I was a Clinton supporter. I'm now an Obama supporter. My message to Clinton supporters who are still pondering whether to support Obama; get over it, and get off the fence.
All across America Clinton supporters are licking their wounds. In Los Angeles, New York and Washington I have talked to prominent Clinton fundraisers and operatives who have told me they need a period of reflection before they can decide whether to support Obama. Some feel that Senator Clinton wasn't treated fairly. Others cite vague concerns about Obama's economic or security policy. A handful say they "just aren't sure" they can support Obama without bothering to explain why.
A peculiar self-pity has set in among Clinton supporters -- a phenomenon that threatens Barack Obama's election as president.
On a conference call with reporters this week the President of EMILY's List (a group that supports female candidates) summarized the emotional state of some Clinton supporters saying "those of us who supported Hillary go through a process of dealing with our many emotions of disappointment and sadness and some anger," she went on to say that this "the election is not today. We've got five months."
But we don't have five months. John McCain has already dispatched Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett Packard (who as fired by her board of directors for the company's terrible performance in 2005) in an effort to take advantage of the sad emotional state of Clinton supporters and work to bring them to the other side.
McCain's campaign plans to hold a "Virtual Town Hall" this Saturday and has specifically said it is designed to reach out to Democrats and Independents. The McCain campaigns press release on the event even said "Many town hall participants are expected to be former supporters of Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign."
If Clinton supporters continue to feel sorry for themselves and wonder what might have been they will hand the White House to John McCain -- not the independent John McCain of ten years ago but the John McCain who promises a Bush-style economic policy, Bush-style foreign policy and Bush approach to appointing justices to the Supreme Court.
If you want the Bush tax cuts to be permanent, American troops to stay in Iraq for many years to come, Roe v. Wade to be overturned and Bush's legacy to also be America's future -- McCain's your man.
I was lucky enough to serve President Clinton, traveling across the country and around the world proudly promoting him and his policies. I have worked with his foundation on AIDS in Africa and continue to work with him through the Clinton Global Initiative. I have also worked with Senator Clinton, who has been a passionate advocate of the issues that I care the most about. Throughout their lives, both Clintons have helped me personally in many ways -- and both have embodied the best of Democratic politics.
But the stakes are too high to sit around moping on their behalf. The next American president will have a profound impact on this nation -- and the world. Anyone and everyone who has hated what George Bush did to America must come together urgently to support Barack Obama ...
Quite literally the future of the world depends on it -- and that is far more important than hurt feelings and thoughts of what might have been. It's time for Clinton supporters to get over their hurt feelings, get off the fence, and support one of the most exciting candidates the Democratic party has ever seen.