Clinton Supporters Are Not Monolithic

Former Hillary Clinton supporters are here in Denver in full force
this week. Those who refuse to support Barack Obama have been called
PUMAs (Party Unity My Ass), and there are basically two ways to think
about them. The narrative has become that they are either bitter or a myth. The answer is somewhere in between.

Clinton attracted a lot of different voters for a lot of different
reasons. The NARAL brand of Clinton supporter was thrilled to see a
woman who would prioritize women’s health and rights, putting these
issues close to the top instead of shuffling them in at the bottom.
Such women are likely to shift their support to Obama, who has received
a high ranking from NARAL on women’s reproductive rights issues.

Then there are former Clinton supporters, like the ones Ezra Klein interviewed
last night, who prioritize a hawkish national security agenda. Some of
them are lifelong Republicans who wanted to see a woman in charge for a
change. But they still feel the terrorism threats. They feel safe with
someone like John McCain, who has pledged to protect America at any
cost–even if that means more war.

In the end, it seems like a mistake to look at Clinton supporters as
monolithic. Some of them will end up supporting McCain, while many who
prioritize reproductive rights will support Obama. Some of them, so
frustrated with the process, will just stay home. Their support depends
on which issues they find most important.

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  • invalid-0

    Interesting observation you make Kay! Clinton has many supporters and not all of us are angry. We are concerned; however, with the utter arrogance that Barack Obama has displayed throughout his campaign. One only has to look at “Caesar Obama” and his stage where he will proclaim himself “King” on the eve of the 45th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s great speech. His arrogance will be his downfall and the reason so many of Clinton’s supporters will remain “United” in an effort to see him “fall.”

    As for the reasons why I’m concerned about terrorism, Ezra Klein neglected to give me credit for being the author of Locked in Time – I Still Remember and Always Will. Check it out at Locked In Time. I was one of the officers in charge of the recovery, identification and processing of the 241 Marines killed in Beirut during the bombing of the Marine barracks. They were peacekeepers, my brothers in arms. I am definitely worried about terrorism. The difference between Senator McCain and Barack Obama is Barack Obama wants to confront “evil” and Senator McCain wants to “defeat” it. Iran is a threat to the United States and although I believe we got into the Iraq war for all the wrong reasons, we should be very weary of Iraq. As my friend Karen states: “MAC has my back” and that is why I will vote for John McCain. I’ve been a life long democrat and this year, “CAESAR OBAMA” will not get my vote.

  • invalid-0

    While standing outside the MSNBC studios (Thursday evening in Denver), waiting to hear what Barack Obama would tell the world, so many thoughts ran through my head. I thought to myself, my dream of realizing a woman President is possible in the United States of America had just been taken away and Hillary Clinton surrendered defeat on the day women earned the right to vote with the passing of the 19th amendment 88 years ago, August 26th. I thought about how the DNC had pulled on my heart strings and I was angry.

    Then comes Al Gore, to give a heartfelt endorsement for Barack Obama. Still nothing was going to move me — move mountains he said – then told us to move mountains! As I repeated the phrase, “Mountain move” over and over again, I thought about Senator Clinton and how she moved mountains, how much she inspired me and with every ounce of my breath, I kept realizing the only one I wanted to move mountains for America was Senator Clinton. Then I began thinking about her speech and how she asked us to turn our support to Barack Obama. How can I do this I thought? He has spoken with no substance for the entire campaign and I can’t just offer my support to another politician with empty promises.

    I convinced myself that I needed substance – I needed to hear from Barack Obama what he would do to get us out of this economic crisis, what he would do to restore diplomacy in our country, what he would do for the working class in our country and most of all, what he would do for our veterans, especially those who are homeless and helpless because of the failed Bush policies. I convinced myself that I would stand with an open mind and open heart and toss away my internal anger over Senator Clinton not being selected as the Presidential nominee for our country, let alone being selected as Barack Obama’s VP running mate. I have always said that his not selecting Senator Clinton would be his biggest mistake of his campaign along with not visiting our wounded warriors while in Europe.

    Suddenly, I’m standing next to two Republicans and Chris Matthews decides to come down off the set to interview them. He wanted to understand why people would vote Republican and one of the women he interviewed was a die-hard Hillary Clinton fan. She was wearing one of Senator Clinton’s pins. Prior to the interview, I had been talking to the Hillary Clinton supporter and she was indicating that the way the caucuses were controlled was her greatest disappointment. She spoke of unfair practices during the campaign and indicated that the only reason Senator Obama won was because his supporters were unethical in the way they handled the process. I said, “say that on national television.” She looked concerned and I said, “are you a PUMA” to which she responded, “no, I am not that radical.” “If you believe that the process was flawed, then you must say that on national television,” I said.

    They completed the interview and as Chris Matthews moved down the line, looking for other Republicans in the crowd, I couldn’t help listen to the one true “Republican” gentleman who turned to me and said, “Senator McCain will release the name of his VP select an hour before the news media gets it, then will pass it to the Press. It may very well be, Governor Palin from Alaska or Kay Bailey Hutchinson.” Much to my surprise, I said, “Who is Governor Palin?” He replied, “the Governor from Alaska.” He followed by saying, “it’s the right choice because Hillary Clinton supporters are ‘ripe for the picking.'”

    Ripe for the Picking! Who am I? Am I an apple on a tree? A pepper on a plant? A peanut in the ground? Ripe for the picking! I knew now that I must keep an open mind and listen to the party that I have supported for nearly 35 years, voting for only 1 Republican ~ and that was my first vote so I’m allowed to make one mistake.

    Ripe for the Picking! This morning, I just heard the announcement that John McCain has picked Governor Palin, a female Governor from Alaska to be his running mate. A Pro-Life supporter, mother of 5 with one newborn child who has Downs Syndrome and another going off to Iraq on September 11th, serving in the Army. You did it right, John McCain. You showed you’re a Maverick — but I am “NOT RIPE FOR THE PICKING” – NOT NOW, NOT EVER, NO WAY.

    After listening to Barack Obama set forth at least 29 specifics last night and being so moved, not by his orator skills but my his simple message – I have decided to cast my vote for Barack Obama in November. I am not a faucet to be turned on and off — my heart strings pulled one way then another — and most especially, I am NOT RIPE FOR THE PICKING OF REPUBLICAN party that has become so desperate to win!

    I would have loved nothing more than to have Barack Obama select Hillary Clinton for his VP because GOD knows, she deserved it and she is a leader among all leaders — but I will not support 4 more years of failed politics of the Bush Administration. As Barack Obama stated – I’m not willing to bet 10% on change by voting for John McCain.

    Ripe for the Picking — I may have grown tomatoes on a farm in rural South Windsor, Connecticut as a young child and through my high school years — but the one thing I know for sure ~ I am NOT RIPE FOR THE PICKING…for anyone and while I want change for our country and I would love to see a woman on the ticket, I am going to set aside my disappointment and I am going to do what is best for our country and vote for Senator Obama. I would encourage anyone who supports the Democratic Party and the message they have to send, despite the inefficiencies that occurred during the election, to cast a vote for Senator Obama. We need change ~ desperately in our country and the time is NOW.

    Finally, while Democrats will argue that Sarah Palin has no experience, so will the Republicans argue that Barack Obama has no experience. There is one big huge difference though that I think Senator McCain fell short on! If he dies while in office, Sarah Palin will pick up the gauntlet and have to run with it. As a former military officer in the United States Air Force and one who experienced horrific tragedy by assisting with the identification and processing of the soldiers killed in Beirut nearly 25 years ago, I must say – NO WAY, ANY DAY, do I want this inexperienced women leading our country. Joe Biden at least has the international experience and Armed Services experience to run with that “gauntlet” if something happens to Senator Obama.

    Your desperate Senator McCain and your choice for the VP now shows. Women, especially, Hillary Clinton supporters, are ‘NOT RIPE FOR THE PICKING’ and many will see through your desperate attempt to put a woman on the ticket. You see, we didn’t want any woman, we wanted Hillary Clinton because she was the best choice to lead our country. If you do happen to get four years out of this next election, women will get it right the next time — but to be perfectly honest, I don’t think you will.

    Governor Palin will be assertive and most likely attack Senator Obama for not choosing Senator Clinton as his VP running mate and coming from her, it will be credible and many will listen to that argument. Still, why it won’t be Sarah Palin will be for the same reasons the Republican party went for the jugglers on Barack Obama — EXPERIENCE. Once again – Senator McCain is 72 years old and I don’t want my country left in the hands of this 2 year Governor. Elections are not decided on the VP though, that’s why I changed my mind to go with the party I have been affiliated with for 35 years. Our country is in such a mess because of George Bush and his go it alone policies that we can’t afford another 4 years of the same.

    Bonnie Tierney
    Author & Veteran
    Locked In Time

  • invalid-0

    Great post. I have been combing the net looking for proof that it is a myth that hordes of Clinton supporters are going to vote for McCain. Still searching, but glad to come across your story. Thanks.

  • invalid-0

    thank you for not only admitting that you changed your mind, but for taking the time to come back and comment about it! while i assumed that most female voters would not be fooled by mccain’s sexist v.p. pick, i still worried that i could be wrong. it’s wonderful to hear an actual account of someone who was dead against obama change their mind BECAUSE mccain’s blatant sexism/pandering.