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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Democratic Women Should Support the Nominee

Whitney M. Duck

This year's presidential race for the White House has had its ups and downs. More Democrats have not only gone to the polls but more Democrats have been added to the voting base. These results have been both surprising and stunning. Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have brought forth to the Democratic Party new ideas and thoughts as they have battled to be who Democratic voters will choose as their nominee and elect to the White House in 2008. All of the struggling and testing has been good for the party and for the nation. Voters have had the opportunity to view both candidates and make their voices heard. Sometimes, a little bit of discourse is good but now the Democrats must come together and put the past behind.

There is sentiment out in the country among some democratic voters that the nominee must be either a Woman or an African American. Many die hard Obama and Clinton supporters have stated they will reject the other candidate if their candidate is not the democratic party nominee. This idea of a conspiracy if their candidate does not win does not sit well with me. But, the concept that a Woman must win at all costs is out there. The same thought is out there about why the candidate must be an African-American.

Believe it or not, quite a few people love good conspiracy stories. However, that is not my point. Both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton see themselves as agents of change. No longer will white males rule the race for the White House or Congress. Both Clinton and Obama have injected the idea of change in more then just policy but also with their gender and race. Americans are responding to both in different ways and slowly Americans are talking about gender and race with each other, one on one or in a group. Gradually, we are examining both of the Democrats running and acknowledging, for good or bad, that indeed race and gender do matter. But that is not the point I wish to make.

I am appealing to all Clinton supporters to give Obama another look - to look past his gender, and race and view him as a wonderful candidate for the White House. Many conversations have taken place, where I was surprised to learn that some Democratic Women (not all) will not settle for anyone but a woman candidate. This is surprising in that not all women running for office are the best choice for public office. It should not be "a women at all cost!" or "any women is better then none!" way of thinking. The best person should be elected no matter their gender, race, religion, or sexual preference. Once we step into the, "the only reason I am voting for him or her is their race, religion, gender, or sexual preference, we begin to defeat better candidates at the cost of advancing our own bullheadedness.

Even here in Frederick Maryland, a woman elected official has been known to say "Any women, would be better then any man". Just electing a person based on a quality that is rooted in birth and origin is not enough in these trying times. It fact, it shows a bit of ignorance and blind faith toward the idea of changing government. It is the policies and theories that should be looked at and evaluated and not just a blind vote for the candidate because of their gender.

Early on, I was a Clinton gal. In many ways I still am but I see the writing on the wall. First and foremost I am a Democrat and I want to see a Democrat in the White House! Senator Obama will do the Democratic Party justice not because he is an African American but because he sees the troubles and issues facing America in the future. I judge him not on his race or gender but on how he will govern and how he will change direction for this country. I see a true Democrat and a true valuable choice in Obama and I see these as a part of who he is – knowledgeable, young, male, bi-racial, married, optimist - a great candidate for the office of President of the United States.

Senator Clinton, I believe, would also be a wonderful choice but by facing the truth, she is not winning and cannot win. It is not her gender that is keeping her away from the White House, but her own personality and policies. I admire her hard work and the "stick-to-it-ness" of her campaign, but the time has come for her to exit.

I hope in November, my fellow sister Democrats will help elect the person who will make positive changes for our country and cast their vote for Obama. I hope with all hope that Clinton women supporters will not do the famous "backlash" vote and vote Republican. That is not a smart or wise move. Come January 2009, we can all lick our wounds and come together to make changes. Not all women make a prefect choice. Women too can be short sighted and make wrong decisions and votes. We should remember that and not let gender blind us.

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