Today both John Edwards and Rudolph Giuliani dropped out of the race for the White House. Senator Edwards was the only candidate I really felt good about -- one I would vote for because I believe he'd make an excellent President, just not that he'd be less of a disaster than the opposing candidate. Mayor Giuliani was the only Republican in the race that wasn't totally unpalatable to me. He's the only one I'd even consider given my pro-choice position, my belief in equal rights for all Americans, even gay and lesbian Americans, and my support for restrictions on handgun ownership. There are a lot of Giuliani's positions that I'm uncomfortable with but from the Republican field he was the best available.
Of the choices remaining I have no doubt that Senator Hillary Clinton would make the best President. She is a two term U.S. Senator with what I consider an excellent voting record on the issues important to me. If I go by issues and not personality or campaign style there is no question that she has the qualifications and experience to be President. I don't believe the same can be said for Senator Obama.
One key issue to me is support for the State of Israel. I believe anyone who doesn't understand Israel's importance to the United States as a strategic ally in the Middle East doesn't have much of a clue about foreign policy. Since entering the Senate Hillary Clinton has been a steadfast supporter of Israel. She admitted early in her first term that it wasn't always so and many on the right will never forgive her for a certain meeting and photo op with Suha Arafat when she was First Lady. Senator Clinton claimed after entering the Senate that studying the issues in the Middle East forced her to alter her position. Whether that change was heartfelt or a political necessity for a Senator from New York I simply can't say. I can say that her voting record, her speeches since then, and her actions show that she understands the importance of Israel now. Once again, I am not sure I can say the same of Barack Obama. There isn't much of a record there.
Perhaps in four or eight years I'll be convinced that Senator Obama is ready for the Presidency. Perhaps then I will look at his record and extol his virtues. I can't do that yet and in a dangerous world we need an experienced leader. Senator Hillary Clinton is the best remaining candidate with the credentials to be that leader.