Senator Debbie Stabenow endorsed Hillary Clinton's campaign for President yesterday:
"I said, this is somebody I want to get to know because it was somebody whose values I share," Stabenow said Saturday after officially endorsing her good friend's 2008 presidential bid.I admire Sen. Stabenow. Sure, I have disagreed - even quite angrily - with her on some issues, but she has her heart in the right place. That said, count this as another area on which she and I disagree.
Because Michigan and New York share many similar concerns, like manufacturing, agriculture and Great Lakes issues, Stabenow said Clinton understands the state's needs.
"She has the ability, experience, knowledge and understanding that, from day one, we need to make changes in Michigan," Stabenow said during a telephone conference call. "We in Michigan understand what it's like to be invisible to this president.
"She will make sure the people of Michigan are on her radar screen, visible. I know that she gets it for us."
To be honest, Stabenow could have said most of the same things about other contenders, such as Obama or Edwards. Honestly, I do not see how Clinton has any better grasp - or even as good a grasp - on the issues Michigan faces as do Edwards, Obama, or Kucinich.
Stabenow wasn't the only person I admire who endorsed Hillary yesterday. Here's what Wesley Clark has to say:
Senator Hillary Clinton has earned the support of millions of Americans in her campaign for president -- and today I am pleased to count myself among them. The world has reached a critical point, and we need a leader in the White House with the courage, intelligence and humility to navigate through many troubling challenges to our security at home and abroad. I believe Senator Clinton is that leader, and I whole-heartedly endorse her for President of the United States. Senator Clinton and I share a worldview in which diplomacy is the best first-strike tool in our arsenal; in today's complicated global system, the United States should be making more friends than enemies."I was so happy to see Gen. Clark at CMU last spring. He was briefly my favorite for the 2008 Democratic nomination, but after months passed without an announcement from him, I gradually leaned toward supporting other candidates.
Never before have so many Americans had our well-being so closely tied to world events. Our economic and national security has become more complicated than ever before, and we deserve a leader who draws on wisdom, compassion, intelligence and moral courage -- in short, we need Hillary Clinton. She is tough but fair, a rock-solid leader equal to the many weighty challenges ahead of us."
I must say, however, that I disagree even more with what Clark had to say than I do with what Stabenow said.
If Clinton had as much moral courage as the other candidates, why did she support the original authorization to go to war in Iraq? Furthermore, I do agree with Clark that "diplomacy is the best first-strike tool in our arsenal" - which is why I'm even more puzzled that he endorsed the candidate who said it was naïve for a President to talk with America's adversaries (a notion with which many experts, among them Zbigniew Brzezinski, disagree).
Whether these endorsements give a major boost to Clinton's campaign is unclear. I will say, however, that I strongly disagree with both Clark and Stabenow - yet at the same time I still hold both of them in high regard.
Check back soon, hopefully later this week, to find out who I will support for President.