In 21 days it's time to caucus in Iowa. Ten months have passed since Hillary announced she is running for President. Many say the 2016 Presidential campaign actually began on November 7, 2012 the day after Barack Obama won his second term; either way it's time for voters to speak.
We have seen a campaign with all its ups and downs and reality quickly hit home no one is anointed President. Hillary and those incredible people running and working on her campaign, including campaign chair John Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook, and all the others working 24 hours a day always knew that.
Hillary has faced some self-inflicted wounds like her private email account and attacks from others like Trey Gowdy (R-SC) who chaired the Benghazi Committee. Then there is Bernie Sanders who struck a chord with the left-wing of the Democratic Party, and Joe Biden's internal debate on whether to run or not which played out on the national stage. We have seen tens of millions of dollars spent by Republicans to blunt Hillary Clinton's chances because they know she will be the one with the best chance of defeating them. Add the east-coast self-anointed media elite who seemed to take great pleasure in attacking and reporting every attack on Hillary. This includes the New York Times erroneously reporting a criminal investigation against her and Chuck Todd gleefully reporting every attack on Clinton on the once prestigious Sunday morning show Meet the Press. Many woman columnists went out of their way to attack Clinton; from the outrageous Maureen Dowd whose personal vendetta against the Clintons has gone on for years for some inexplicable reason to Ruth Marcus who writes for the Washington Post and just seems to enjoy attacking Hillary every once in a while apparently to prove she isn't biased for a woman candidate.
So why does it make so much sense to vote for Hillary? The simple answer is despite all the attacks; the tens of millions of dollars and thousands of lines of print attacking her over many years; Hillary Rodham Clinton is still standing tall and the leading Democrat in 49 out of 50 states. For Democrats her brilliance, experience, knowledge and compassion for people is making the difference and they understand it will make the difference in the general election.
The alternative to Hillary as the Democratic nominee is Bernie Sanders. Sanders claims to be starting a revolution. But clearly looking at the leaders in the Republican Party and the results of the 2014 elections the country isn't ready to support a revolution led by the Democratic far-left. Sanders hasn't been able to accomplish any of his revolutionary (his word) goals in over 25 years in Congress. One of my Sanders supporting friends, and he is still a friend, has polls showing Sanders doing well against Republican challengers in hypothetical match-ups. But think a moment and it's easy to understand why Sanders isn't being clobbered in those polls.
To date no one has bothered to attack Bernie Sanders. Republicans believe it's a waste of time and money to attack someone they don't think they will be running against. Hillary won't attack him because they actually share many of the same policy positions. Hillary's are just more nuanced and have an actual chance to be implemented. Instead she has focused her attacks on Republicans and building the Democratic Party for the future. If she is nominated she wants all of Sanders supporters to be a part of it.
Sanders campaign complains the media hasn't focused on him and they are mostly correct. Maybe they should be thanking their lucky stars. While most of the focus has been on Hillary it often consists of making and reporting attacks against her. No one is attacking Sanders but then no one is vetting him either. He has avoided this with the reporting on him being polite and only focused on his one stump speech and the large number of white, and young people who attend his rallies. Sanders is running a decent campaign but other than attracting crowds doesn't make news.
All that will change if for some reason after the Super Tuesday primaries there is any indication Sanders has the slightest chance of being the Democratic nominee. The Republican Party and their candidates will come out swinging against him as a self-described democratic socialist. The media will begin digging into every phase of his private life and every vote, statement, or writing he has ever done over his 74 years and it isn't all pretty. People will learn all kinds of things about Sanders he hasn't wanted to share and he will be facing the kind of spotlight he has avoided up to now. By all accounts his inability to compromise to move forward his ideas will come back to haunt him. We have seen time and time again voters in the general election are not where Bernie Sanders is. The fact he isn't even a Democrat will come back to hobble the Party as he is called on to lead the Party's slate and work for candidates up and down the ticket.
Democrats have a candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been vetted over and over again. No part of her life, public or private, hasn't seen headlines over the years. Some real, some made up. Yet Hillary stands tall and continues to poll well for the general election. The attacks have all been seen before by the American people who for the 20th time voted her the most admired woman in the world. She has always overcome the viciousness of the attacks against her because she has a record of accomplishments and service to the American people.
If Democrats want to continue the progress made by Barack Obama; have a Democrat in office who will nominate the next Supreme Court Justices; a Democrat who will fight for women's rights, immigrant rights, LGBT rights and reform the judicial system to make real the rights that African Americans have won; it is only common sense to vote to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton who can win in November and become the 45th, and first woman, President of the United States.