Thank you for your coverage of our local officials’ endorsements in the Democratic presidential primary [JP Gazette, Jan. 25]. If this letter is published, it will be read after the Democratic voters in Massachusetts have made their choices known. Jamaica Plain has the reputation of being a progressive community that chooses the most progressive candidates presented to us. I had planned to vote for John Edwards; now that he is out of the race, I am voting for Barack Obama. It is, therefore, disturbing that those representing us in the legislature—Liz Malia and Jeffrey Sánchez—and Mayor Thomas Menino have announced their support for Hillary Clinton over Obama, citing “experience” over dynamism and the chance for progressive change.
Clinton’s experience includes voting for; the war in Iraq, including a passionate speech supporting that war at its beginning; for the Patriot Act, though she later supported measures to curtail its worst abuses; and, recently, for authorizing attacking Iran. While we don’t know what position she took as first lady, her tenure on the board of the Children’s Defense Fund apparently did little to keep Bill Clinton from signing the punitive “welfare reform” measures in 1996. And then there was her failed health care reform effort that set back our country’s ability to deal effectively to achieve comprehensive and affordable health care, perhaps forever. Are these the kinds of “experience” our country needs? It is time for new approaches to the crucial problems that our country must solve. Perhaps it’s also time for some changes in the State House as well.