Nearly every day this year I have been asked the same question: Who do you support for the Democratic nomination for President? Back in January, I made it clear that I supported Hillary Rodham Clinton as a candidate. This weekend, I traveled to Charleston and Summerville South Carolina to speak in support of our former Secretary of State and her presidential campaign. Today, here and now, I am issuing my formal endorsement of Hillary Clinton for the Democratic ticket and for President of the United States.
I feel that the time is ripe for the party to stand behind the strongest candidate, the candidate who inspires us, and the candidate who can best build upon the gains made by President Barack Obama over the past eight years, so that we can continue to move America forward.
I have the utmost respect for Sen. Bernie Sanders. He has been a powerful advocate for economic and social justice and he has helped America to focus on issues that speak to the core principles of the Democratic Party. I also believe that Sen. Sanders shares the same drive and commitment that Sec. Clinton has for fighting for hard-working Americans and their families and for our most vulnerable communities, including seniors, veterans, children, and those with disabilities.
I believe, however, that Sec. Clinton has that extraordinary combination of leadership and character that is required for the role of President. She is intelligent, she is strong, she is dedicated, and she has a passion that can’t be denied. I believe Sec. Clinton will be able to move the country forward despite the gridlock that continues to hold Washington, D.C., and our nation, from its full potential. I believe Sec. Clinton will have the fortitude and the experience necessary to pull our political parties and leaders together to focus on issues that matter most to Americans; from generating jobs and economic opportunities to increasing support for Social Security, education, health care, and the environment.
Her experience and skill with foreign diplomacy is a benefit not only for matters of international policy but for national policy. Her service as a U.S. Senator helped her to connect with people from all walks of life and with political leaders on both sides of the aisle. Though she could have pursued a profitable legal career in private industry, she chose to serve her nation and to take on the demands and responsibilities of a public servant.
Some people may say that I am supporting Sec. Clinton simply because she is a woman. That is not true. I appreciate the fact that her work as a strong and independent leader provides a fine example for women and girls throughout America and the rest of the world. But I would add that she is just as great an example for men and boys around the country and the globe.
Sec. Clinton has demonstrated, time and again, the courage to confront grave challenges and the wisdom and grace to listen to all points of view. She has shown her ability to understand that there is often more than one way to achieve a goal and she has shown the confidence she has in knowing her vision will serve the needs of all Americans, not just a powerful few.
Finally, I believe that Sec. Clinton has come to this race at the exact right moment in time. President Obama has done an amazing job of pushing our nation beyond its fears and outdated notions of the past. He told us that we are not just red states and blue states. Now is the time for Sec. Clinton to pull this nation together into one United States. I firmly believe that with the Democratic nomination in her grasp, she will go on to win the presidency and she will become one of the greatest leaders this nation has ever seen, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, or social status. President Hillary Clinton is all of us, and she is the best of us. Let’s support her and let’s move all of America forward.