Hillary Clinton is in. With Barak Obama set to make an official announcement on Feb. 11 in Springfield, IL (and as much as I respect Obama, I think that is just a shade too cute), Bill Richardson contemplating running, the Democratic race will take on a character unlike any other. The diversity of candidates will finally, finally reflect an "America" (actually, the United States of America ... there are several other countries in the Americas, and all their citizens are "Americans" in actuality) that has changed radically in the last 50 years. Yet this race will be the first to truly reflect those demographic and social changes.
As I stated in my blog submission on Mrs. Clinton's website (see below,) I believe the most important aspect of the upcoming campaign will be her ability to reach out and have a dialog amongst all the electorate. I am one of the rare few who are ambivalent about her candidacy, because while I share most of her views, most of her record and admire her intellect and work ethic, the ability to overcome divisiveness is perhaps as important as policy and legislative agenda.
First of all, I want to congratulate you for your conviction and determination that have led you to enter this race. Regardless of the outcome, I believe that the very presence of a woman of such qualification and experience, one who has a real chance to win, is very important to the U.S.
That said, I am one of the few who is, at this moment, ambivalent about a Hillary Clinton presidency. Mrs. Clinton, please make it a top priority to demonstrate how you can be a great President, not only in terms of policy and leadership, but in reaching out to and including those who strongly oppose you. While there will always be divisions among the body politic, we need someone with the strength and compassion to lead in spite of divisions, to not revile, marginalize nor denigrate those who strongly oppose.
I am US born, but as a young adult took out Canadian citizenship after living for a long time in southern Ontario. As a result of the trends in American politics and society (starting with the Vietnam war ... and no, I was not a draft dodger,) I now consider myself a Canadian first. I sincerely hope that the dialog resulting from your campaigning, from the national discussion which is so vital at this time, restores my faith in the United States.