On June 7th, my heart was broken. The candidate of my lifetime and my dear friend Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her historic Presidential campaign.
Over the past two months I have become the poster-child, in the press, for the so-called Hillary holdouts; Hillary Clinton supporters who were angry and frustrated with the way she was treated in the primary and post-primary and weren't ready for unity. I was frustrated at the incredible amount of misogyny in our political process and in our media. And I was embarrassed that my party, and its leadership, never came to her defense when she faced a barrage of attacks based on her gender.
I still bear some wounds, but I've thought long and hard about the issues I support and that I believe in and Hillary has led me to understand that Senator McCain supports little of what I champion.
The turning point for me was the Democratic Convention in Denver this week. I saw how Hillary was treated by the Obama campaign and his supporters and I saw how President Clinton was greeted as a hero in our party and our country.
This was not an easy decision, not because I dislike Senator Obama or think he's not a good public servant, but because I so strongly believed that Hillary was the stronger candidate.
I will never forget about Hillary and will continue to honor and support her -- Hillary's grace and commitment will always guide me and my convictions. Her campaign was a turning point in my life and in my activism. And after working many months on her campaign, there was no doubt in my mind that Hillary would provide the leadership that we needed in these daunting times.
After eighteen months and 18 million voters, she is so much more defined, known and respected by voters across America and opinion leaders of the world. People have seen how brilliant, compassionate and dedicated she is to her country and I think we can all agree that she came into her own during this campaign. But part of losing is looking back and using your mistakes as lessons. We must never allow misogynistic attacks in the media or in our political process ever again. In May of 2008 I co-founded WomenCount (www.womencount.org), a political action committee dedicated at that time to encouraging Hillary to stay in the race and not bow out under pressure. Now we have turned WomenCount into a 527/PAC dedicated to battling the gender bias in our media and political process. I like to think of it as a Moveon.org for Women. And its most important work will serve to protect women like Michelle Obama, Cindy McCain, and Hillary Clinton from misogynistic attacks. I know that Hillary's most important work is yet to come and I know with a President Obama, her dream of Universal Health Care for all Americans will come true. Senator Obama has done the right thing; he has honored her and her policies in the way they deserve to be honored. Do I wish she were at least Vice-President? Absolutely, but that's water under the bridge. We live in dark times and we need the kind of leadership that can take on our problems head-on and I know Senators Obama and Biden will do just that. So I hope everyone will join me and Hillary in saying, NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MCCAIN.
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