Saturday, June 14, 2008

McCain & Fiorina Hunting Clinton's Base

by Linfar, crossposed at mydd and coyotebytes

John McCain today hosted a nationwide telephone forum in tandem with Carly Fiorinia, his ambassador to women. This forum is the latest effort by  his campaign in their full court press to lure former supporters of Hillary Clinton.
According to today's Boston Globe:

John McCain is aggressively targeting former supporters of Hillary Clinton, hoping to capitalize on their dissatisfaction with presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama and anger over how Clinton was treated during the Democratic primaries.

More from the Globe:

On Thursday night, Fiorina spoke to dozens of disgruntled Clinton supporters in Columbus, Ohio, and   next week she plans to visit a number of battleground states to speak to women voters.

The campaign is betting that even women who favor abortion rights may be willing to accept a difference of opinion on that issue if they like what they hear McCain saying on broader issues such as national security, the economy, and healthcare.

Barack Obama is also planning to court those same voters.  NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund will soon be raising awareness among women voters about McCain's long record of opposing abortion rights.

According to the Globe report:

Planned Parenthood Action Fund, which is running a $10 million grass-roots campaign to recruit 1 million voters for Obama in battleground states, today will kick off a weeklong series of more than 400 house parties across the country. Yesterday the group unveiled an Internet ad highlighting McCain's record on abortion rights and other health issues that it plans to send to 3.5 million of its supporters and the antiwar group, urging each recipient to forward the ad to five people.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said yesterday that even the most disaffected Clinton supporters are unlikely to defect to McCain, whose views on abortion and other reproductive health issues are diametrically opposed to Clinton's and Obama's. McCain favors overturning Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, then working to reduce the number of abortions and eventually end them.

But the McCain campaign thinks otherwise.

Women are not single-issue voters," said Crystal Benton, a campaign spokeswoman. "The issues we're hearing from them that matter most are economic prosperity, national security, and choice and portability in healthcare, which puts Senator John McCain in position to fight for each one of their votes."

After a town hall meeting in New Jersey yesterday, McCain repeated his effusive praise for Clinton and acknowledged he had "a lot of work to do " to reach female voters.

"I believe that women all over America need to be assured that I will do everything in my power to continue the progress that has been made in equal opportunity in America, and that means an emphasis on education, that means service to country, and it means providing the same job security that all Americans deserve," he told reporters.

Polls released this week showed the candidates with mixed results among women. In a Gallup tracking poll conducted June 5-9, Obama increased his lead over McCain among women from 5 percentage points to 13 percentage points since Clinton conceded a week ago. But an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey showed that while Clinton led McCain by 14 percentage points among suburban women, Obama trailed by 6 percentage points.

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh of the Dewey Square Group in Boston said the Obama camp should be concerned about the state of the women's vote after a primary that dismayed many Clinton supporters. McCain does not need a majority of women to win the election, she noted, he just has to chip away at Obama's share of the women's vote. Women typically make up a majority of voters in presidential elections.

"I think in this case, there are several threats - Hillary Clinton supporters who may go to support John McCain; Hillary Clinton supporters who may not vote at all, and Hillary Clinton supporters who do nothing between now and November except cast a vote," she said. "Any combination of these things is something to worry about if you are Barack Obama."

This week, several prominent female Clinton supporters issued clarion calls for unity. Ellen Malcolm, president of EMILY's List, which funds female candidates who support abortion rights, presided over a conference call in which she called McCain "out of touch" with women's lives.

At the group's annual luncheon both she and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright urged women to get behind Obama.

And many Clinton supporters, angry and defiant, are not being swayed.

Women for Fair Politics, a group of Clinton supporters in Ohio angry about what they saw as pervasive sexism in the primary campaign and determined to "never let it happen again," hosted Fiorina Thursday night. Two of the group's cofounders, businesswoman Cynthia Ruccia and real estate agent Marilu Sochor, said yesterday that they planned to vote for McCain this fall, even though they were both longtime Democratic activists and strongly in favor of abortion rights.

"It doesn't matter to me if we have all the great things the Democrats can offer if it's OK to go ahead and denigrate 51 percent of the country," Ruccia said in a telephone interview. "Sexism is neither Democratic nor Republican, and it needs to stop."

Sochor said she was also outraged at how Obama had, in her view, alienated key components of the Democratic base during the primary season by not campaigning much in Appalachian states such as West Virginia and Kentucky and by characterizing small-town Pennsylvanian voters as apt to "cling to guns or religion" because they were "bitter" about their circumstances.

Why I'm Voting Republican (snark)...

Having a snarkilicious Saturday? Well, this will help!

Ah, doesn't that make you feel good about the good ol' GOP? ;-)

Not a McModerate

I am a long-time member of the Facebook group Hillary Clinton for President – One Million Strong. When I visited the group last night, I was disappointed to learn that the PUMA wing of the Democratic party had highjacked the group. In a forum discussing John McCain’s virtual townhall with independents and disaffected Democrats, an angry Clintonista said that I was wrong to call John McCain a conservative:

McCain isn't as liberal as the two Republicans I mentioned, he's a moderate and has a long history of working with Democrats and pissing off his party.

Over the last few days, we here at Clintonistas for Obama have been de-bunking some of the myths that support John McCain’s image as a moderate. Our research on gay rights, women’s issues, health care found that John McCain is, indeed, a conservative.

Our efforts aside, one need only look at John McCain’s own words. Throughout this and previous campaigns, he has called himself a conservative. John McCain at the CPAC conference in Washington, DC in January:

I am proud to be a conservative, and I make that claim because I share with you that most basic of conservative principles: that liberty is a right conferred by our Creator, not by governments, and that the proper object of justice and the rule of law in our country is not to aggregate power to the state but to protect the liberty and property of its citizens.

During his 2000 “maverick” presidential campaign, in the famous speech when he called Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell “agents of intolerance”, he also said:

Thus, I have always felt quite comfortable describing myself as a proud conservative, a proud Reagan conservative, and as a member of Congress I have compiled a record of a proud conservative.


I am a pro-life, pro-family fiscal conservative, an advocate of a strong defense…

In response to his victory in the Florida primary in January:

My friends, in one week we will have as close to a national primary as we have ever had in this country. I intend to win it, and be the nominee of our party. And I intend to do that by making it clear what I stand for. I stand for the principles and policies that first attracted me to the Republican Party when I heard, in whispered conversations and tap codes, about the then Governor of California, who stood by me and my comrades, and who was making quite a reputation for standing by his convictions no matter the changing winds of political thought and popular culture. When I left the Navy and entered public life, I enlisted as a foot soldier in the political revolution he began. And I am as proud to be a Reagan conservative today, as I was then. I trust in the courage, good sense, resourcefulness and decency of the American people, who deserve a government that trusts in their qualities as well, and doesn't abrogate to its elf the responsibilities to do for the people what the people can and want to do for themselves.

You can watch the entire speech here.

From Fox News on Super Tuesday:

McCain struggled to close the sale with his party’s base after coming strikingly far without its solid support. He said he would extend his hand to Democrats, but “I will preserve my proud conservative Republican credentials.”

A Web ad of John McCain declaring that he “enlisted as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution”:

And here is John McCain’s tribute to Ronald Reagan where he talks more about his conservative values:

If Sen. Tom Coburn’s endorsement of Senator McCain’s conservative record—specifically mentioning his vote against the Medicare prescription drug benefit—isn’t enough to persuade you, perhaps George Bush’s endorsement will:

Ranking the Candidates by their 'Clinton Score'

Cross-posted from My DD with the permission of its author, protothad

We have a unique opportunity this election. The remaining candidates are both sitting members of the Senate. That allows us to go beyond just examining their stated platforms to actually compare their voting records. Furthermore, since Clinton is also a senator, her supporters have the opportunity to compare each candidate's voting record to Clinton's.

To this end, I have extracted each Senator's voting record from and calculated some stats. To make it an apples to apples comparison, I am using only the votes that occured when all three senators were in office. That amounts to a sample of 225 votes according to

The senators are consider to 'agree' on a vote if they voted the same, whether that was Yes, No, Present, or if they both missed it. That means, if one of them voted Yes and the other missed the vote, it is still counted as a mark against, even if they agreed in principle on the issue. If they both missed the vote, they are counted as 'agreeing' even if they might not.

Using this method, we find that Obama and Clinton agree 88.4% of the time. McCain and Clinton agree only 36.9% of the time (less than half as much). McCain and Obama agree 40.4% of the time (also less than half as much). Let me say that one more time just to drive the point home.

Obama's Clinton score = 88.4%
McCain's Clinton score = 36.9%

If you support Clinton for the stands she takes on the issues, it seems rather clear which Presidential candidate is most likely to support her agenda. Obama voted with Clinton nearly 90 percent of the time, more than 50 percent more than McCain.

I am working on another diary that will compare their votes based on issue. It will also attempt to adjust the 'score' by weighing missed votes differently from real disagreements. Taking it a step farther, I could allow one to compare each candidate's record to other Senators (curious what their Feingold scores are?) and even allow you to 'vote' on each bill yourself and see how your views match the candidates. I'll be sure to include some pretty graphs in those diaries. Nevertheless, I thought this first pass at the data was interesting enough to get the talking point out there. Remember, Obama and Clinton agree almost 90 percent of the time. Clinton and McCain agree barely more than a third of the time.

Raw voting record data can be found at

Friday, June 13, 2008

Weekend Open Thread

Hey, everyone! Have you had as wild a week as I've had this week? If you have, then take off your shoes, grab a comfy seat, and enjoy your weekend here with us!

Have you been thanked yet? Hillary recently thanked us for all our hard work for her. Here, take a look.

And would like to have lunch with Barack? OK, well maybe we can't in person... Just yet. But here, take a looky at a recent lunch date in Indiana.

There... Doesn't that make you feel better? Or hungry? OK, let's get out some munchies and chat for while.

Oh yes, and have a great weekend! :-)

The Choice is Clear

So many people now feel like they are without a candidate of their choice, and I admit it's hard to get behind a candidate that was not your first or second choice, but this is not so unusual. This is how every primary season ends up: Two candidates are left standing and neither is my original choice. Even so, the choice now for Democrats and progressives should be obvious. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee and he would be a far better president than the angry and very conservative John McCain. McCain would be a disastrous president for a lot of reasons, not the least of which because he has a problem with his temper and in dealing with people. What kind of diplomat would he be, when that is more important now than ever? He also doesn't seem to respect women. A book called "The Real McCain" points that out painfully in a story about how he spoke to his wife and how he treats his friends and people in general. After reading that, I was sure no Hillary supporter could ever seriously support John McCain.

In fact, if we are concerned about the temperament of the next president, (and we should be) you could do much worse than the nearly unflappable Obama. He's the opposite of the hothead McCain. John McCain's own friends and associates are worried about his personality to the point where they have endorsed other candidates.

In January of this year, Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades, endorsed Mitt Romney for president. From the Boston Globe:

"Thad Cochran said in the past he has seen McCain's temper fly too often in committee hearings or on the Senate floor.

Cochran said his choice was prompted partly by his fear of how McCain might behave in the Oval Office.

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Cochran said about McCain by phone. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."
That is something every McCain supporter should consider before supporting him further. Even so, it is kind of tough for me to switch to Obama too, even when I know it has to be done for the good of our country. I have spent the last six months criticizing Obama. That's politics. (I could criticize any politician if I decided to focus on them, even my favorites).

Hillary Clinton ran an amazing campaign. She showed the world how tough American women are. In the case of Hillary, she is made of steel, and was (and is) smarter than any man in the room. Her campaign made me proud, and absolutely epitomized "grace under pressure". In the fact of long odds she was out there every day talking to the people of this country, telling them there was real hope and real optimism for the future of they would turn away from the policies of the conservative right-wing. Her hard work in the senate proved her level of experience and knowledge every day and she would have made an incredible president.

Thinking About The Whole

cross posted at mydd

and coyotebytes

My Mom, who is 88 years old, has Alzheimer's, and I am her caretaker. No one else is going to do this for her. My Dad died 10 years ago, and I am an only child. I rarely write about how trapped I feel by my situation, and I actually spend a lot of time in denial; but its 4 am and in this quiet, pre-dawn hour I not pretending.

So come with me for a second down the rabbit hole--this will get political, I promise...

I live in Southern California and there are two primary "helping" organizations, the Alzheimer's Association and the Southern Caregivers Resource Center. I became acquainted with the Alzheimer's Association through a "support" group I attended in my community.

This group meets across town  for two hours on Thursday afternoons in a residential care facility for the elderly.  It is "facilitated" by a middle aged MSW with a perpetual smile and well modulated voice who oozes concern, but not enough to control the group so that the experience of attending it is like being plunged into an out-of-control kindergarten class.

Each Thursday I would show up to find 4 long dining room tables arranged into a rectangle, boxes of cookies and candies placed on them and chairs for about 20 people. And  I quickly learned that there is no more needy, desperate, anxious and slightly crazed population in America today than those who caretake their spouses or parents who have dementia. And with each passing week I  came away from my "support" meeting not knowing who was "crazier" the helpers or the helpees.

Every meeting was a kind of free-for-all. Structure was frowned upon:

Those who are needy or in crisis"-- self- identified-- please take all the time you need.

And the rest of us then got to listen to the circular reasoning of the damned as they attempted to both cope with and describe the creeping madness in their loved one. I have heard stories of loved ones jumping out of moving cars; throwing keys in the toilet; pausing their vehicle in the middle of the railroad tracks to look at a map.  One particularly determined fellow  liked to run down the street naked and did so more than once. I listened in awe to the story of the  plumber who came to  believe he was a day trader and spent his life savings on the internet. I also listened to the angry and paranoid tirades directed at caretakers on a daily basis; to the accusations of abuse prompting interventions by Adult Protective Services; and lastly to the stories of  the perpetual neglect and mistreatment of love ones, called LO's, which is the standard of care in way too many residential facilities.

Meetings were like torture sessions. Within 10 minutes of whatever particular recitation might be in progress I was ready to respond. With 15 minutes my patience had huge fissures and I was putting candy in my mouth as a pacifier. At 20 minutes it was all I could do not to leap up and scream, "Enough!" At 25 minutes I began counting the number of people in the room, anywhere from nine to 18 and realizing "their" time was evaporating. I sometimes left these meetings and only 5 people out of 20 had spoken.

I also soon realized that I was leaving more stressed than when I had arrived.

It wasn't that I didn't learn useful things, I did. But I could not adjust to the refusal of both the leader and the group to think `about the whole.' The idea that the leader's job is to  think about the good of the entire group is now hopelessly outdated. I know this because I have now tested several different "support" groups and they all work the same way. So in each case the talkative dominate, the quiet ones eat candy and commiserate with them, some people get "their" turn by interjecting their own story into someone else's recitation, and no one thinks about the whole--or even thinks that they should.

I went to another meeting yesterday. And when it was over I whispered to the woman sitting beside me

Are you ok? Did you get to say what you needed?

She shook her head no. And I felt bad for her, but I was more chagrined than she was.

Later as I drove home from San Diego feeling guilty because I do not believe in Alzheimer drugs and every facilitator of these groups "pushes" them--although they say they don't-- and thinking of the stories I had heard, and wondering when my Mom will reach the point that I can't cope alone anymore, I realized that more than anything else I  feel abandoned by the refusal of these agencies and these professional `helpers' to think about the good of the whole.

Their failure to be responsive to the needs of everyone around the table is like a metaphor to me for where we are in in our society.

What has happened to us? How can it become the fashion in professional "health care" situations to let the talkative people dominate a group, and let the quiet ones go unheeded? How can we profess to have a just society  if we are not responsible for others in a cooperative and responsible way? When did rule by the most aggressive and assertive--become the norm in supervised situations. I am appalled by it.

And I can be both aggressive and assertive, so I have no difficulty speaking up. Now that I know how the game is played I can grab my share of the time. But I think it is wrong.

I think stacking the rec list with your friends over and over is wrong.

I think fighting Obama's nomination is  wrong.

And I think all of these things are of a piece: rules that include  all the people around a table, sharing the rec list, accepting the will of the majority. It all involves thinking about the whole. Not just my piece of it, not just I'll get mine, not just

they do it, so why shouldn't we?

And so this brings me to the way many Hillary supporters are refusing to abide by the rules about the nomination. Yes, the caucus rules were sometimes rigged and/or manipulated. Any school kid could tell you that. Yes, the Obama team out-organized the Hillary team. Yes, there was sexism and a poisonous media environment with regard to Hill.  Pundits will be writing about it for years. Yes, the DNC favored one candidate over the other. So if  so much was wrong, why not protest the result?

Because that is not thinking About the Whole. It is not how you do a democracy. If you don't like the way the thing was done, you have to change the way things are done.

Hillary Clinton is a candidate I supported because I know she thinks "about the whole." She isn't going to let the assertive people run the table. She is looking out for the weak and the disenfranchised and the little guy who doesn't have a voice. She is working to make the rules more fair, more inclusive and a whole lot more responsive. Her supporters who are refusing to abide by the results of the primary are not doing that. And they are violating everything she stands for.

Hillary Clinton supports Barack Obama for President. She has asked her supporters to endorse him too. Refusing to do so is like talking for half an hour, everyone else in the room be damned.

More Praise for Famous Men

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, arguably one of the two greatest presidents in American history and undoubtedly the greatest Democratic president in American history, gave us Social Security. It has become a bedrock of American life and a continual source of anguish for conservative Republicans. Back in 2005, Bush, burning through that famous political capital he believed he had earned in November 2004, formally wrecked his presidency by touching the famous Third Rail of American politics. Well now, here comes John McCain. Seems he was for privatizing Social Security before he denied that he had ever been for privatizing Social Security.

Now just so I can be clear, my fellow Clintonistas who plan to vote for McCain in November, what exactly about Senator McCain reminds you of our beloved Hillary?

He Hearts You Not: Another McMyth

Last week, I wrote about Republican efforts to capitalize on divisions in the Democratic Party, created in the wake of Senator Hillary Clinton's defeat. The McCain campaign has announced that Senator McCain will hold a virtual town hall to reach out to independent and Democratic voters. Participating in the conference is former Hewlett-Packard CEO and John McCain supporter Carly Fiorina.

A few days ago, Fiorina cut a web ad for Women For Fair Politics:

The title of the ad is Carly Fiorina on Why She Supports John McCain, but she spends 1:30 out of a 5:30 ad praising Hillary Clinton, expressing admiration for her campaign, and empathy for the unfair treatment she received. Around 2:30, she finally starts talking about why she supporters John McCain, at which point you see images of Senator McCain with his wife and talking to older women. Meanwhile, Fiorina talks about how Senator McCain is an authentic leader who seeks her counsel and takes it seriously.

While Senator McCain tries to convince women that he really does heart them, groups such as Emily's List, which endorsed Senator Clinton the day she announced and spent $1 million on her campaign, have been pushing back. On Wednesday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released a report on McCain's history on women's issues.

According to this report, although women only make 77 cents for each dollar a man earns, John McCain opposed legislation to make it easier for women to file equal pay lawsuits:

But earlier this year, McCain opposed critical legislation needed to advance women’s right to equal pay. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act responded to last year’s Supreme Court decision preventing Ledbetter from recovering damages for years of discriminatory pay. The Court required lawsuits to be filed within 180 days of the day the discrimination began, rather than within 180 days of the most recent discriminatory act—even if the victims of discrimination had no way to know they were being paid less at the time the discrimination began.

When asked about his opposition by a teenage girl, he said that the bill was too friendly for trial lawyers. He proposes to address the unfair pay issue by encouraging women to pursue more education and training. He also opposes increasing the minimum wage and nearly 60 percent of minimum wage earners are women.

Although John McCain claims to be pro-family--don't they all--he doesn't offer any legislation to help families with two working parents. He offers no proposals on expanding family leave, sick leave, or childcare. However, he will appoint plenty of strict constructionist justices to the United States Supreme Court to ensure that Roe v. Wade is overturned. And according to this report, these justices could do even more damage:

McCain is likely to appoint justices who oppose a woman’s right to choose. McCain says, “I happen to view life to begin at conception, and that is a moral belief I have. And, therefore, I think that Roe v. Wade was not only a bad decision but a flawed decision.” He has publicly taken the position that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned.”

But the effect of a conservative judiciary is not limited to choice and privacy. Over the past two decades, there have been a large number of 5-to-4 decisions limiting the reach of civil rights statutes. In 1989, the Court’s 5-to-4 holding in Wards Cove made it more difficult for employees to challenge discriminatory treatment, a holding that Congress overturned in its last civil rights legislation in 1991.

In another 5-to-4 ruling in Alexander v. Sandoval, the Court ruled that victims of discrimination could only enforce the law through a private lawsuit if they suffered intentional discrimination, but not if they were victims of disparate treatment. And in Buckhannon, the Court ruled 5-to-4 to limit a victims’ right to recover attorney’s fees when their rights were vindicated voluntarily, not by court judgment or consent decree.

Unfortunately, at the same time organizations are pushing back on the McCain "charm" offensive, liberal commentators and mainstream media types have been vehemently pushing back against accusations of sexism in the media. After Katie Couric gave a speech denouncing the unfair treatment Senator Clinton faced in the campaign, Keith Olbermann denounced her as the Worst Person in the World:

I submit that John McCain's concern for women began during the contentious primary and that it will end the morning after the general election. A vote for John McCain is not a vote against sexism. It's a vote against women. It's a vote against families. It's a vote against America.

An Endorsement for the McPhilanderer

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gave his endorsement to Senator John McCain today because of his age. Seeking to avoid being the oldest head of state at the next G-8 summit, Prime Minister Berlusconi decided to back Senator McCain, who is one month older than the Italian Prime Minister.

Mr. Berlusconi (seen above, with his wife, Veronica Lario) gained worldwide fame last year when his wife wrote a letter to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, demanding a public apology after her husband was seen flirting with a much younger woman at a political event. The then former Prime Minister, who has a reputation for womanizing, was quoted as telling a thirtysomething female MP: "I'd go anywhere with you, even to a desert island. If I weren't already married, I would marry you straight away."

Since being voted back into power in April 2008, Prime Minister has reportedly continued his philandering ways, passing flirtatious notes to two young, female MPs during a recent session of Parliament.

So if (God forbid) John McCain is elected president, he will be in good company. Senator McCain, after a series of extramarital affairs, abandoned his first wife of 15 years in 1980 to marry the much younger Cindy Hensley, heiress to a wealthy Arizona beer distributor. This is how Carol McCain characterized her divorce:
‘My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that just does.’

According to the Phoenix New-Times, the marriage worked out well for Senator McCain:
By now, many Americans know John McCain's family story. His best-selling memoir, Faith of My Fathers, chronicles the lives of the senator's father and grandfather, distinguished admirals. The book takes readers up through John McCain's own military service, including his five and a half years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. But Faith of My Fathers ends there, a few years short of John McCain's marriage to Cindy Hensley and the advent of his political career.

That's only half the family story.

The rest could be called "Cash of My Father-in-Law," a tale of how beer baron James W. Hensley's money and influence provided a complement to McCain's charisma and compelling personal story and launched him to a seat in Congress -- and perhaps to the White House.

More on how John McCain used his wife's money to prop up his political career tomorrow.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

John McCain clearly was asking for our thanks in this appearance in 2005 on "Meet the Press." All good Democrats should thank him. Clearly, we owe him a debt of gratitude.

Now just so I can be clear, my fellow Clintonistas who plan to vote for McCain in November, what exactly about Senator McCain reminds you of our beloved Hillary?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The McCain Myth: LGBT Equality

As we've all heard, John McCain is described by the corporate media as a "maverick" and a "moderate". And for some reason, we are actually expected to believe this BS. One example is with equal rights for LGBT people.

We've been told that McCain generally "favors" LGBT rights and is not as extreme as the rest of his Republican party. But hold on, how much of this is true? Is John McCain really a "maverick" on gay rights?

Well, let's take a look at McCain's real record. Let's not forget what's he's actually said and how he's actually voted. Let's not forget what McCain has been advocating this campaign season. Here's a hint, he hasn't been all that supportive of our community.

OK, so are you convinced now? No? Well, take a look at this.

OK, so are you convinced now? John McCain is no friend of the gays... Or lesbians or bisexual people or transgendered people for that matter. John McCain is just as homophobic as the rest of his beloved GOP. So really, can we afford four years of this guy as President?

Think about the Supreme Court. Think about what Congress needs to do. Think about all that legislation that will end up on the President's desk. Do you want John McBush there ready to veto all that good legislation? Or worse yet, do you want John McBush signing discrimination into law if we're dealing with a GOP-controlled Congress in addition to McBush?

We can prevent this disaster from happening. All it takes is for us to choose wisely. And come on, the facts are readily available for us to make a wise decision. YES. WE. CAN. :-)

Obama Consolidates His Influence over the DNC

Innumerable calculations have passed through my head about why Obama would strengthen his grasp on the nomination between June and August. One of them was simply that the superdelegates, like any human beings, prefer settled issues to unsettled ones, and as long as Obama looks like he can win (and he does look like he can win), the superdelegates are fine about the outcome.

Now comes evidence of another thought that passed through my mind. Senator Obama's team is moving to consolidate Senator Obama's influence over the DNC. Ben Smith reports:
In a major shakeup at the Democratic National Committee -- and a departure from tradition -- large parts of the committee's operations are relocating to Chicago to be fully integrated with the Obama campaign.
I think this is exceptional evidence of what a politically astute politician Senator Obama has turned out to be.

Another McMyth: The McCain Health Care Plan

When reading certain blogs and forums I have identified four basic reasons that some Clinton supporters refuse to support Senator Obama. First, he was not democratically chosen. Second, he hasn’t officially become the nominee. Third, he doesn’t have enough experience. Fourth, a vote for Obama is a vote for sexism. Underlying all of these reasons is a myth that John McCain is moderate enough on the issues.

This week, I wrote a piece on the very real danger that John McCain poses to the Supreme Court and atdnext debunked the myth that John McCain is pro-choice.

Today, I’m going to focus on an issue that disproportionately affects those most marginalized in society, those whom Hillary Clinton described as “invisible” to the ruling class. Today’s post is about the uninsured:
The reality, however, is that only a minority of the uninsured are either the typical Redbook reader or that nice shopkeeper down the street. Two-thirds of those without health insurance are poor or near poor, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. And there are clear disparities in how different racial and ethnic groups are affected. Only 13 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans is uninsured, compared with 36 percent of Hispanics, 33 percent of Native Americans, 22 percent of blacks and 17 percent of Asians/Pacific Islanders.

John McCain’s health care is available on his website. Several news sources— MSNBC, The New York Times, and CNN—covered John McCain’s health plan when he released it in October 2007. These are the uses I have used for my analysis.

In an interview with NPR, John McCain made it clear that he just doesn’t get it:
"The problem is not that most Americans lack adequate health insurance — the vast majority of Americans have private insurance, and our government spends billions each year to provide even more," McCain has said. "The biggest problem with the American health care system is that it costs too much."

John McCain’s health care plan emphasizes using the private sector to lower health care costs and tax credits to provide buyers with more purchasing power. He would provide buyers with a $2500 refundable tax credit to “low-income” individuals to purchase their own insurance and $5000 for “low-income” families. Note that this won’t help families who have insurance from the employers but have significant gaps in their coverage.

In reforming the private sector, John McCain claims that allowing people to buy insurance across state lines will increase competition and lowers costs, but Slate argues that insurance companies would then move their operations to states that had weak consumer protect laws.

He would also lower costs by emphasizing more preventive care and better treatment for chronic illnesses. To that end, he even suggests linking Medicare and Medicaid payments to doctors to their performance in treating disease. As if doctors weren’t already motivated to treat their patients to the best of their ability?

While Barack Obama would not allow companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, John McCain’s free market would not force companies to accept everybody. As Elizabeth Edwards once said:
Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential contender John Edwards, said she and John McCain have one thing in common: “Neither one of us would be covered by his health policy.”

Put short, McCain’s plan involves tax credits and deregulation. He does not require the medical insurance industry to cover anybody. He will not support health care mandates for children. In fact, he supported President Bush’s veto of the expansion of a health insurance program for poor children. Just for fun, he even throws in a little more tort reform. Most importantly, universal coverage isn’t even a goal for John McCain. To John McCain, health care is still a privilege, rather than a human right.

Senator Obama would go much further, requiring businesses either to provide insurance or contribute to a public fund for the uninsured. He would also create a public nonprofit plan for the uninsured to compete with the private plans. And under President Obama’s plan, covering children would be mandatory.

Many of us—including Paul Krugman—are justifiably angry about Senator Obama’s attacks on Hillary’s health care plan. Although Prof. Krugman may well be right when he argued that Senator Obama undermined the chances for reform when he attacked Senator Clinton’s—and Senator Edwards’s—health care plan, is the most appropriate response for those of us who embraced her health care plan to turn to the man who supported President Bush’s veto of the legislation to expand health coverage to poor, uninsured children?

My view on this issue is guided by Senator Clinton who best articulated her position in South Carolina in January:
I think that the whole idea of universal health care is such a core Democratic principle that I am willing to go to the mat for it. I've been there before. I will be there again. I am not giving in; I am not giving up; and I'm not going to start out leaving 15 million Americans out of health care.

Hillary will do whatever it takes. Will you be there with her?

What We Would Have Done is What We are Doing

The past couple of days, the subject among many of us Clintonistas who have moved in the last week to Obama is party unity. We are feeling the heat from our friends who worked with us during the primaries to get Hillary the nomination but haven’t been able to make the transition. In some ways, they seem more upset with us right now than they do with the people who were with Obama all the way.

I think this situation makes a lot of sense. If there are some of our friends among the Clintonistas who still believe Hillary can be the nominee, the fact that we have made this move indicates that we have rejected this possibility and given up on Hillary’s chances in 2008. When I first made the move a week ago or so, some people speculated I had been an Obama plant from the start. I have read similar pejorative speculation leveled at other Clintonistas who have begun the same journey.

I fear that one way or the other, it was bound to turn out this way. If Hillary had won, the Obama people would be livid, and there would have been anger and disappointment among people who would say they would never vote for Hillary. There would have been talk among some of them about the possibility of voting for McCain. Still other Obama supporters would have been talking about sitting it out.

In other words, what many of our fellow Clintonistas are feeling is really just a very human response to loss. It is not a unique phenomenon among a certain group of Clintonistas: It is a way that we human beings, whether Clintonistas or Obama supporters, Democrats or Republicans, Americans or not, it is one way that human beings respond to having hopes dashed.

For our part, I think, the desire to make the best of all of this is what has driven us more than anything else. We would have rallied Obama supporters to party unity had Hillary gotten the nomination. We will do no less, we will be no less, in defeat than what we would have been in victory. So we move forward together to make the better man in the race president.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just Say No Deal... To Obama? OR McBUSH?

(Cross-posted at MyDD)

Beware, all progressives! There are wolves in sheeps' clothing among us. They claim to be Hillary Clinton supporters, but they're really not as of now. They claim to be standing up against sexism, but they're really not. And they claim to be standing up for voters' rights, but they're really not.

So who are these tricksters that we should watch out for?

I got an email this morning from "". They claim to be disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters, but I suspect they have a hidden agenda that Hillary herself would vehemently reject. Here, why don't you read the message I was sent?

[...] On the evening of June 8, 2008, dozens of grassroots organizations and political activists convened a conference call and formed a coalition: Just Say No Deal. Its goal? : To turn the current race on its head and remind voters that all options are on the table this November.

Just Say No Deal is an umbrella organization giving voice to over 80 grassroots organizations, blogs and millions of self- professed PUMAs (Party Unity My A_ _) intent on one mission: NOBAMA! Coalition members are pushing varying agendas and voting strategies, but the factions are united in their unwavering decision to not “fall in line” by supporting Barack Obama.

Concerned citizens have come out of the woodwork to express their distaste for and frustration with party leaders and the outcome of the nominating process. The Just Say No Deal website offers those voters an array of choices to assist in their decision-making process. The coalition will continue to organize in pursuit of its mission of keeping another unqualified candidate from inheriting the Oval Office.

OK, so they don't like Barack Obama. But hold on, aren't these people supposed to be Democrats? Don't they care about the issues that Hillary cares about?

The more I think about this, the more one question pops into my head. Really, ask yourself this. Why are they going against what Hillary herself has said?

Why would anyone who has supported Hillary now throw support to this guy? Why would Hillary's LGBT supporters help this guy who is so strongly opposed to equal rights for all? Why would Hillary's blue-collar supporters help this guy who's so virulently anti-worker and anti-middle class? Why would Hillary's women supporters help this guy who's so extremely anti-choice and anti-women? Why would any of Hillary's supporters do anything to help elect John McBush (McCain) this fall?

Let's remember some important details about Barack Obama. He's pro-worker, pro-civil rights, pro-equal rights, pro-environment, and pro-peace. Oh yes, and he has the full support of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton.

So when you get any email from "Just Say No Deal" claiming to be something Hillary Clinton supporters should pay attention to, just don't. If we should say no to anything, we should really just say no deal to John McBush (McCain).

Get it? Got it. Great! :-)

Birth Certificate Will Not Show Virgin Birth!!

by linfar, Wed Jun 11, 2008 at 04:42:56 PM EST
cross-posted at

This would be hilarious if it were not so sad. Hillary supporters have joined the GOP-backed madness swirling around Barack Obama's birth certificate. In their zeal to defeat Barack Obama Hillary supporters have become the latest dupes in a GOP rumor mill discrediting Barack Obama's birthplace--thus making him ineligible to be President.
According to the Online Journal, GOP dirty tricks operatives visited Kenya to dig up any useful "dirt" on Barack Obama, Jr., and his late Kenyan father Barack Obama, Sr. And now they say there is a "smoking gun." About Obama's birth certificate.
Oooooooh. Sounds ominous doesn't it??
Get a grip folks! What they found is a birth certificate from the Kenyan city of Mombasa registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr., on August 4, 1961. However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals.
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to his Ann Dunham of Wichita, Kansas, and Barack Obama, Sr., of Nyangoma-Kogelo, Kenya. Obama's parents were enrolled at the University of Hawaii. They divorced when Barack Obama was two years old.
Is it possible the GOP hopes to make the claim that Senator Obama is not eligible to become President of the United States because he was born in a foreign country, or, at the very least, plant the seed in the voters' minds that Obama is a foreigner even if the charge is false?
Of course, it is possible. And the fact that the state of Hawaii does not open birth records to the public has only fueled it. But what seems most deplorable to me is that in this latest effort to smear the presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary supporters are latching onto an obvious Republican smear.
Here's a little snarky take on the whole deal:
Top Ten Reasons Obama Won't Release His Birth Certificate
10. Despite the claims of his supporters, it was not technically a virgin birth.
9. Full name is Ayatollah Mubarack Hussein Obama-Khomeni bin Laden.
8. Actual birth date would reveal he's a Virgo, and those people are %#&*@! CRAZY.
7. Accidentally shredded it while going through his Rezko mortgage records.
6. Doesn't want NARAL to find out that his mom was pro-life.
5. Religion listed as "Muslim. Er, I mean Christian, yeah, that's the ticket! Christian!"
4. "You show the reporters the birth certificate, then they want to see the baby pictures, and after oohing and aahing for an hour, you're inviting them to stay for dinner, and... look, I've got a lot of stuff I need to get done, okay?"
3. Instead of being born at Leahi-Kai or Maluhia hospital, his mom picked Kokua Kalihi, and that place is just so ghetto.
2. His real father? Little Richard.
1. Can't he just eat his waffle? printer_3349.shtml/ ten-reasons-obama-wont-release-his-birth -certificate.aspx

Shall We Heal Our Party?

I know that we are hopeful we shall heal the party, but I want to be clear that I am not Pollyanna about this prospect. I am well acquainted with the Clintonistas who fight on. Among the people who refuse to accept what has happened, there certainly are a lot of cranks. But I also both know that among the people who refuse to accept what has happened, there are lawyers, professors, therapists, researchers, and activists of the first rank of seriousness.

It is troubling to me.

I guess my own life experiences, which have called on me to overcome some very grave situations, life- and status-threatening things, have given me skills I engage when things don't happen the way I want them to happen. That's my story. Scripture talks about deep calling upon deep in the roar of waters. I hope people will find their inner resources to overlook the things that have happened to recognize the gravity of the things that might happen.

To Whom Shall We Entrust the Government?

People who argue that it's okay that McCain become president often like to argue that Barack Obama isn't experienced enough to be president. In fact, if Obama becomes president, he will be the same age as Grover Cleveland was and older than Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Ulysses S. Grant. His experience in elected office is greater than even Abraham Lincoln's, who admittedly is a special historical case. But all of this is hard to measure and hard to assess, because we really need to see a guy in office to make historical judgments. Let us put this aspect of the issue aside to make an argument about experience that is easy to assess.

I believe there is much more to this experience issue than meets the eye. When a president enters office, he brings him with an entire government.

Who are the experienced Democrats that Barack Obama will bring with him into office? They are the people who served Bill Clinton; they are people open to gay rights, women rights, and other progressive values.

Who are the experienced Republicans that John McCain will bring with him into office? They are the people who served George Bush. I don't need to tell you about their values.

There is a wider analysis about experience than just the experience of two men. It's an analysis of the values and experiences of the government each man will bring to the office. The choice between Barack Obama and John McCain is a choice of a government by Bill Clinton advisers and George Bush advisers. To you who imagine you can allow John McCain to president based on McCain's years of experience, I would commend to you a wider perspective on the experience issue.

A Party Divided? Uh-oh.

If the Democratic Party is divided right now, John McCain is screwed and we are going to kick his righteous ass back to the desert. If divisions among Democrats are pulling down Senator Obama's numbers, then today's polling data is ominous for the Republicans.

Since Senator Clinton conceded on Saturday, Obama's lead among women has risen from 5% to 13% while his deficit among men has shrunk from 6% to 2%:

The daily tracking polls are even better. Gallup has Obama up 48%-41% and Rasmussen has Obama up 48%-40%. If these are Obama's numbers when many Democrats refuse to embrace him, John McCain is in trouble.

A Party Divided? Uh-oh, Johnny.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The McCain Myth: He's Pro-choice

As we've all heard, John McCain is described by the corporate media as a "maverick" and a "moderate". And for some reason, we are actually expected to believe this BS. One example is reproductive rights.

Over the years, we've been told to believe that McCain isn't as virulently anti-choice and anti-women as the rest of his Republican Party. And to a large extent, McCain is trying hard to play the part to woo us Hillary Clinton Democrats. But when we pull back McCain's nicey-nicey "maverick" veil, we see that he's just as anti-choice and anti-women and anti-freedom as the rest of his beloved GOP.

After all, why would Planned Parenthood list McCain as anti-choice if he really wasn't? Why would NARAL Pro-choice America see McCain as a serious threat to reproductive rights if he actually wasn't? And why is McCain's actual record so extremely anti-choice if he actually isn't?

Folks, we're smarter than this. We don't need to believe the McCain Myth created by his handlers and perpetuated by the corporate media. McCain really is Bush's third term embodied. And think about it, was Bush all that great on women's reproductive rights? Did he ever lift a finger to secure a woman's right to choose? And how the heck is John McCain any different?

If we really care about women's reproductive rights, we simply can't allow John McCain anywhere near the White House. The Supreme Court is literally one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade. Can we really risk it all on John McCain and his anti-choice ways? Congress still has important legislation to pass to ensure reproductive freedom. Can we afford John McCain's vetos?

Think about it. This election is just too damn important for us to lose. The stakes are simply too high. If we want to protect a woman's right to choose, we need to beat John McCain this fall.

Hillary urges her delegates to back Obama

There is a report at that Hillary Clinton has asked her delegates to support the nomination of Barack Obama. She apparently did this in a teleconference on Monday night with her pledged delegates. In the report, one of the delegates announced his intention to honor Mrs. Clinton's request. "'I plan on working for Sen. Obama as hard as I can,' he said."

And so do I.

It becomes increasingly difficult to sustain the position that one can wait till after Denver to see if the tide will roll in again. Hillary is fighting for a unified party. I would follow her anywhere, and she is leading me to the nominee of the Democratic Party

McCain and the Court UPDATED

I am a disappointed, though not necessarily disgruntled, Clinton voter. Unlike my fellow bloggers here, I have not yet enthusiastically embraced Senator Obama. However, at no point during this process did I let go of my absolute disgust with the Republican Party and my opposition to everything elephant. I have chosen to support Senator Obama because electing John McCain would be a disaster for this country. President John McCain is four more years of George Bush. President Obama will bring progress on the issues that I care about.

Although Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for the presidency has been “suspended” (read: It's over), I continue to maintain ties to my fellow Clintonistas, many of whom refuse to give their support to Senator Obama. Many are planning to write Hillary in. Others are openly supporting Republican Senator John McCain.

Much of the debate raging on the Clinton forums and blogs involves the importance of the Supreme Court. Many Clinton advocates argue that electing John McCain does not endanger a woman’s right to choose and other important causes because a Democratic Senate would not allow a President McCain to appoint right-wing Supreme Court Justices. With all due respect to my friends pushing this argument, a review of the recent history casts serious doubt on this argument.

In the spring of 2005, Senate Democrats and Republicans locked horns over judicial nominations. Senate Democrats had filibustered a number of President Bush’s judicial nominees—preventing an up-or-down vote—because they felt they were too extreme. Then GOP Senate Majority leader Bill Frist was threatening to use the so-called “nuclear option,” changing Senate rules allowing for a simple majority vote to close debate on judicial nominations. Senate Democrats responded by promising to use the rules of procedure to bring the Senate to grinding halt.

To avert the coming train wreck, a bipartisan group of senators, known as the Gang of 14,came together and signed an agreement averting a showdown. The seven Republican senators agreed not support the “nuclear option” while the seven Democratic senators agreed only to support filibusters under “extraordinary circumstances.” The result was the confirmation of Priscilla Owen, Janice Rodgers Brown, and William Pryor to various appellate courts.

Later, when Bush nominated Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, the Gang of 14 refused to support a filibuster and both candidates were given the full support of the Senate. Justice Roberts was confirmed with the support of 22 Democrats, including Senators Dodd (CT), Levin (MI), and Byrd (WV). Senators Kennedy and Kerry attempted to filibuster Samuel Alito’s nomination, but they were thwarted by the Gang of 14 and a number of other Senate Democrats. Debate was closed with a vote of 72-25 and Alito was confirmed 58-42, with four Democrats (Nelson-NE, Byrd-WV, Johnson-SD, and Conrad-ND) crossing the aisle to support his nomination.

Going back further, in 1991, eleven Democrats voted with 41 Republicans to confirm Justice Clarence Thomas, this at a time when Democrats had a 56-44 majority in the Senate.

Simply put, the Democratic Party does not have a history of standing up to right-wing judicial nominations. Senator Clarence Thomas was so conservative that although he would be the only African-American Justice, the NAACP refused to endorse his nomination. He still got eleven Demcratic votes.

Yes, we will have bigger majorities in the fall, but many of those senators will be representing purple or red states. Looking at today’s Electoral Vote Senate map, under the rosiest projection, Democrats could have a 58-42 majority in January (including Joe Lieberman, DINO-CT).

This map assumes pick-ups in conservative states such as Mississippi, Colorado, Kentucky, Alaska, and Virginia and it also assumes that we hold our seat in Louisiana. In addition, we already have senators from Virginia (Webb), Montana (Tester), Arkansas (Lincoln, Pryor), and Louisiana (Landrieu). That also doesn’t account for our pro-life Democrats, Senator Majority Leader Harry Ried (NV) and Senator Bob Casey, Jr (PA).

I cannot pretend to understand the anger and disappoint that my fellow Clintonistas are experiencing right now. Compared to most, I didn’t work as hard or contribute as much. My own emotions in this race have been difficult for me to sort out and I won’t judge those who are in a different place than I. However, I cannot agree with this argument that the Senate will protect us from a neo-conservative court, not when John McCain has already promised to deliver strict constructionist judges and Democrats have no history of standing up to Republican presidents.

I urge my fellow Clintonistas, whom I deeply respect, to re-consider their opposition to Senator Obama, not out of fear, but out of a shared desire to move our country forward on the issues that all of us, including Hillary, hold dear.

Cross-posted at MyDD.

[Updated at 3:15 am by Psychodrew]

Everything I post here, at MyDD, and at other places is cross-posted at my Facebook page where I can communicate with non-liberals and people who otherwise wouldn't visit a blog. Today, one of my Republican friends, an avowed Dittohead and Christian conservative, responded to this post with the following:

To say they [Senate Democrats] haven't done enough is mind boggling. Look at all the people they refused to confirm on the lower courts. This statement is appalling. They have gone against tradition in filibustering judicial nominations. It's never been done in history and the deomcrats are proud to be the first to do it. As for McCain, you don' t have to worry because he will never nominate a true conservative to the court. I'm so surprised that you think they haven't done enough. That's really a telling sign. All they did was stand up to Bush.

For all of our concerns about party unity, I have to say that GOP is not in good shape right now. In fact, I believe their situation is much worse. Their division is ideological, ours is emotional. We can get beyond hurt feelings, but getting people to vote against their political beliefs is another matter entirely.

So just a reminder, it has only been FOUR days since Senator Clinton conceded. We have more than four months to repair the breach. I believe that is plenty of time for our party to come back together again.

It's Been One Week

Last Tuesday night, after Obama had enough delegates to secure the nomination, I decided to post a diary that would announce my intention to remain loyal to the nominee of my party, even though that nominee was not the woman I had supported during the primary process. The transition has not been easy for me.

Emotionally, it has been hard for me to think of myself as someone who supports Barack Obama. I was for Hillary for so long that it just became ingrained in me that I was against Senator Obama. I have felt like a stranger in a strange land, but I know enough about changing my feelings to know that to change them, I have to do new things. So these are the actions I took:

1. I signed up at Barack Obama dot com and made a $25 donation.

2. I've written several diaries at MyDD and even cross-posted a few of them at daily kos (more on this in a moment.)

3. I told my personal friends off-line what I was doing.

4. I pinned an Obama button to my gym bag.

5. On Saturday, I removed my Hillary bumper sticker on my car and replaced it with an Obama bumper sticker.

A lot of my Hillary friends have not been able to understand what I am doing, and I have become the object of their scorn from some of them who think I have betrayed Hillary. I was surprised and unprepared, so a couple of times, I mixed it up with them on the blogs. Learn from my mistakes: this is not a good strategy.

The Obama supporters at MyDD have been peerlessly gracious. Some of the Obama supporters at daily kos have been gracious, but there is still some latent stuff going on over there, so I think I really may stop trying to post diaries or comments at daily kos.

My friends in real life are just yellow dog Democrats. They were for Hillary, but they never embraced her cause the way I had, so they made the transition with less emotional baggage. They are pleased that I am doing what I am doing.

I am still in the process of my transition. I still am sad that Hillary has lost, and I have not made the whole transition to the new phase of the campaign, but I do know that if I want to change my insides, I have to change my outsides. I am acting my way into this new phase of the campaign, because defeating John McCain is the only thing that is important in presidential politics.

Barack Obama for president!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Thank You, Hillary... And Hello, Barack!

(Cross-posted at MyDD)

I never thought I’d say this, but Hillary Clinton has become one of my personal heroes. Despite being counted out so many times, she came roaring back strong. Despite being trashed and thrashed herself, she’s proven her ability to brush it off to continue fighting for us working people. Despite my early doubts, I came to love and respect this amazing woman.

But now, I know her historic journey to become our next President has reached an end. Yet even now, she still amazes me with her class and her dignity. All my doubts about Hillary’s commitment to the values we hold dear as Democrats had long passed, but I think now she’s proving to us all what she will do to ensure we have a Democratic President in Barack Obama who will start undoing the damage of the Bush-Cheney era.

So first off, I’d like to officially congratulate the Obama campaign and Obama supporters here for their win. Good job, and hopefully we’ll see a Democratic President on office in 2009 who will start healing the wounds of the last eight years. As I’ve said here before, I will support the Democratic ticket this fall. Now, it’s time for me to live up to that pledge.

But before I stop obsessing over Presidential primary stuff completely, I just need to thank Hillary and her campaign for the wonderful experience I’ve been a part of. The memories made will forever be cherished in my heart. There’s no doubt in me about that. And hopefully, this won’t be the last I see of them. Hopefully, I’ll see my fellow Hillary Clinton Democrats work with all of us to ensure we have a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.

And hopefully, many of you Obama supporters will see that we’re not the caricatures the media elite tried to make of us. When we come around, please embrace us as Democrats who want what’s best for this nation. And please, don’t say this is just your party or my party or the Obama party or the Clinton party. This party belongs to all of us, and we all need to start working together now if we want to see progress in the future.

Now that the primary’s finally over, I'm ready to move on and start working hard for Barack Obama, our Democratic nominee. Now that doesn't mean I stopped loving Hillary... She's still my hero. In fact, one reason I'm supporting Obama so strongly now is because I intend to keep the promise I made to Hillary last Saturday.

So now, I've taken the next step to ensure we have a Democratic President in 2009 who will fix what Bush-Cheney has broken. Will you? Do you care about solving the climate crisis? Ending the Iraq Occupation? Making universal health care a reality? Protecting reproductive rights? Advancing equal rights for all people, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, and/or disability? Defending the Constitution? Great, then let's all follow Hillary's lead and join Barack's movement for real change!

Barack Obama for President

I believe my credentials as a Hillary supporter were elegant. I started blogging in 2004 during the primaries, and I established something of a reputation at Daily Kos as a Democratic activist during the Kerry campaign after the Senator had received the nomination. When Hillary announced, I probably was the only long-term and recognized blogger at Daily Kos who stood with Hillary for the first three months of her campaign. It was a pretty awful experience. I went from being DCDemocrat of the golden Democratic credentials to being troll-rated on a regular basis. There was so much enmity towards Hillary in the early months of the campaign that the bloggers who now continue to fight to make Hillary the nominee (even after Hillary has endorsed Obama) were no where to be found, and the people who didn't stand up in those months included the names of all the bloggers who later became Hillary's most ardent defenders.

Many Hillary supporters are entertaining the idea that they can vote for John McCain. Last week on the night of the Montana and South Dakota primaries, I waited for John McCain to speak. When he appeared on the screen, speaking from Louisiana, I said to him, "Give me a reason to vote for you." By the end of his speech, I knew that he had not done what I asked, and I knew voting for him was impossible.

Other Hillary supporters are entertaining the idea that they yet will force the Democratic Party to nominate Hillary. As far as I can tell, there are only two ways to accomplish this end. Either Hillary must fight for the nomination, or someone must irreparably injure Obama's claim on the nomination. What is possible here? Hillary is not going to lift a telephone to call a superdelegate, so how can Hillary supporters get the nomination through persuasion? And how could they sufficiently harm Obama's reputation, given the unlikely prospect there's a smoking gun waiting to be found, without destroying the party; if they destroy the party, what vehicle would there be to elect Hillary Clinton president?

Hillary has conceded the race, and she has called her supporters to work to make Barack Obama president. I think it is time in the name of party unity to say that I stand with my party, and I will vote for the nominee of the party.

Last Tuesday night, Barack Obama gave a gracious and dignified speech. He was strong. He spoke to the policies I believe in. He extended his hand in friendship to Hillary and her supporters, and I have extended my hand back to him. He clearly wants and needs the votes of Hillary Democrats, and he has mine.

I congratulate all of you who have stood with Obama through this race. I congratulate Senator Obama, whom we all need now to make President Obama.