In 2008, the Dorchester Reporter chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton as our preferred nominee for president. We wrote: “In a contest that increasingly seems likely to feature proven cross-over candidate John McCain on the Republican ticket, team Clinton seems likely to be a losing proposition for those of us focused on the ultimate goal of reclaiming Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Senator Obama, we believed, would excite the Democratic base and bring in new voters. We hoped he would have a transformative effect on the nation and set us on a path toward a more progressive, united future. Like Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose endorsement of Sen. Obama was an early and pivotal moment in that campaign, we saw in the senator from Illinois the promise of greatness and subtle reminders of our own favorite son, John F. Kennedy.
It is an understatement to say that President Obama has far exceeded our expectations. We believe that he will be viewed as the most important leader generated by this nation in the last half-century. We will miss the steady leadership, graceful resolve, and uplifting spirit that the president, the First Lady, and their family have brought to the White House.
Secretary Clinton is a worthy successor to the Obama legacy. After a disappointing finish to her hard-fought candidacy in 2008, she quickly distinguished herself by endorsing her rival and then joining his administration at the highest level, serving as Secretary of State. We were impressed then, as we are now, with her tenacity, grit and – despite her detractors’ feeble attempts to suggest otherwise – her stamina in the job and, subsequently, in this campaign.
If Clinton hoped to seamlessly segue from Mr. Obama’s team to the nomination, she certainly picked the wrong seat at the cabinet table. There is good reason why the last US secretary of state to ascend to the office of commander-in-chief did so before the Civil War (James Buchanan, 1856). In modern times, certainly, taking the top job at State has been a career capper, not the final rung on the way up to the Oval Office.
The role of secretary of state is demanding and fraught with peril. Failure, to one degree or another, is inherent in the job description at the Department of State, where even allies are prone to prod and undermine, and the world’s most nefarious and wicked leaders are your frequent dinner guests.
Meanwhile, domestic rivals will seek to make every international crisis one of your own making. And every victory, however pyrrhic, belongs to the president you serve.
Hillary Clinton, in our view, is the best-qualified, best-prepared and most-persuasive candidate for the job of president in the fields of candidates presented to the American electorate this cycle. She triumphed over a tough, dynamic and popular rival in Bernie Sanders— another leader who has done the nation a service by lending his full-throated endorsement to his former rival. She promises to keep a steady pace with the impressive record realized under President Obama— progressive appointments to the Supreme Court, advances in civil rights for LGBTQ neighbors on marriage and in the armed forces, and more equitable pay for women. Like the president, who righted the American economy that was so hobbled and abused by failed GOP policies under the last administration, Clinton promises to make smart decisions that won’t disrupt the ongoing recovery.
Sanders, like many of us who are now fully committed to Clinton’s election, does so with one eye cast warily towards the prospect of what the election of her opponent— the GOP nominee— would mean for our republic. The Republican pick for president in 2016 is the most unsavory, disturbing, and ill-suited person ever to appear on a November ballot on behalf of a major American party. Any misgivings about Hillary Clinton are so diminished in the face of the prospect of this individual’s election as to be inconsequential.
The grotesque, shameful behavior of the Republican party’s new standard bearer — including his misogynistic and hateful language directed at just about everyone in our society— stands as a disgraceful blemish on a once Grand Old Party.
We will vote enthusiastically for Hillary Clinton next Tuesday. We suspect that many of our neighbors— some 24,000 citywide, as of last count— already have. Massachusetts will do its part to elect a proven leader with the clear credentials to lead our nation forward, charting a course to continue the strong record of the Obama era.
We urge our neighbors to join us in voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton as our next president.