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We believe in her.

We believe she is the best, strongest candidate to lead this country, one mired in two wars and in economic trouble, into the opposite direction that eight years of Republican control has steered us.

We believe she is the best, strongest candidate to fight the Republicans, who have had over thirty years to develop an effective media machine that chews up and spits out the best. This machine turned Al Gore into a liar, and John Kerry, a Vietnam veteran, into a coward. She’s been under that spotlight when it reached its hysterical pitch during her husband’s tenure and went on to become the senator from New York. She kept fighting, and while she may not have always won, she’s been through that experience and still managed to win public office.

We believe in the merits of her record and her plans to turn this country around through pragmatic, realistic goals that require tough decisions that might be unpopular. The state of the country is so bad that nobody wants to hear it at all, instead relying on sheer enthusiasm bordering on mania as the solution for our problems through wishful thinking. We are nation living dangerously close to bankruptcy, what with our junkie-like fix for living on credit, and our inability to fund and receive decent health care. The latter alone seems almost inconceivable given the opportunities people have to make money, but yet here we are.

Hillary Clinton has the drive, determination and the experience to know that as president, she’s inheriting a Republican mess the likes of which we haven’t seen since the last Republican held office before Bill Clinton won the presidency in 1992. And fixing that mess requires strong, disciplined leadership that is going to hurt because so much needs to be reigned in. When you’ve defaulted on a loan or can’t pay your credit card bills, do you consult with an astrologer who tells you things will change and you just need hope, or do you go to the credit counselor who has a solution for you? Most people shrink away from the reality of the situation and prefer to act like Scarlett O’Hara in the fantasy that tomorrow is another day. Others will be guided by the talent, expertise and leadership of those who can help, who can get work accomplished and can steer you straight. That person is Hillary Clinton.

We know she voted to authorize the use of military force that led to the invasion of Iraq, but unlike virtually everyone on the left, we’re not holding her personally responsible for the mishandling of the war, the violence or the other bad decisions that went along with it. We hold the Republicans and their enablers responsible for this fiasco. And let’s face it, given the hysteria and fear over 9/11, if it had been the Sears Tower and not the World Trade Center that collapsed, it is unlikely Mrs. Clinton’s rival would even be in office. We are pragmatic and realistic about her and her candidacy: it is strength that the left needs to overcome the Republicans, and she is the candidate who has that strength, that leadership and that skill to get the messy business of fixing America on the agenda.

We’re unfazed by the media narrative and its (incorrect) predictions and descriptions of her candidacy, or believe that she’s been saved by women and Latino voters alone. She’s defied all their expectations and death sentences and remained in the race: what better example of stewardship do you need to prove her mettle? She’s undergone excruciating parsing of her words, and unfairly been targeted as racist in the drive to wedge her votes among African-Americans into a black and white issue. And she’s still there.

Lastly, we don’t accept the media narrative that she’s trying to redeem Bill’s presidency (the one that left the country with a sizable surplus) or that she thinks she’s entitled. We dismiss those media claims as much as we dismiss the messiahship of her rival. When it comes down to it, we believe in her ability to lead, to fight, to compromise and to create solutions for this country in order to advance it. That doesn’t take good feelings, that takes leadership.

That’s Hillary Clinton.