First of all, note that I said "would" as opposed to"will". I believe that things can be spoken into existence so I must say that I firmly believe that Senator Barack Obama will be the nominee for the Democrats. Despite all of the speculation of what might happen, I'm sticking to my guns on that one. But it is because of all of the speculation over Super Delegates, conventions, and "Dream Team" conversations on the part of both Clintons that I feel it prudent to speak on the behalf of a voter who sees this "Dream Team" as a nightmare.
Before the primaries started, I had no problem voting for whoever won the democratic nomination. From Senator Dodd up to Senator Obama, it really did not matter. I would have studied the winner, compared their policies to the republican nominee, and would have voted favorably for a democrat. My philosophy was that we cannot risk having another Bush-like republican in the White House. Lastly, I used to believe that I needed to vote in every election simply because my ancestors could not. Hillary has changed all of that for me.
Senator Clinton has run an entirely negative campaign since Obama's twelve-primary run (including Democrats overseas). I did not see how polarizing a figure she could be (I heard the rumors) until now, where I've really had the opportunity to see her firsthand during these primaries. I was skeptical about the "crying" before New Hampshire and Super Tuesday, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt. That was strike 0.5. What completed strike 1 was the racial politics played in South Carolina. I didn't even pay much attention to her comments about Dr. King because I understood how that could be misinterpreted, but it was strike 2. Strike 3 could have been the way her surrogates have dissed Obama from Bob Johnson to Andrew Young but I still gave her respect. Strike 3 has now come in the manner in which she personally has completely disrespected Senator Obama in almost every way possible. Let us recap in no particular order.
Despite the fact that Senator Obama actually has more legislative experience than her, Clinton keeps touting her experience over Obama. You can read CNN's video fact checking right here and judge her "experience" for yourself. Looks like she gave some speeches and sat it on a few meetings but that was about it. She signed no treaties and sat in on no National Security meetings. As Senator Tom Daschle said on "Meet the Press", there is a big difference between being First Lady and being President. If she wants to claim that as experience, let her also claim her husband's foreign policy failures in Rwanda, Congo, and Somalia.
Furthermore, Clinton in recent days has basically gone as far as to endorse Republican Senator John McCain over Senator Obama. She consistently talks about how she and McCain are friends and how they both have more experience than Obama, who just has a speech he gave in 2002. This will backfire in the general election anyway because she has less legislative and foreign policy experience than McCain so why run on that platform now? Not to mention the fact that by stating that all Obama does is make speeches, she has completely insulted not only his political experience by basically calling him a fraud, she is disrespecting the millions of voters who have voted and will vote for him. Senator Clinton, we are not fools. We come from all walks of life and experiences and we know what we're doing. Leave us alone and focus on your own supporters, whom you have often failed to congratulate in states you lost.
The final straw for me actually came before her McCain endorsement. When she was in Rhode Island, she basically asserted that we Obama supporters see him as the second coming of Jesus. It was at this point that she officially lost any potential vote from me. That was disgraceful and her campaign manager Maggie Williams should be ashamed for the dirty dozens campaign she has orchestrated. They have given republican opponents so much cannon fodder to use against Obama, that the Clinton campaign most likely would not even endorse Obama if her campaign loses because she would look like a hypocrite. I have no problem with calling Obama out on issues such as the alleged NAFTA wink-wink or anything else, but this "shame on you", and "let's meet in Ohio" posturing is not the way to go for me, though it worked in Ohio and parts of Texas (caucuses still not in).
Whenever I hear Clinton talk about Obama now, I cannot help but get the feeling of the old Civil Rights era movies and documentaries I saw when older Black men were reduced to being called "boy" even by people younger than them. I cannot shake that feeling but I really do not have to because Clinton has given me enough legitimate reasons to not vote for her, irrespective of my personal sentiments. Moreover, I no longer believe that my ancestor's sacrifices mean I have to vote in every election. As I get older, I believe more and more that my ancestors fought and died so that my vote could be earned, not taken for granted. I will no longer vote for the lesser of two evils and I will respect my ancestors (and those activists still living) by being an informed voter, not a voter enslaved to a party.
I must make it clear that I will not vote for any ticket with Hillary Clinton on it. Yes, even if Obama is on the ticket as the President, he will not get my vote with Hilary as VP. She is too proud to accept that anyway. I am not voting to be part of history. I believe in my heart that she and Bill will sabotage his presidency and that her divisive mentality is the reason that former supporters like Suzan Rice and Jon Lewis have moved to a candidate like Obama who can unite America.
When I saw her on Saturday Night Live, I said to myself, "why couldn't she just focus on herself and build herself up instead of tearing Obama down?" She would have earned my vote with that strategy. But now, she has completely turned off this voter and many other voters I know, old and young alike. For many of us, it just does not sit right in our soul to vote for her anymore. While I believe Obama wants to win for the American people, for the Clintons, it's all about them, no matter how divided the Democratic Party becomes and for that Clinton, I say "shame on you."