Many of you know me as the wife and partner to my husband, Reverend Jesse Jackson, sharing each step in a 45-year long civil rights journey that began with Dr. King, and was highlighted by my husband’s historic campaigns for president in 1984 and 1988. Some know me as the mother to five wonderful children, and a proud grandmother of six. Still, others know me as an activist who grew up in the Deep South, the daughter of migrant workers challenged by poverty. In my life, I have worn many hats, but today I write as a citizen, deeply concerned about my country and its future.
Since 1960, each presidential election has been describes as “the most important ever” for Americans, especially black people. In 2008, because America has so much at stake—domestically and internationally—I believe it to be true! There is simply too much at stake to bet on hope or chance. That happened in 2000 and look where it got us. African American voters—like everyone in this country—want to know which candidate has the strength and experience necessary to move our country forward after two terms of indifference and neglect.
Among the democrats, there are a number of qualified candidates for president. However, while there may be several good candidates, there is only one great candidate, and that’s Hillary Clinton. For many African Americans, this election poses some hard choices. But we’ve been faced with difficult choices before. After a lot of thought, prayer and debates at the family dinner table, my choice for president is Hillary Clinton.
For nearly four decades, Hillary’s actions have resonated just as loudly as her words. She is an open book, from her career as a lawyer; an activist; First Lady; and as a U.S. Senator. Her values, commitment and accomplishments are evident for all to see and judge. No other candidate has her proven leadership and experience of 35 years of standing up and fighting for the issues that matter most to our country. Her track record is proof that she is the most qualified candidate to turn our nation’s potential into reality, and to make our hopes and dreams a reality.
Hillary Clinton has taken the bold and audacious step of running to become America’s first woman President. She has always been willing to stand up for the least of us to make all of America better for all of us. In all the years I’ve known Hillary Clinton she has always kept her commitments and that’s just one of the reasons I will keep mine. More than 60 years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune, formed an extraordinary alliance to make America better. The challenges facing our country require another such alliance: Hillary Clinton is my Eleanor Roosevelt and we are her Mary McLeod Bethune, fighting side by side to restore the promise of America.
As we look around the globe, we see the outstanding accomplishments and ultimate sacrifice that women heads of state have made leading their countries. If we are to restore America’s ethical and moral leadership, we must move into the 21st century and elect the most qualified candidate for president... who happens to be a woman.
Today, America faces the historic challenge of ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home. We face the challenge of reinvesting billions of dollars funding to the war to improving education, the health care system, creating jobs and improving our infrastructure at home. The next president will have the overwhelming responsibility of reversing the go-it-alone policies and programs of the Bush Administration. Our next president must inject the principles of democracy, human and constitutional rights and civil rights back into the soul of America.
When I vote for president this time, I am borrowing a phrase from my husband—we don’t seek “perfect servants” but “public servants.” That’s why I’m voting for our most trusted public servant and our most qualified leader, Hillary Clinton. My husband Jesse has been a trailblazer fighting to expand America’s definition of democracy so that it equally includes all people... I stand by pioneers and trailblazers, and I stand by Hillary.
Hillary Clinton will be a great president for our children, our families and for all of America. We know exactly what Hillary Clinton stands for because she always stood with us. Now is the time for us to stand with her in making this country great again.