. No one mentioned this while one-term Senators Obama and Edwards were prancing in the limelight yesterday, nor has John McCain come under similar criticism even though his campaign imploded and went broke last summer. McCain got this far because his competitors were sketchy. Hillary Clinton keeps coming back in the face of Obamamania and 101 ridiculous reasons to not like her. (Had the Democrats used-winner-take-all rules like the GOPers to divide up delegates instead of proportional apportionment, Hillary Clinton would now be the Democratic nominee!)

3) The NARAL announcement was not only cruelly-timed, but reminded me immediately of Connie Morella. You may remember that in 2000 NARAL endorsed, supported, and applauded Democrat Chris Van Hollen's win over Maryland Congresswoman Morella -- having been convinced that this would help the Dems take back Congress, which it did not. Ms. Morella was a strong, loyal pro-Choice Republican who had been endorsed by NARAL in previous cycles. Mr. Van Hollen is now the zealous chair of the DCCC, and has not championed any sort of program to elect women to OPEN SEATS. DNC rules can be changed to negate the votes of Democrats in Florida and Michigan, but they apparently cannot be changed to accelerate the election of women to Congress...Women's issues will only be seriously addressed when a critical mass of women are elected to higher office -- a concept that has never been grasped by women's groups like NARAL, which continue to endorse/support men in a misguided effort to be major political players instead of focusing on empowering women. Women will vote for Barack Obama if he is the nominee because Hillary Clinton will ask them to, NOT because NARAL made this endorsement while she was still a candidate.

4) MOST IMPORTANTLY: If Senator Clinton continues on to come close if not win, this increases her political power/leverage going forward -- which can effect vp choice, cabinet appointees, party platform, convention protocol, even help retiring her debt, etc. There a many ways that Hillary Clinton can still make our voices heard and forward her policies. Some people will say that these inside baseball issues are all about her, but I for one truly believe in her 30-year deep commitment to public service and women. In any case, we need women at the highest levels of political/government decision-making. We should applaud and support the women who can play politics on par with the boys, not denigrate them -- otherwise, back to square one.

That's why I continue to support Hillary Clinton, both with my hard-earned dollars and however else I can. If you do, too, please do go to and give what you can today -- it's critically important that we don't quit now either.

Emphatically yours,
Paula X