Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hillary supporter John Lewis sets an example

I had the privilege of first meeting Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) at a bookstore in downtown Atlanta years ago. Impressed by his gracious, humble demeanor, I sensed an inner strength from what I imagined he derived overcoming great obstacles, surviving "Bloody Sunday" among other threats during the civil rights movement. On the record, he's passionately opposed the Iraq War and his biography commands respect.

Speaking about Obama, Lewis recently demonstrated why he's a first-class Democrat:

With the presidential race soon headed South, Rep. John Lewis said he has no regrets about endorsing Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
But the Atlanta Democrat and civil rights icon also expressed admiration for the success Obama, the most viable African American presidential candidate in modern times, has been enjoying in early voting, at Clinton’s expense.
“Thank goodness for what Obama has been doing in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s historic,” Lewis said. “He’s tapped into a part of the electorate looking [for] something different, something new.”
He goes on to remark of Super Tuesday, Georgia being one of the states in the primaries set for Feb. 5:
“It’s just the beginning,” said Lewis, who spent his life fighting for black voting rights and then raised eyebrows by backing Clinton, a friend, over Obama.
Lewis remains optimistic about Clinton’s chances — easier to do after Tuesday — and notes that her husband began building momentum only after winning Georgia’s primary.
Once again, Lewis impressed me. He spoke positively about the candidate he supports and a rival simultaneously. A rarity in politics, isn't it? Lewis sets an example to ponder as we endeavor to elect a Democratic president, a cause to which I'm committed no matter who wins the nomination.

Sometimes when I find comments on liberal blogs about staying home on Election Day because their candidate possibly won't be on the ballot, I think how foolish. Yeah, I can understand the reaction. But get real. The next president will likely pick one or more replacements to the SCOTUS, an event that alone greatly motivates me to GOTV for either Edwards, Hillary, or Obama. All three want to end the war. Repubs? Not so much.

In the meantime, let's heed Blue Girl's New Year call "to fight like hell to elect enough Democrats to the Congress that the President doesn't matter." If I have to vote for a Democratic presidential nominee in November that I don't particularly favor -- a likelihood with Richardson out of the race -- I will do so without hesitation. It's too important to allow another Repub preznut anywhere near the WH. And, we must also work to ensure that Democrats like John Lewis hold an overwhelming majority in Congress.

[That's all... no more after the jump.]