Monday evening 8/25/2008, Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO
How is it being here as a Hillary supporter? For me it’s mostly ok. There are obviously many Hillary delegates and supporters here, wearing plenty of Hillary chum. Some have “Hillary Supporter for Obama” buttons. I am still a Hillary supporter (wearing “I <heart> Hillary” and “Thank you Hillary” buttons). I may always think she was the better candidate. But that doesn’t mean I (and others who wear these badges) can’t support Barack.
Also, there’s more going on at the convention than the Presidential race and it is good to remember that there is more to the conversation than that. While I am not a “strong” Democrat (I have voted for Republicans in my lifetime, tho not yet for Pres), I always say (yes, I know you’re sick of this line) that I am the most conservative of my liberal (SF Bay area) friends. Still, I’m clearly a Democrat. While there are things I’m not happy about the Party, I am still currently proud of being a Dem.
Here’s where I’m personally at (today). I have appreciated the steps that the Obama campaign, Barack himself, and the Dem Party have taken. He reached out to his fundraisers to contribute to Hillary’s debt relief (I know this for a fact). His local Silicon Valley organizers reached out to Hillary’s local organizers and we held a house party; they were genuine in their sensitivity and welcome to Hillary supporters. The convention put Hillary in a primetime convention speaking slot. Local SF Bay are Barack fundraisers gave over $50K to Hillary’s debt relief. The convention is putting her name in nomination and having a role call vote. Today many if not all the speeches I heard acknowledged Hillary and her campaign and supporters in a positive way.
You could argue (and not a few of her supporters do) that they haven’t done enough and/or haven’t done this willingly. Have they done as much as I hoped for? Absolutely not. Should Hillary supporters have *expected* more? I don’t know. Have they done all of this without negotiation by Hillary and/or pressure from her delegates/supporters? Most likely not. (I’m really proud of her delegates who put together the nomination petition, that is really democracy at work). But it’s not fair to totally discount what steps have been taken, however they have come about. Is it enough for me? With the role call vote, for me it will be enough. Not as much as I wanted, but it will be enough.
For me it is coming down to the one predictable major legacy of the next president and that is the Supreme Court nominees. Not even Roe v. Wade specifically, but the SC generally. I cannot vote for what John McCain is saying he will use to guide his nominees.
It is the Hillary supporters here that are making it ok for me to be here. We talk to each other and share the difficulty. And there are many Barack supporters genuinely concerned about how can we come together? Julie, a Barack delegate from my district, told me she was really happy that they were having a role call with Hillary on the ballot, she feels Hillary’s candidacy was historic and should be acknowledged and recorded. That makes it ok. And the media, on seeing your Hillary buttons, swoop down to get you to feed the Hillary supporters are anti-Obama story line. I can’t stand being shark bait. I’m personally currently far more disgusted by the media than the Dem Party.
And when I go to the NOW event and there are screaming anti-choice protesters outside, with pictures of bloody fetuses, and they drive trucks around downtown with these pictures a story high, damning Barack Obama, it puts into perspective for me what the end game is. At Sun Microsystems (and in many other places) we used to say “Agree and commit, disagree and commit, but commit.” It meant, before the decision is made, have your say, make your stand, but after the decision is made, in order for us to make progress, commit to the decision, even if it wasn’t your say, your stand. You may not think it was the best choice, but a good decision is better than no decision. I personally don’t think Barack is the best decision, but he is a good enough decision.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy. Tonight, I left the convention before Michelle’s speech. I wanted to watch this from the privacy of my hotel room (which after some unbelievable trials, I did, I’ll write that in another email). So, I can guarantee that many of you will think I am not moving on fast enough and am not a good enough Dem and not seeing the big picture. And I can guarantee that there are many of you who think I am moving on way too fast, giving in to the Party that betrayed us, and not seeing the big picture. So it goes. I am looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds for us all, and this week is a huge chapter --