Waiting for Hillary Clinton's big moment at the Democratic convention tonight, I'm trying to get my head around this question: how could any of her supporters be for McCain (or not vote) rather than be for Obama?
It's crazy, just the thought that someone who is for a woman's right to choose and universal health care (to name a few of Clinton's progressive positions) would cast their lot with a pro-Bush Republican who vows to stack the Supreme Court with justices who will undo Roe v. Wade and pursue a half-assed market-based health policy.
Yet today the New York Times says that "Some Clinton fund-raisers are still simmering," and CNN reports that "Angry Clinton supporters toast McCain, roast Obama."
I wanted Obama to pick Clinton as his V.P. candidate, in large part because I was worried that this would happen – irritated he passed her over Clintonites refusing to act in the country's best interest.
Now that I'm seeing this come to pass, I'm glad that Clinton wasn't chosen. She hasn't done enough to get her supporters firmly behind Obama. With a great speech tonight she can partially redeem herself, but the damage already has been done.
At the risk of irritating some Clinton feministas, here's one reason I think her female backers are having such a tough time accepting that she lost fair and square to a better presidential candidate: they haven't been exposed to the rough and tumble of sports.
Men are more likely to be into sports, both team and individual. Early on, a man learns how to play well with others. You compete as hard as you can, but if you lose, you shake hands with the winner and say "good game."
Maybe you don't mean it. Maybe you're pissed-off beyond belief. Maybe you feel you were cheated out of a win.
Regardless, you move on. You don't take it personally. You train and practice harder. You don't sit around and pout like a girl. Which is just what a lot of Clinton supporters are doing.
Most of all, if you're not a starter on a team, you sit on the bench and cheer like crazy for the guys who are better players than you are. You don't quit and go sit on the other side of the gym, clapping for the opponent.
Like the Rolling Stones told us, you don't always get what you want in life, but "if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need."
Disgruntled Clinton supporters need to ponder this. They didn't get the Democratic presidential candidate that they wanted, but they have the person this country needs.
Support Obama, Hillary lovers. Put your nation first and your hurt feelings second.