Why I support Hillary

Obama is passionate, thoughtful, centrist enough for broad appeal, and a brilliant speaker. If he’s the nominee I’ll support him fully with every bit of strength I have. There is something special about him, and it comes around rarely in a candidate.

“Dave Winer wrote”:http://www.scripting.com/stories/2008/01/08/gluedToTheTv.html: “Obama, like Carter in 1976, may be our pennance for having re-elected Bush in 2004. We’re taking the medicine we deserve for having been crazy enough to re-elect someone who was so bad for us.”

But what about Hillary? She’s part of the establishment, and I volunteered heavily for the Howard Dean campaign. Could I support someone as traditional as Hillary? As “Mike Cohen said”:http://mcdevzone.com/2008/01/08/bad-news-from-new-hampshire: “I oppose her very strongly, not only because of all the baggage she brings, but for her anti-progressive record.”

And yet.

“I posted to Twitter”:http://twitter.com/manton/statuses/578006692 on election night that something had changed between the Iowa vote and New Hampshire: Hillary had found her voice, and it surprised me. Turns out she knows what is at stake. I always knew she was a fighter; after 2000 and 2004, we need the Democrats to show some backbone again. But I think she’s been underestimated even more deeply than that, in her ability to speak to the core Democratic base while drawing upon her new experience and record in the Senate that most people aren’t familiar with yet.

And then there is the woman factor. Some people will say this matters but they don’t really understand unless they have daughters of their own, daughters who will grow up and become teenagers, the defining moment of their lives, during a woman presidency. This is both personal and huge and it could spread like wildfire. For me, it tips the balance.

My family is throwing its support — our money for donations, our phones for getting out the vote, and our voice — behind Hillary. Thank you New Hampshire for making this a real primary election again.