In 2008, Penn Democrats was proud to endorse then-Senator Barack Obama in the Democratic primary. That November, the American people agreed and elected him to be the 44th President of the United States. We made history that year, electing our nation’s first African-American President. This year, as we reflect on the progressive legacy he will leave behind and our need to build on those successes, Penn Democrats is proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President.
We all know Secretary Clinton’s resume. She’s served as First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. She is clearly the most qualified candidate in this race on either side of the aisle. What is so much more important than that, however, is the tenacity she has brought to each of these roles. We need her strength, her courage, and her determination to continue fighting for progressive values and ensure equal opportunity for all.
Secretary Clinton has a clear record of fighting—and winning—these battles. As First Lady, she pushed strongly for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That effort, which Ted Kennedy said “wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it,” has helped reduce the number of uninsured children by 50% since 1997.
She made history in 2000 by becoming the first First Lady to seek and hold public office. As a Senator, she established herself as a champion of progressive causes. She had a 100% rating from NARAL, an F grade from the NRA, and a 96% rating from the NAACP. In 2008, her voting record was actually slightly more liberal than then-Senator Obama’s, according to govtrack.us.
Hillary Clinton has certainly earned the title of a “progressive who gets things done.” Barack Obama knew this, and despite a grueling primary battle in 2008, he nominated her to be his Secretary of State. During her tenure, she visited 112 countries, more than any other Secretary of State in US history. In addition to redeveloping our relationship with Russia and placing sanctions on Iran, she also advocated consistently for LGBTQ+ rights and the rights of women in the developing world.
Of course, Senator Bernie Sanders has made some excellent points about the state of the American political system. He deserves credit for inspiring many voters, especially people in our generation who have felt alienated by the Democratic party. However, this does not mean that he is the best candidate. The next President must combat income inequality and the influence of money in politics, while also addressing a myriad of other issues facing the country.
Clinton knows this and has synthesized her plans on taxes, education, health care, race, criminal justice, women’s rights, and more in a way that no other candidate has. Her proposals are thorough on all of the major issues. Clinton has repeatedly shown throughout the primary process that she has the deepest understanding of the challenges facing America.
While we certainly have more work to do, President Obama’s eight years in office have seen unemployment fall, the economy rebound, the uninsured rate plummet, and impressive measures taken to protect the environment. Hillary Clinton is by far the best candidate to continue his legacy and build on it to make America even greater than it already is.
Working in the Senate and the Obama administration gives her the experience and knowledge of government that just can’t be found anywhere else. She knows that we risk undoing the success of the Affordable Care Act by starting again from scratch on health care. She understands that economic measures to help the middle class are necessary but must also be realistic. Her ability to get tangible results at every step shows that she is the best candidate to move us forward.
Moreover, Secretary Clinton will not only maintain our progressive victories but also build upon them. She has called out President Obama’s deportation raids and vowed to create a pathway to citizenship. She recognizes that student debt has spiraled out of control and has announced specific policies that will make college more affordable for the middle class.
In 2008, Americans made history by electing Barack Obama to be the first African-American President of the United States. Eight years later, we can make history again, continuing to pave the way for further equality in our country. We have the chance to elect an extremely qualified progressive leader who would also shatter the most visible glass ceiling in the world.
Penn Democrats urges voters to support Hillary Clinton for President in the Democratic primaries.