By Peter Daou and Tom Watson
We’ve been having a blast this election cycle. We’re political junkies who love campaigns. We’re Democrats who are excited about our candidates. We’re activists who love the progressive tilt of the Democratic primaries.
Most importantly, we’re women’s rights champions who both have daughters – we believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to advocate, wholeheartedly and unabashedly, for the first woman with a legitimate shot at the presidency.
Hillary Clinton is a unique world figure, more qualified than the vast majority of individuals who have sought the U.S. presidency, exceptionally intelligent, and capable of withstanding withering political attacks.
Her singular combination of personal strengths and professional accomplishments defines the term “presidential.” Even her worst critics will (grudgingly) admit that she can handle more incoming fire in a day than most candidates can in an entire election. That inner fortitude is a critical asset for a president.
Under incessant verbal assault, she has continued rolling out important policies on a wide range of issues. Disrespected and demeaned, she has remained dignified and focused.
In the months since we launched #HillaryMen, we’ve been forceful advocates and have taken on Hillary’s detractors in the media and commentariat. We have tried to be open-minded and respectful and have never condoned personal attacks. For us it’s about fairness: Hillary deserves no better or worse treatment than any other candidate.
Unfortunately that has hardly been the case. The media have gone so far as to fabricate stories and falsify polls, assaulting her character and integrity. Sexism has reared its ugly head time and again. The summer of 2015 has not reflected well on our national media, our punditocracy, or our electoral process.
Still, each day is a new day. Instead of trying to figure out what drives Hillary’s opponents, we thought we’d extend an invitation to them to join us in the march to history.
It may sound idealistic coming from two seasoned political consultants, but supporting Hillary actually feels great.
The stakes couldn’t be higher: Hillary represents the hopes and dreams of girls across America (and the world). She is the daughter of a World War II Navy veteran and a Sunday school teacher who worked her way to the top of the political ladder and is now poised to right a 226-year wrong.
To anyone who has been a Hillary critic or opponent, to anyone who has a visceral dislike for her without knowing why they dislike her, to anyone who questions her character without an iota of evidence of any unethical behavior, we say this: read Hillary’s bio, get to know her, look at her with fresh eyes. Forget what you’ve been told by the press and pundits. Try supporting Hillary for a day. Just one day.
We’re certain you’ll enjoy it. And you’ll be backing a winner.
Peter Daou and Tom Watson founded #HillaryMen to provide actionable analysis of the 2016 campaign focusing on the gender barrier in U.S. politics. Peter is a former senior digital adviser to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a veteran of two presidential campaigns (Kerry '04 and Clinton '08). Tom is an author and Columbia University lecturer who advises companies and non-profits on social activism.