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We're Lucky to Have Her

Those of you who have read my posts in the past know that I am an avid Barack Obama supporter. As we are now sitting on the edge of Senator Obama securing the Democratic nomination, I'd like to say one thing:

Hillary should not withdraw her candidacy.

Don't get me wrong. As things currently sit, Senator Clinton has lost in her bid to become the nominee of the Democratic party and as reported by the New York Times, she is preparing a formal announcement of the suspension of her campaign this evening in her home state of New York. And I think that's the right thing to do: suspend, not withdraw.

My preference in candidates is due in large part to something in which I never thought I'd indulge: Hope. Not just hope for our future, which I've always held deep inside in spite of overwhelming evidence that greatness just wasn't in our nature as human beings, but hope that we might be on the verge of a paradigm shift in this county. Our history is littered with political posturing, ugly physical and emotional violence toward those who do not share our views, and a lack of regret for both our ambivalence toward those on the other side of the fence and our actions in treating them as a lesser species of human. We have felt in the past that the ends justified the means, and it seems to me that we have paid the price, both domestically and internationally for the reality of conflict we have allowed--no, more than allowed; that we have actively nurtured--to overtake our ability to reach for greatness. It is my sincere hope that Barack Obama can and will lead us down a better road.

But I'm also a realist.

I've seen failure before. So have you. We've all tasted the disappointment of our failures to live up to our hopes. We've all felt the overwhelming despair of wanting to fly but being unable to grow wings.

I've been disappointed by Senator Clinton's campaign. It seems to me that she is rooted in the style of politics of which she's been victim to her entire public life. Being a victim of Republican abuse, she in turn has been swept away by the cycle of abuse and become the abuser herself.

Again, I don't believe that her intention is to be abusive. There's a great distinction there, and before you scream at me, please understand that I firmly believe that as in life, so in politics: One should not blame the victim. That being said, the cycle needs to be broken.

I believe that Barack Obama may be able to break that cycle. But I've been wrong before. So have you. We all have. It's not a crime to hope, but it is a crime not to plan for failure when the lives of so many hang in the balance.

Hillary should suspend, not withdraw. She should be available should anything occur that might keep Senator Obama from defeating McCain in the general election. Should an event occur that makes Senator Obama unelectable--and no, I don't believe that anything that has happened up to this point makes him such--the party needs to realize that she's there waiting in the wings.

She may not represent the paradigm shift our country desperately needs, but she does represent a tough, principled fighter who shares the policy stances of the Democratic Party. She may be a bully, but she's our bully. We may not like to see the violence, but if we have to fight, it's good to have a warrior on our side. Not one of use--save the most extreme--would advocate not having a military to defend our right to live as we have chosen. As such, the crucible of partisan politics which has battle-hardened Hillary Clinton should be looked upon as a gift of strength should it be needed.

Hillary Clinton is a formidable warrior who will fight to keep the ideas of the Democratic Party alive and active should the need for such a fight become necessary.

I, for one, feel lucky to have her in the wings. As should you.

Hope for peace, prepare for war.

Thank you, Hillary. It's good to have you on our side.

Joseph Haines, signing off from The Edge of the Abyss.

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