Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Was Going...

To write something else, but then ran across the following article in the Houston Chronicle. It was too good to pass up. Here it is in its entirety:

Viewpoints, Outlook

March 1, 2008, 1:56PM
Clinton will change our future for the better

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

In the recent Democratic presidential debate in Austin, the candidates were asked to describe a personal crisis that tested their characters.

Sen. Barack Obama recited his biography, apparently hoping we would, justifiably, be inspired. Sen. Hillary Clinton said her well-known personal trials were nothing compared to those of the injured soldiers she so eloquently evoked and that they and thousands of other Americans had inspired her to devote her life to public service and to enter this race. This is the profound difference between these candidates — and between good leaders and great ones like Hillary Clinton.

Seven years of the Bush administration have left us so hungry for change that we will accept almost any kind offered. SenatorObama says he is the agent of that change and proclaims that we are the change we seek, the change we've been waiting for.

Yet change alone is not enough. George Bush changed peace into war, surpluses into deficits and the respect this country enjoyed around the world into contempt. That was not what we had waited for.

Yet Obama will also keep us waiting. His thin legislative record — so thin even his Texas spokesperson was at a loss to name a single Senate accomplishment — reveals his avoidance of controversy and hard choices, including more than a hundred votes of "present" in the Illinois Legislature when others took a stand.

The U.S. Senate subcommittee he chairs on NATO, a key ally, has never met or acted. He touts ethics reform that requires only that congressmen stand while lobbyists buy their three-martini lunches and offers a health care plan that doesn't cover everybody. Even his speech against the war in Iraq was not followed by action in the Senate. Promising change alone, he delivers only change lite, change borne of the easy consensus that comes from political expedience and not asking for too much.Campaigning for change is one thing; delivering even a little is another. As Fred Siegel, a professor of history at the Cooper Union for Science and Art, observes,"Patrick's governorship is the closest thing we have to a preview of the 'politics of hope' and that governorship has been a failure to date. As [columnist] Joan Vennochi observes in the Boston Globe, Patrick's record in office 'shows that it can be hard to get beyond being the face of change, to actually changing politics.' ... Patrick hasn't delivered reform, much less the transformation that both he and Obama promise." Gov. Patrick's failures no doubt explain why Massachusetts Democrats, when offered more of the same, voted overwhelmingly for Clinton.Hillary Clinton asks more of us. She urges us to look not to her or ourselves for affirmation but to find true and lasting inspiration by looking outward together to see the invisible Americans she sees, those whose desperate needs and quiet dignity compel her and us to act. She calls upon us to work together to improve their lives and, in the process, our own because she knows that real, positive change is the only kind worth fighting for.

And fight we must. Words may inspire but only blood, sweat and yes, even occasional tears make positive change happen. No change worth having has ever come without them. Thomas Jefferson's words "all men are created equal" were but a cruel hope for many until Americans fought to make them real.

While it is tempting to think we can achieve change but avoid conflict if only we believe enough, we know, deep down, that real change requires more than hope. It always has. César Chávez devoted his life to that fight. That is why the union he and Dolores Huerta pioneered endorsed Clinton. Bobby Kennedy gave his life in that fight and his children have endorsed her, too. They showed us that fighting together for meaningful change is noble, not passe.

Like them, Hillary Clinton has fought for positive change all her life. Millions of children have health care because of her tireless work in the face of special interest opposition. Thousands of soldiers and veterans have the services and dignity they deserve because she fought for them when they could no longer fight for themselves.

To achieve real change as president, she has done her homework and earned the deep respect of military leaders here, world leaders in 80 countries and of Republicans and Democrats alike. Unlike Obama, she can use this critical political capital, established trust, staggering depth and breadth of knowledge and hard-won wisdom to deliver on the promises she has made while keeping America and the world safe.

Hillary Clinton, as America's first woman president, will boldly fight for you and with you to deliver meaningful change that will make your future, that of your children and grandchildren, and of this country and the world not just different, but better.

It is what good mothers and great leaders do. That is why Texans should cast their vote for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

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