Why #I’mWithHer

My endorsement for President.

Hillary Clinton speaks to a town hall in Salem, New Hampshire.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I’m supporting Hillary Clinton in her candidacy for President of the United States. I know, I know. I’ve written about her qualifications before, and I’ve shared my concerns about a progressive civil war, but I wanted to take a second and add one more voice to the chorus of those endorsing her.

See, I wasn’t always in her corner. In her unsuccessful 2008 bid for the White House, I, a much younger Nick, was super excited about a different candidate.

Eight years was ages ago, wasn’t it? POTUS and I were both much younger then.

Still despite my rooting for President Obama, I found respected Clinton’s public service and her character. When after the election she agreed to serve as his Secretary of State, I was pleased, and I, like he, trusted her.

After four years at State, Clinton is the best equipped candidate to carry on the legacy of President Obama. At every turn, she’s embraced her former opponent, advocated for the work he’s done, supported his policies and his actions. This has been a historic presidency, one in which so much has been accomplished, and we can’t turn back now.

Beyond her loyalty to the President, it goes nearly without saying, that Clinton is qualified. She served as Senator from New York for eight years, and Secretary of State for four. As First Lady in the 90's, she launched the Children’s Health Insurance Program via expanding Medicare. After law school at Yale, Clinton worked at the Children’s Defense Fund for Marion Wright Edelman, exposing discrimination in public school systems by going undercover. She was elected of her own accord to the Senate in 2000, won reelection in 2006, and unsuccessfully ran against then Senator Barack Obama for the Presidency in 2008, then taking his hand and joining his cabinet as Secretary of State for four years.

More impressively, she achieved all this under the constant barrage of a thirty-year character assassination. Ever since her days as First Lady of Arkansas, Clinton sustained attacks on her looks, assaults on her demeanor, with politicos and voters alike bashing her hair, her style, even going so far as to call her Lady Macbeth. Critics continue to smear and tar her alongside her husband for his indiscretions.

That wasn’t it, though, the assault got worse. Having rumored to be the logical successor to President Obama in 2016, Republicans set to work to discredit and slander her further, blaming her for a terrorist attack in Libya; sifting through her emails in an effort to find something making her responsible, even hauling her, a leading presidential candidate, in front of a congressional committee panel for eleven hours of testimony, all for the sake of trying to damage her credibility.

Still, during these most trying moments, Clinton seemed to shine. I was riveted during the Benghazi committee hearing as I watched this nearly 70-year-old woman stand tall (even though she’s rather tiny), and stare down a panel of congressmen and women without losing her cool, withstanding grilling and witness badgering for eleven consecutive hours. If she can handle a bunch of hacks from the House of Representatives, I know she can step into negotiations with Russia and China.

More importantly, this constant assault on Clinton seems to be what we do to women seeking higher authority in America. Had Clinton had different biology, I’d venture to say, with a candidate as credentialed at this, none of the above would have happened. Had Clinton been male, she would never have been subjected to the character assassination, the implication, the slander and the smear.

Recently, I had a chance to see Secretary Clinton speak in person. A friend and I drove north to Salem, New Hampshire,where we attended a town hall meeting where, after listening to her speech, wherein she addressed (almost psychically) all of my key issues; guns, police brutality, and reproductive rights, we got the chance to meet her.

Something that isn’t covered often, is that Clinton is dynamic in person. She’s fiery and engaged, fierce and intense. She’s every bit as potent and powerful as her opponents, beset with facts, figures, and statistics. When I got a chance to shake her hand, I thanked her for taking on the NRA, and then asked, (perhaps irreverently) for a selfie with her. She was fun and agreed, and we snapped a quick picture.

In person, she’s warm, goofy, and genuine. Maybe that indefinable quality is there, that likeability, that humanity. On top of all of her qualifications, all of her experiences, and all of her policies, beyond her being attacked and beaten on for thirty years, here she was in person, sweet, funny, and clear, much more human than I’d expected.

I’ll leave you with this.

Today, notorious internet trolling publication and humorous fake news website The Onion shared it’s latest piece on Hillary Clinton: “Female Presidential Candidate Who Was United States Senator, Secretary Of State Told To Be More Inspiring.”

Every day, I read the Onion and laugh. I chuckle at the digs at those in politics, or those myopic looks into fictional lives. It always delivers, and it always works for where my humor lives. Today’s post though, made me realize something else; for once, even in jest, the Onion was completely correct. From the article:

…urging the woman [Clinton]— who overcame entrenched societal biases to build a successful legal career, became the first female senator elected in the state of New York, oversaw the Department of State during a period of widespread international tumult, and, if elected, would be the first female president in American history — to appear more uplifting to voters.

For the first time in history, one of the two major parties in the United States is considering nominating the first female top-of-the-ticket candidate, and we’re shrugging, asking her to be more inspiring. Have we lost sight of how important this is for the future? Before us, on the ballot, we have a credentialed, qualified, brave, brilliant candidate running for President who just so happens to be female, and who has a very real shot of becoming the first female President this country’s ever had. Who the hell are we kidding?

I’m with her, and you should be too. Don’t you want to be on the right side of history?

My double chins and I endorse Hillary Clinton for President!