I was a Hillary Clinton supporter during the primary season. When looking at the problems facing the country, I thought she would be able to hit the ground running more quickly. She is obviously extremely intelligent, has a solid grasp on the issues, and I feel truly cares about people. It didn't hurt that Bill Clinton was part of the package. As far as I was concerned, having Bill Clinton, who had overseen one of the most successful periods in recent American history, would be so beneficial in those first weeks and months of the new presidency. There would be no getting up to speed on how to navigate the White House. And it was inspiring to me that she was a woman.
Once Barack Obama became the nominee, I knew that I would support him. I am a Democrat after all, and Hillary and Barack have very similar stands on the issues. In fact, I was more aligned with Barack Obama on Iraq, having been an opponent from the start. But here were some defining moments for me.
- Watching Barack Obama's convention speech. I had never actually sat down and watched one of his speeches before, and it made me understand how he inspired so many. He stands for the right things. He was strong in the case he made for his presidency. He said what I had been thinking for so long - that Republicans can no longer take ownership of patriotism. We are all patriots. I saw the possibilities of electing our first African-American president and what that would mean to so many people in this country - not least of which to my husband, to my children.
- Going to Back to School Night for my first-grader. We each got a packet of work our children had done. One paper was a sentence and drawing of what the kids wanted to be when they grew up. My son had written "I want to be President." I truly believe watching Barack Obama had inspired him.
- The economic crisis. After John McCain announced he had suspended his campaign and was calling for the debate to be postponed, I didn't know how Obama would be able to respond. I thought he was in a no-win position. But Obama came out with such a simple yet such a true statement: a president has to deal with more than one thing at a time. Wow.
And he will inspire a new generation of leaders to reach for their highest potential.