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An Open Note to Hillary:

Much as I accept that there’s an unavoidable cuteness inherent with “open” letters, and that I run the risk of some thinking I’m just stealing from Michael Moore’s nearly patented Internet missives… I’d still like to take a shot at addressing some of what I’ve been feeling (and maybe you, too) thus far in the caucus/primary season regarding the campaign of Hillary Clinton. I won’t be offended if John Kerry reads some of this over Hillary’s shoulder, although he might be too woozy to read due to his current infection with Obama Fever. Since Hillary is too busy to read a letter right now, let’s just call this a note. (Michael, have you patented “notes”? No? Great!)

Dear Hillary:

I don’t think either of us can say we’re surprised that they’ve tried to grab hold of your experience and somehow give you a wedgee with it. Sure, it’s offensive that a “gift” taker like Huckabee tries to position himself as fresh compared to you. But this is a guy that isn’t above brandishing a cross in his TV ads, and you definitely need to avoid being pulled into his vortex of mediocrity.

I’d like to make a few quick observations in this note – which is nothing at all like Michael Moore’s open letters – and the first one is that regardless of America’s short-term memory problems, a first female president will definitely demonstrate the audacity of hope. Of course we need change, and you and I agree that it’s a little romantic to believe that only one particular course of action will bring it. And while we’re on it, choosing you to lead us is not just an event of baby boomers pushing their heroes on everybody. Otherwise, you’d have the Eagles running the country instead of just ruining radio.

But all that said, you need to get Zen with the fact that Obama’s sincere and powerful speeches are giving people some beautiful comfort right now, and Americans will always be motivated by comfort before practical concerns and hard-eyed realism. Otherwise, how do you explain those giant hamburgers selling like crazy at fast food outlets when everybody knows we’ve got dietary problems in this country?

Far from suggesting that you adjust your statements to be more flowery and bursting with light, why not try reminding folks that, way before the current administration’s darker sinister motivations, it has been their incompetence that has hurt us the most. You and Bill stirred us, yes… but you did us proud with your professional talent and ability. We liked having people that knew what they were doing in the White House.

Far from hammering on Obama’s lack of experience, which is regrettably his Achilles’ heel, just keep reminding people that running America is a job that requires thorough knowledge of the machinery to accomplish desirable goals. Obama thinks the machinery needs changing. The machinery always needs changing, but right at this particular moment what we all want is better hands on the wheel and not just a new wheel.

When I tell friends that my dream ticket is you and Obama, Obama fans naturally argue that’s a great idea but with him as President. Here’s a greater idea: Eight years of Obama as the most dynamic and forceful vice president we’ve ever had, followed by eight more years of President Obama.

That feels so right to me, yet I’m currently having agita over the possibility that the Republicans will exploit the “Hillary or Obama” divide in some way that causes us to get yet another bumpkin in the White House. I’m reminding everyone that distinguished war veteran John Kerry and Nobel winner Al Gore were moved aside by a kind of legitimized criminal organization that wanted a puppet in Washington to advance the goals of the oil industry and exploited – among so many other things – faith and homophobia to realize those goals.

The Democrats should always represent the best we have to offer. An experienced and brilliant woman teamed with a man who is unquestionably destined to lead this country is exactly that. That vision is so sterling that it quite naturally feels ridiculous to think that anything could derail it. But they beat down Dr. Howard Dean with one minute and 27 seconds of video where he dared to act emotional. So please, don’t get all choked up when you see that I signed this note (not a letter) “Love, Steve.”

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