Saturday, April 05, 2008

Clinton supporter wakes up to reality.

From the Boston Globe:

By Tripp Jones

My fellow Clintonites, it's time for Obama

FOR SUPPORTERS of Senator Hillary Clinton, like me, it's time to get behind
her rival, Senator Barack Obama.

The exposure of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Jr.'s outrageous and divisive remarks has injected the raw emotions associated
with race relations into the presidential campaign. This new dynamic raises the
stakes in an already high-stakes race. Our responsibility as progressive-minded
voters is to show Americans a positive alternative to the toxic politics of
race. Rallying around Obama now increases our chances of doing just that. Obama
has run a positive and inspiring campaign, and has attracted a majority of
pledged delegates. It is hard to envision a scenario in which Democratic
superdelegates override the will of millions of primary voters and caucus
participants. Obama will be the nominee.

Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Wright presents Republicans with
a polarizing wedge issue to exploit with general election voters. This approach
not only risks an Obama loss in November - denying us a fresh, capable leader -
but it would set the country back in its racial reconciliation process.
Americain 2008 should be better than that.

As we have done at many key junctures in our nation's history, Democrats
and other progressive-minded voters must lead the way. The current firestorm is
an opportunity to move beyond the anger and resentment that have characterized
our nation's dialogue on race. By throwing our enthusiastic support behind Obama
now, voters of all political stripes can echo the candidate's refrain, "Not this
time."

There have been many moments in our history when we failed to heed that
call. Twenty years ago, as a staffer of Governor Michael Dukakis's presidential
campaign, I observed the use of the now-famous "Willie Horton" ad to undermine a
good man's character, fan the flames of racial division and distract voters from
the most important issues of the time.
Not this time. We have an opportunity
to show that we have learned from our mistakes. The first step, which Obama took
in his recent speech on race, was to condemn Wright's offensive
rhetoric.

The second step is in our hands: Strengthen Obama as the Democratic nominee
by uniting behind him now. Amplify his postpartisan message to American voters.
Families in Pennsylvania, like those across America, are feeling insecure about
their jobs, healthcare, their children's education, and the safety of the
nation. They want leaders to be bold and practical in addressing our most
serious challenges, and to work across party lines to achieve results. Obama
promises to do that.

Those of us who have supported Clinton and continue to believe that she
would be an excellent president can play an important part in moving our nation
forward by supporting Obama. We can spread the word that he offers the right
leadership for these challenging times.
Our support would send a powerful
message that the United States is headed in a new direction - on race relations,
certainly, but perhaps most importantly, on what it means to be an
American.

Tripp Jones is cofounder of MassINC
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