Declaring for Hillary

Although I will likely be disowned by my son, after carefully watching all the pre-Iowa-caucus debates and doing research on their platforms on their respective websites, I have decided to switch my support from Bernie Sanders to Hillary Clinton. Mario Cuomo once famously said, “You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose.”

Sanders certainly campaigns poetically. I cannot think of one of his positions with which I seriously disagree. I just do not believe that they are realistically attainable. For example, I would dearly love a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system in this country. But we do not live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. We live in a representative democracy and the votes are simply not there, likely even in a Democrat-controlled Congress to raise taxes and place the mandates on employers necessary to fund such a program.

Even with Bernie surging in the current polls, I do not believe he is electable nationally at the end of the day. There are those who say he would lose all fifty states in the general election. While it might not be that bad, I remember voting for George McGovern (another poetic liberal) in 1972, the results were almost as discouraging, and we got Nixon again.

Even if he were to somehow win the election, I do not believe Bernie could govern effectively. If we think we have seen gridlock under Barack Obama (and will surely see some under Hillary) I cannot imagine what it would be like with Republicans opposing everything proposed by a “democratic socialist.”

As for Hillary Clinton, there has never been a more-qualified candidate for this office — socially-conscious lawyer, eight years as First Lady, hard-working Senator from New York, Secretary of State. For those who do not ‘trust’ her, I suggest looking at her record; her positions have been remarkably consistent on human rights, the economy, and foreign policy for over forty years. For those who believe she is too cozy with Wall Street or too heavily influenced by big PACs, again I suggest looking at the overall record to see if she has caved in on her core principles because of such influence.

Electing the first woman President would be a huge plus as far as I am concerned and she is supported by some of the most impressive and influential women of our time — i.e. Madeline Albright, Marian Wright Edelman, etc. Obviously, I would support no one simply because of her gender (i.e. Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina, Michelle Bachman to name a few). But, like Hillary, I am a “progressive who likes to get things done.” Clinton may not always campaign in poetry, but I believe she is certainly capable of governing in prose.

We must find ways to “reach across the aisle” in this country if we are to get anything meaningful done. The Obama legacy may not be all that many of us hoped for, but significant progress has been made on a number of fronts. I am quite happy to sign on to an Obama third term as some are describing a Clinton presidency.

So, next weekend I will be working the phones for Hillary and on February 1, I will caucus for her here in Iowa. Sanders may indeed win in both Iowa and New Hampshire. But I think that will be about it and with her support by women, African Americans, Hispanics, unions and a host of rank and file Americans, I expect that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and the one most likely, in the final analysis, because of organization, experience, and her basic message, to defeat whomever the GOP finally decides to send out there.

Obviously, I am a Democrat. I will happily support, and work for, whomever our Party finally decides upon. But, for now, I have decided to opt for prose over poetry and to work for the candidate I believe to be the most electable and the most qualified to serve.

That candidate is Hillary Clinton.

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