By Paddy McGuire of Portland, Oregon. Paddy is a former executive director of the Democratic Party of Oregon, a former Clinton Administration appointee, and a former deputy Oregon Secretary of State. On November 3, 2004, he contributed "Five Simple Rules for Coming Back".
By any measure, today Barack Obama is leading the race for the Democratic nomination. To Obama supporters: congratulations. Your guy has run a great race. Since I support Hillary Clinton, I hope that changes tonight (or at least begins to change), but that is looking less likely all the time.
It’s cool to win and it sucks to lose. This has been and will continue to be a tough race, but no one knows for how long.
If the goal here is to win the nomination, fine. You’re doing great. If the goal is to win the White House, starting to show a little grace to the supporters of the people behind you in the race might be a good strategy. Criticizing Steve Novick for saying something nice about Hillary Clinton while endorsing Senator Obama, is to me a recipe for not broadening your base.
When you are winning a race, I was taught early on that it’s unseemly to turn around and make fun of the people behind you. Again, it’s fun and I am sure feels good, but you may need us very soon.
The message I am getting from a lot of Obama supporters is that as a Clinton supporter I’ll never be welcome in the Obama camp because I was not there on day one. That’s okay with me because there are a lot of other things to work on. There is no doubt I will vote for the nominee of my party. But I do believe that your guy will be missing out on a share of experience in presidential politics in Oregon if I devote my time and effort elsewhere.