This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
This Tuesday, Democrats in Utah are very fortunate. As we caucus and vote in our presidential preference poll, our choices are solid, and our debate is of substance. With two good candidates, it can be difficult to make a choice, but while I appreciate the passionate ideas of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and agree with many, my vote and voice are going toward the accomplishments of Secretary Hillary Clinton. I believe Clinton has the experience and knowledge to deliver on her promises. And her mission has always been to care for the American people
Fighting for health care for all has been a hallmark of her career. As first lady, Clinton fought for health care for all Americans. In the face of personal attacks, she moved forward, laying the groundwork for the health care philosophy our nation has increasingly embraced a principle that no one should be left behind. When faced with loss, she rebounded and collaboratively worked with elected officials on both sides of the aisle including Sen. Orrin Hatch to help create the Children's Health Insurance Program, providing healthcare to more than 8 million children. As the senator from New York, she led the fight to provide compensation and medical care for 9/11 first responders, many of whom suffered debilitating health effects from the attacks.
We have also trusted Clinton to represent our nation's values to the world, and she did so with strength, grace and purpose. Through strategic diplomacy, she has helped forge vital pathways of communication with leaders, often in some of the world's most dangerous hotspots. Clinton's State Department also declared to the world that the lives of women and girls are critically important and that LGBTQ people are entitled to dignity and respect. When it was time for strength and action, Clinton was there as well, playing a key role as the operation to take down Osama bin Laden was underway. Clinton has demonstrated her ability to not only handle the proverbial "3 a.m. phone call" as president, but to get ahead of problems, and work with other leaders to keep our country and the world safe.
It is also important to understand that Clinton's election will be another game changer for our nation. Throughout my career I have worked to support women in public service by encouraging more women and girls to get involved particularly through the group I helped start, Real Women Run. I know without a doubt that Clinton's election as president will create a cultural shift for all women in America, from the boardroom to the living room. That matters.
No candidate is perfect. I have disagreed with Clinton's positions from time to time but, like any good leader, she listens, processes information and adjusts based on knowledge. We have a tendency in our political discourse to claim that this type of change is "flip-flopping" or "waffling," but this is simply not a fair assessment of Clinton's record. We need a president with a core set of values, but we cannot afford to have an entrenched individual who refuses to see both sides of an argument. Now, more than ever, we need a diplomat in the White House.
There is simply too much at stake in this election. We as a nation must stand against the racism, homophobia, anti-Islamic sentiment and hateful ideology espoused by other candidates and coalesce around a candidate who won't drive us further apart. We need a candidate of record who has demonstrated the ability to work with both parties to get the job done, because a good idea without a way forward is simply an idea. While I respect Sanders immensely, I believe Hillary Clinton is the smart choice, not only for Democrats this Tuesday but for the nation in November.
Jackie Biskupski is mayor of Salt Lake City.