Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let Hillary Get Back to Work

When I began drafting this post a couple of days ago, it was going to be another "Obama, you SUCK at party unity" tirade. I was especially ticked off after reading an article in the New York Times about the reluctance of some Obama donors to support Hillary Clinton. Since Hillary Clinton suspended her campaign and endorsed Barack Obama, Senator Obama's fundraisers have contributed less than $100,000 to her campaign. When one of Senator Obama's donors emailed friends asking them to contribute to Senator Clinton's campaign, some of the responses were sharp:

“Why would I help pay off debts that Hillary amassed simply to keep damaging Senator Obama?”

“Gas prices are up, the markets are in turmoil, my kid’s fall tuition bill is coming soon. Writing checks to politicians I don’t like is not at the top of my list.”

“Not a penny for that woman. Or her husband. Or — god forbid — Mark Penn,” a reference to Mrs. Clinton’s former senior strategist, whose firm is still owed several million dollars for work that included aggressive attacks on Mr. Obama.

For the record, I question the motives of the donor that released these emails. Was it to inflame the Clinton supporters? Or to alert the Obama campaign of a problem with his donors?

Anyway, after spending some time looking for more articles on fundraising, I noticed that Hillary and Barack had planned several joint fundraisers together. So rather than rant and rave about the Obama people taking the Clintonistas for granted again, I sat back and watched and pondered.

For the last week or so, I've been wondering if jumping on the Hopemobile so quickly after her concession was the right thing to do. Seeing Hillary on stage in Unity, NH saying "change we can believe in" did make me sick--and it still does. But another thought hit me last night. This party unity bullshit must be killing her. She doesn't want to stand on stage and say "yes, we can" while crowds chant "O-ba-ma" anymore than I want to watch her do it. She doesn't want to run around the country raising money for Obama and trying to get her supporters on board with him. Frankly, the longer that I hang around on the sidelines waiting for the "right moment" to get in line, the more time Hillary will have to spend on the campaign trail trying to convince me.

And I just can't do that to her.

Hillary should not have to go around the country begging her supporters and her donors to join her in uniting the party. She's better than that. Hillary Clinton is the most inspirational politician that I have encountered in my lifetime. She is the reason I came back into politics and the reason that I once again believe in the power of the people. She was the most uniquely qualified candidate running in the Democratic Party and I will always be stunned that she was tossed aside for a rookie. But the primary is over. She's accepted it and moved on and it's time for her supporters to do the same. So no more wavering. No more second thoughts. And no more sitting on the sideline. Yesterday, despite his FISA vote, I donated to the Obama campaign, and immediately after, donated (more) to Hillary Clinton.

It's time for Hillary's supporters to get behind the nominee and let Hillary get back to work. Oh, and for the record, Senator Obama, you still SUCK at party unity.


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