Endorsement: Hillary Clinton for president

Without question, Bernie Sanders is mad as hell.

And so are we angry as we struggle with wages that remain unchanged while living expenses rise and the American Dream seems to fade.

We bemoan the billions thrown at campaigns to manipulate our minds and lament the popularity of billionaire bigots hurling insults and blame at some of the most vulnerable in our population.

We’re furious about assaults on reproductive freedom, rising gun violence in our neighborhoods, police brutality on our streets, deportation of colleagues and family, wrongdoing on Wall Street and the continued plundering of our natural resources to fill the pockets of the Koch brothers and their brethren.

Yes, there’s good reason for Bernie Sanders to be mad as hell. And for us to be mad as hell.

So we wholeheartedly thank the U.S. senator from Vermont for lighting a fire in our party, inspiring younger people to register and reminding older people of the good old days raising a ruckus. With his demands for economic and environmental justice, Sanders transformed the Occupy Wall Street movement into a campaign to occupy the White House.

We know we have readers — many readers — who passionately support Sanders and “feel the Bern.” We too respect Sanders and we respect your commitment to his campaign.

We also have readers — many readers — who passionately support Hillary Clinton.

We respect your commitment to her campaign.

And we, at WiG, endorse her for president.

The best candidate

We believe Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to lead the Democratic Party to victory in a general election contest and she is the only major party candidate who will shatter that glass ceiling over the Oval Office.

We will not pull back from this historic opportunity — the best candidate for the White House would be the first woman elected to the White House.

Eight years ago, when Clinton conceded the primary fight to Barack Obama, she said, “As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.

“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it, and the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”

OK, the path may not be easier, but Clinton has stayed this course and we are with her.

Bernie Sanders repeatedly has told voters to compare records — that’s records, not messages. We’ve done that and we keep coming around to Clinton — former secretary of state, twice-elected U.S. senator and former first lady of the United States and the state of Arkansas.

With decades of experience, she knows the problems we face — foreign and domestic — and she offers real solutions, practical policies, workable fixes to progress after this long paralysis in Washington.

At a time when the Republican Party is doing its most to put forward the candidate with the least experience governing, the Democratic Party must put forward its most experienced and tested candidate.

To anyone in the party who thinks Clinton isn’t addressing their issues and on a progressive’s side, we direct you to hillaryclinton.com and click on “issues” — the proposals go from treatment and prevention ideas for Alzheimer’s disease to growing workforce opportunities. She’s proposed effective ideas for addressing gun violence and her financial reform proposals show a deep understanding of the crisis. And, as this primary race unfolded, she’s listened and learned, improving her position on trade agreements and taking a stand on Keystone XL.

Clinton, a master of policy and a devotee of details, knows how to build bipartisanship and move legislation in the Senate. She won approval of more legislation in eight years in the Senate than Sanders in nearly a decade in that chamber and 16 years in the House.

These are reasons why Clinton trumps Sanders in endorsements. Dozens of U.S. senators and former senators and more than 100 U.S. representatives. Some might see this as a negative — the spin this election cycle has turned “establishment” into a curse word, like “left” and “liberal” were for so many years. Yet, a presidential candidate is going to need these allies, these establishment folks, to win in November and to govern come January 2017.

We look also to Clinton’s endorsements from some of our most trusted and valued progressive groups — leading labor, women’s, choice, civil rights, LGBT, immigrant rights and environmental groups have backed her bid.

And we look to Clinton’s bold, broad community of voters — North and South, young and old, women and men, white and black and Hispanic. We see how she can unite us in what’s certain to be a big and bruising battle for freedom, justice and democracy. The Democratic coalition that grew and blossomed around Barack Obama’s promise of hope still exists — with Hillary Clinton.

For more on Hillary Clinton, go to hillaryclintoncom.

For more on Bernie Sanders, go to berniesanders.com.

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