Friday, June 6, 2008

While we wait

Tomorrow Senator Clinton will speak at a rally here in Washington D.C. I will be there. Amidst all the speculation going on now with regard to what will happen at that rally, nobody - nobody - other than Senator Clinton really can know what she will say. For my own part, therefore, I am exercising patience, not reacting before there is anything to which to react.

But that is relatively easy for me because I recognize Senator Clinton for the talented, mature adult that she so clearly is. Therefore, I will respect whatever course she decides to adopt with regard to how she approaches her own political career at this rather delicate moment.

Now, for me at least, this is the crucial difference between somebody like Senator Clinton and somebody like Senator Obama. I have yet to be convinced by him that he deserves my respect; and I cannot vote for somebody I do not not respect.

Senator Clinton earned a lot of people's respect over the course of this primary season, including respect from some who never expected to give it to her. She did it the hard and honest way: by speaking to as many people as possible, regardless of the obstacles, to persuade them that she deserved the job of being the President of the United States. Not many folks from the current Democratic Party establishment stepped up to help her make her case. And Senator Clinton did not need that, perhaps understanding that true leadership requires one to make one's own case.

Today a friend, a veteran, received this message from Wesley Clark:
From: Wes Clark
Subject: Unite Behind Barack Obama

Dear _____,

There has never been a more important election in my lifetime — with a war waging, gas prices at record highs, our health care in crisis, and our nation’s standing around the world severely diminished. I spent the last year traveling across the country talking to great Americans in Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, Texas, South Dakota, Indiana and many other places. They all agree on one thing: This country needs new leadership, and it’s time for change.

Many of you in the Clark community answered the call. Some of you worked tirelessly for Senator Clinton while others poured hours into Senator Obama’s campaign. You did this because you were willing to sacrifice your time and energy to bring the change we so desperately need. I can’t thank you enough for all you have done.

Now I am asking you to come together and make sure Barack Obama is our next president. This is a critical mission.

Hillary Clinton ran an amazing race. She inspired millions. Our party is a better party because of her campaign, and our nation is a better nation because of her service. She is and will always be a friend whom I admire.

I congratulate Senator Barack Obama on securing the nomination. His historic campaign has touched lives and his message has moved people in every corner of America. I believe he is not only ready for the challenge but will be a great President.

It’s time our party comes together to stand behind Senator Obama as we move forward in this election season. I look forward to doing everything I can to help Senator Obama’s campaign. While I respect John McCain’s service, I know exactly what he stands for — Bush’s third term. America is a great nation, and our people deserve more. We need Barack Obama to be our next president.

Sincerely,

Wes Clark
Wes Clark's voice is just another in the chorus demanding that people cast their ballots for Senator Obama. But you cannot demand people's votes, you have to earn them. And at the end of the day you have to earn them for yourself. So far, Senator Obama does not seem to have cottoned on to this critical point. He may think that by declaring himself the nominee and turning his attention to John McCain he is indeed making the case to voters that he deserves their votes.

This is folly.

Should Senator Obama become the Democratic nominee at the Democratic National Convention, he simply cannot beat John McCain without first convincing Clinton Democrats that we should vote for him. This is going to be a very tough job, but then again so is being President of the United States. The only person who can earn the votes he will need if wants to beat John McCain is Senator Obama. That is, if Senator Obama does in fact become the Democratic Party's nominee.

That too is another matter on which we are waiting.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary is doing the right thing. Be a good Dem., support the faux nominee, talk about solutions to National problems and smile while Obama self destructs. If she is offered the VP slot, that will be a huge loss of face for Obama.

June 6, 2008 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post Heidi, and you certainly keep the faith!

ainnj

June 7, 2008 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger mystic4hill said...

Senator Obama has lost my respect over the many months of this primary race. When he accepted Michigan delegates that he had not earned, that, in fact, rightly belonged to Senator Clinton, he passed the point of no return for me. There is simply nothing he can do or say, nothing anyone can do or say, that will convince me to vote for him in November (should he ultimately become the nominee). The divorce is final, and I want no part of him. Ever.

June 7, 2008 at 12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wesley Clark is right when he says this is a critical mission. The mission he sees, however, is different from the one that I see.

Wesley Clark’s mission is to elect a Democratic President. My mission is to fight for and maintain the fundamental principles of our democracy- one person=one vote, every vote counts and the press should be free and report the news. We will lose our country if those principles are not upheld.

My view is that the DNC and Senator Obama have hijacked those principles and are holding them hostage. If we support the DNC and Senator Obama, we are condoning their behavior and allowing them to step on democracy. I, for one, cannot give them my support, condone their behavior, and thereby sound the death knell for our democracy.

June 7, 2008 at 12:39 AM  
Anonymous kc said...

This sound so familiar. I remember I told a subordinate of mine the same advice once: respect is earned, not demanded. Of course, after 1 year, she ended up taking over my position as I was forced out by my own boss whom she sweet-talked into supporting her. So I think I have full justification to support the one with experience, whether it be Clinton or the far lesser choice McCain over a novice.

June 7, 2008 at 1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole whirlwind shift- in lock step I might add- of Senator Clinton's supporters is very unnerving to me. I recognize the reason Senator Obama needs it to happen quickly.Heidi is right because he either can't or won't simply ask Senator Clinton's voters to consider him as their choice for president. I'm fond of General Clark and I adore Hillary Clinton. That does not mean that I must make their choice my own. I happen to believe Senator Obama is too insistent he hold all the power. That is a major red flag to me. He is impatient as well. I want a serious, measured, tested president whom I believe truly cares about my concerns. At this juncture ,for a myriad of reasons, I cannot imagine a scenario where I will reward the party and the conduct of the Obama campaign with my nod.

June 7, 2008 at 1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would never be able to give him respect...respect is earned and he has been such a misogynistic jerk this entire primary that there is nothing that anyone (not even Hillary herself) could say to convince me otherwise.

And I am disgusted with Wes Clark sending out the email and requesting that we support him. I sent my email back with a note telling him that I had lost all of my respect for him and that I am no longer a Democrat, so please do not continue to send me any emails.

June 7, 2008 at 3:18 AM  
Anonymous Mirlo said...

I don't think Sen Obama has "secured" the nomination, since he doesn't have enough pledges delegates; I don't think he is prepared for the job of POTUS and I don't think he has a strong enough character to withstand the temptations that come with positions of great power. The primate of party unity is not the option in this particular case.

June 7, 2008 at 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Hillary's speech, but I am an American first and a x-democrat. I will not vote for Obama and will vote for McCAin. I feel that I have just been thrown under a bus.

June 7, 2008 at 1:10 PM  

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