Dear Senator Hillary Clinton, Please Step Down

This is a very hard letter for me to write, so please bear with me.

I’d like to ask you, with all due respect and humility, to step down as a Democratic Candidate for President of the United States.

Please understand this is not because I believe you can not or should not lead this nation. Please understand that I find you qualified, capable, and worthy. Please also understand I want nothing more than to see a female as the leader of the free world. I would be pleased and honored if you were that female.

However I am finding, right or wrong, many citizens of this country seem to react to you on an emotional level. Emotional, not practical. They can’t seem to see your record. They can’t seem to see your policy. They just hear or read “Hillary” and venom or praise spews.

I thought that with your candidacy, would come reason. I thought that you would be able to get a fair shake by main stream media, by voters, by sexists, and by soccer moms. I thought over time people would begin to see that you really are an effective politician.

I was wrong.

Tonight, I’m typing as I watch you speak in El Paso, Texas. I’m sad. There really is no other way to put it-I’m sad.

I truly believed you would be the best person for the job, and I had this nagging thought in the back of my mind that is now at the forefront. The thought that drove me on Super Tuesday to Vote for Senator Obama and the thought that is the driving force as I write tonight: Senator Hillary Clinton divides this country.

It’s not fair. It’s not right. And under just about ANY other circumstance I would go to the mat for you. However we are a wounded and deeply divided nation. We are a nation at war. We are a nation at odds with each-other. It’s ugly. I thought you could get people past it. I really did.

When I told myself it was gender that got people going, I refrained from asking and wanting you to step aside. Simply on principle, I wanted to see you run and win because they said it couldn’t be done. Because it was my belief, this was all about being a girl.

It’s not, and I was wrong.

I firmly believe while the gender issue has given you a handicap I hope we all one day overcome, it is NOT the reason people have a gut reaction to you or your campaign or your legacy.

Enter the Senator from Illinois, and what I think could be your true legacy. If you were to step aside now, shockingly early and shockingly un-Hilllary-like, you could galvanize an entire nation behind your party. If you were to throw your weight, and your tremendous political clout behind Senator Obama you could still change the world and make your mark in a way no one would expect and everyone would admire.

I don’t want to see you throw in the towel because the fight is too hard or the mountain too tall. I am asking you to throw it in because history is on the line. It is not the history either of us expected, however it is an equally important, momentous, earthshaking change in this country we sorely need.

Do something no one would ever expect. Do something extraordinary. Do something that changes politics as usual and changes history.

I could have never predicted having to chose between what my husband called “the lesser of two goods, not the lesser of two evils” when it came time to cast my vote.

It was agonizing.

But in the end, with no major policy difference and valid reasons on BOTH sides, I had to go with the candidate who I thought could best bring our nation back together. Who could cross party lines and gender lines and racial lines.

I wanted it to be you, but it’s not. For some reason you still get people very riled up, and not in the good way.

There is no way around it-it sucks. But after 7 years of nothing but fighting and head shaking and feeling like we’re living in two Americas, I can’t do it again. Not even if my team is in office.

I really hate asking you to do this, but I want you to please step down and let this nation heal.

We’ve been too angry for too long and your history and your name brings a suitcase of anger to the White House front door.

With the full weight of the Clinton name, behind the scenes, your true legacy could be written. With the full weight of the Clinton know-how you could help orchestrate the next chapter in American history where an African-American leads our nation.

It is this time in history your nation needs you.

As nation’s go, ours has never been one to do things the way we predict. Who could have seen when we finally get our first, legitimate, female front runner we’d see our first, legitimate front runner of color?

Our nation and it’s people need you to do what is best for this country. We need you to be true to what you say on the stump and bring us back together.

If you firmly believe that there is still time for you to change the hearts and minds of those rude and stubborn Americans who are voting with their gut when they see “Hillary” on the ballot-then please, prove me wrong. I’ll be at the Democratic National Convention come August and I’ll hold up my Hillary sign loud and proud and fall in line.

But I think you’ve tried. You tried with everything you had to overcome that Clinton-emotional reaction. Here we are, moving into Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania-and it’s not you winning over hearts and minds, it’s the Senator from Illinois.

Let’s end the division in this country now. Right now. Let’s start with the Democratic Party early and provide a united front against the GOP months ahead of schedule.

Let’s take back this country for the people, with you playing a much different role than you envisioned.

Make history. Make us one. Step down now.


Erin Kotecki Vest

voter, mother, woman, feminist, writer, dreamer, and Hillary fan

*edited on Valentine’s Day* want to yell at me in person over this letter? Sign up to webchat with me on ooVoo Friday, Feb. 15th from 930am PST to 1130am PST. Hell, I’ll even throw in more time just to take your call


  1. Jordan Debbink says:

    Seriously it is time that we had a woman running for president that doesn’t fell the need to lie when she’s tired and that has no sense of practicality. Please drop out immediatly..Barak Obama would do just fine without you and he shows it….and John McCain would do even better and you all know it thanks for your time ……………by the way i’m eighteen and i’m a guy

  2. Lynn Jenkins says:

    Wow! Almost 3 months have gone by since this letter was written and she’s still hanging in there! After last nights big loss in NC and the “squeak by” in Indiana I think it’s inevitable. If Hillary cares anything about the democratic party, if she cares anything about this country, if she cares anything about what is good and what is true, SHE WILL DROP OUT IMMEDIATELY!!! Sadly, I don’t think she does care about any of those things, she only cares about her ego, therefore she’s going to drag this thing out, make a joke out of our party and send the McCain’s laughing all the way to the White House.

    ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! This makes me so ANGRY! Why can’t somebody go and shake her? I mean honestly now, what is her plan? I hate to think so badly of her but she leaves me no choice. She’s planning on staying in the race and continuing to smear Obama’s name, threaten his support, and make America, or at least the super-delegates, afraid to support him. She’s just waiting it out, certain that Reverend Wright will say some more controversial things that she and the media can try to link to Obama as if he said them himself. I’m to the point of believing that she’s counting on the racism in America to win out and that she’ll be nominated in spite of the math that says there is no possible or fair way that she should get it. He may be winning but she’s WHITE! How sad!!! And doesn’t it say something to her when she hears the reports on the demographics of her support base? Basically the only people who are still supporting her are the individuals who are too ignorant to know any better! I’m not trying to be nasty but it’s the truth. Look at the ignorant and racist statements that some of the bloggers above have left here who are still in support of her! “We don’t want any Black stuff in our Whyte House” ??? Uh-hmm. What are you afraid of? Their cooties might infest the place? Another Blogger referred to Obama as being suspect for president because “he’s African and Muslim” . Yes, he’s part African but he’s also an American. His name may be of Muslim origin but so was Mohammed Ali’s and everybody loved him! And there’s Kareem Abdul Jabar, but everybody loved the Lakers (well, west coast folk). There was “Theo” aka Malcolm JAMAL Warner, and nobody boycotted The Cosby Show. So, what is it? Black people are fine as the entertainers of this country but they are not fine as the leaders of this country? Or you’ll give up on this country (what one blogger said)? Well, based on the grammatical mistakes in your writing and the spelling of your first name my guess is that this wasn’t your country to begin with so maybe you should just pack up and go back home!

    Sorry, I got off track. This was not supposed to be about confronting the racist idiots out there but reiterating that it is BEYOND the time for Hillary to hang up her hat. If there was any shred of dignity left in her body, and if she didn’t want to be forever immortalized as the wacko woman presidential candidate who couldn’t take no for an answer, she would have quit yesterday! Oops, too late! It’s midnight and tomorrow just became today.

    Please Hillary…be the bigger woman and congratulate Obama. As the original blogger said, show this country that you are ready to embrace change! Actions speak so much louder than words.

  3. Letsopenoureyes says:

    It is time to unite this country. Perhaps it is best that Hillary Clinton step down from the presidential race, as she divides the country, and is not the type of person to best represent “women” or even Americans.

    Yet, in all fairness, Obama should likewise step down due to his lack of experience. Speeches and good intensions (if in fact they are good) does not make one presidential material.

    John McCain cares for this country. Hehas experience, and while he’s more liberal than my politics, he would do much to bring this country together. Anyone who knows his record knows that he obviously is not another George W. Bush. He is his own person, a political Maveric. He has served this country and is the most qualified candidate of the three to truly be considered the next president of these United States.

    He is not the candidate of men or of women or of whites or of blacks or any other demographic you would propose to fill in the blank. He is truly for all Americans, and I hope citizens will stand back from looking to choose a candidate who shares her / his skin color or her / his gender. It should not be a beauty contest, or a time to affirm which demographic you identify with. It isn’t a test of how charismatic your personality is. We are seeking one to serve this great nation, bringing experience, ability to get along with others, and vision to the table. Not just one of these qualities. And also, someone who can be trusted, based on what we know of their past. If the wrong candidate becomes president, our lives, and our children–the future–will be effected. Let’s give McCain a chance. Isn’t the future of this country worth it?

  4. Queen of Portugal says:

    Hillary Clinton gave it a good try, but the dream is over. She will wake up to the reality that everyone else knows is true–she tried but it just didn’t work out. Maybe in 2012? : )

  5. jason r says:

    still ignoring the fact that the american people have nothing to do with the election, eh?

    please explain how clinton remaining in the election changes the votes of the electorate one tiny bit.

    i’m listening.

  6. Lynn Jenkins says:

    Hmmm awfully quiet…

    Sorry Jason but I think many are going to continue to ignore that fact as long as the American people and the votes of the eletorate are pointing to a black man winning this nomination and the presidential eletion.

    I’d like to add another question. How many out there really believe that Hillary would still be “sticking it out” if her competitor was white? Let’s say his name was Bryan Osborne but he was basically the same as Obama; same policies, same speeches, same intellectualism, same everything (well, maybe no reverend Wright but some equally controversial white pastor). But instead of his father being from Africa, he was from…let’s say Australia (euro immigrant, not aboriginal), and of course his wife and two daughters were white. If this were the case, WOULD WE STILL BE IN THIS MESS?!

    Wake up America!!! Racism is alive and well and it’s not just in Black and other people of color’s heads! It’s rearing it’s ugly head in this nomination process and it’s a terrible thing! It will be a crying shame if America’s racism keeps the right person out of the White House and subjects us to 4-8 more years of an economic slump, our underprivaledged youth being slaughtered in Iraq, and our leadership being the joke of the free world!

  7. jason r says:

    lynn… i am going to indulge a bad habit of mine – responding to a question with a question.

    if racism is truly the reason why Senator Clinton is still running, what happened to John Edwards?

    he’s got very similar views/voting record as both Sens. Clinton and Obama… but no one wanted to hear from a white lawyer, no matter how populist he really is.

    the racism that is ‘rearing it’s ugly head’ in this election mostly consists of white guilt. no one with any measure of intellectual honesty claims that racism has been eliminated.

    but when i hear people (white people, mind you – never heard this crap from my black friends) imply that race is the only reason people vote for someone other than Obama it makes me vomit in my mouth a little.

    we all need to have integrity to our arguments and face the truth like adults. giving in to divisive politics – like playing the race card – is precisely what Sen. Obama is campaigning against, no?

  8. Diana Hall says:

    Dear Mrs Clinton
    Today behind closed doors the Dem Committee is meeting to decide the fair way to give you all
    doubt that what you have earned in your campaign to win the Dem Nomination is correctly and fairly earned by you.They seem to be spending alot of deliberating time to make you happy in this foray.
    When the decision is reached and if the outcome points to the fact that you are not the favorable candidate to represent the Dem party ultimately in this upcoming election, I hope that you will concede without further tantrum to have your own way on behalf of the American people who YOU say you can represent wholly and but now who wish to get on in unity. This is not about YOU or Mr Clinton it is about the American right to choose and out up with the rules as they are set up. You may be a woman running for President, but all people whether man/woman need the right PERSON to represent them. Had you ever inegaged in intramural sports, you might play better by rules. This election is not an intramural street war inviting your community to put up their dukes,dividing community after community and this is the campaign you seem to to have led.

  9. Diana Hall says:

    Mr Ickes is saying what anyone would say in defense of his personal candidate. How can you take a full / fair vote from an election where Mr Obama’s name was not even on the voting ticket? If Hillary wants to change the rules in Florida, then Obama needs to get on the ticket and there should be a re vote in Michigan.
    Honestly this is so mundane, infantile and unreasonable, w/out any foresight. No wonder the US is in the misery it is w/ Washington, as usual ‘guiding’ the way. This conference today is like a parent group getting together to solve the kids problems, and some of the parents are as/more immature. I am almost ready to expat w/ my own, personal resources.I made this threat when Bush came into office, but,now, as a Dem I am fed up. Mr Ickes reminds me of the arrogant professor who lives in a can, the sort that I used to listen to with awe as a student at CU BOulder in the early seventies. Thank God I have moved on ,still a liberal, but beyond the box of this liberal type.

  10. Katia K. says:

    Dear Senator Clinton-

    For the sake of my children’s future, that of our Party, and our country, I ask that you gracefully concede defeat and act now to endorse Senator Obama for president. I look forward to your energy and support on the campaign trail as we all unify to ensure that he is elected in November.


  11. So very eloquently put. This is how I felt from the get go. Watching her continue on — and the way she has gone about it — has made me lose a lot of the respect I had for her.. it makes me very sad.

    Though, on that note, it makes me a bit more sure that Obama really is all that I had hoped he’d be. I don’t worry that I’ve made an error in choice now.

    Very, very well done.

  12. I don’t really understand you poeple: such a poor guy, from an african family and a Muslim background!!??

    We “poeple” are not racist. We support a biracial individual who has won his party’s nomination.

    We people are respectful of religion. To us, Islam, as practised by the majority in the US, is a peaceful and beautiful religion.

    Why is it that we have an American Presidential candidate who proudly belongs to a segregated black church that declares it’s non-negotiable commitment to Africa and nobody is talking about this?

    There are many segregated black churches. I see it as a cultural thing. Re: Africa, more people should be committed to Africa. The amount of genocide, AIDS, poverty, and abuse of human rights is unacceptable. On a related note, most Jews support Israel unconditionally. Is this bad?

    As to the main point, I hold strong Orthodox Jewish beliefs. Religion should have NEVER been an issue…how DARE the media swarm around that church and exploit it, how DARE the clergy dying for attention interrupt parishoners’ worship services. How dare people hold a broad idea that a few soundbites can represent the majority of their services.

    It is not gender prohibiting my vote for Hillary, but her lack of ethics. I believe there is another comment about this that reflects my views perfectly, but to that I would also add her, and her husband’s, disgusting antisemitic remarks. Why ADL never jumped on their asses and condemned this is beyond me.



    You cannot push that on free America,
    She must of had some major $$$ backers from the insurance industry for her to ruin her campain like that.
    EVERYONE hated that plan dems and republicans.
    That is the reason so many people sided with Barrack. She had to know that issue would make her lose instantly.I think she took the money and ran,she didnt REALLY want to become pres.
    That is the only realistic way I can look at this…

  14. Susan Ziegler says:

    Hello! I am doing research on my next opera (I’m a composer) and I found this website! Great information, thanks!

    For my research, can you tell me when you wrote a letter and published it on this website asking Edwards to step down when he was running against Kerry, because I cannot find it anywhere. Was it before February 12, 2004 or after February 12, 2004. Or if you could just email me the url or the actual published letter, that would be faster, thanks! I appreciate your time.

  15. So very eloquently put. This is how I felt from the get go. Watching her continue on — and the way she has gone about it — has made me lose a lot of the respect I had for her.. it makes me very sad.

    Though, on that note, it makes me a bit more sure that Obama really is all that I had hoped he’d be. I don’t worry that I’ve made an error in choice now.

    Very, very well done.

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  21. This is how I felt from the get go. Watching her agonizingly continue on — and the way she has gone about it — has made me lose a lot of the respect I had for her.. it makes me very much a sorrowful panda bear.

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  22. i think it was great that she stepped aside and rallied behind Obama. I think she has done a great job as the Secretary of State and perhaps in the election of 2016 she will be in a better position to unite the country after, what I hope is, an effective Obama administration.

  23. Frankly, Clinton is the best female candidate for any office (including the presidency). And as if she wasn’t smart and respected enough already, her competency is boasted by comparing her to some of less respected female political figures (Paline and Bachmann)…

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