Column: Racing To The Primary Finish

This story was written by Renee Roman Nose, OSU Daily Barometer

It's a long way to the finish line when you are a long distance runner.

I ran cross country and track in high school and college, ran road races competitively for many years and also coached track and cross country in Hawaii and California so I have some insight into how difficult races can be. When it comes to running, you don't slow down until you pass the finish line, much like politics.

I have heard for months now that Hillary Rodham Clinton should get out of the race. I have also heard her say, "I'm in it to win it!"

No political race should be entered if you plan on failing, and no race can be won if you slow down before the finish line. We haven't reached that line yet. In my opinion, that point will be reached when all of the votes in all of the primaries are in and legally counted and legally validated.

It would be nice to have a clearer voting process than we have had in the last two presidential elections, minus the official crowning via the Supreme Court.

I think, and I might be a bit na've here, that each American is entitled to one vote and that each vote should count.

The current delegate system is not one that I agree with as I think that the majority vote should carry more weight than a delegate vote.

If the majority of Democrats choose Clinton over Obama, then she should win.

If the majority of Democrats choose Obama over Clinton, then he should win. When the race is over and the dust has settled, the winner will emerge. It seems rather simple to me.

After attending Bill Clinton's appearance in Corvallis last week, I am more than convinced that Hillary Clinton is my candidate of choice.

My ballot is marked, the envelope is sealed and my participation in our democratic process is official.

Having seen her grace under pressure, recovery from gaffes, watching her hold her marriage together under great duress and become stronger because of it, going on to become a senator herself, she has won my vote. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to forgive an unfaithful spouse and to hear the excuses and lies that come from someone trying to cover their acole.

Many of us have had to deal with situations like that. Thankfully most of us have been able to recover in the relative safety of friends and family, not on a world stage as she did.

She was the first person that I heard the term "universal health care" from, championing all Americans to what many other nations already offer their citizens.

No American should be without health care and she was brave enough to try to fight that battle for us when she was the first lady and now is trying to fight it again in her bid for presidency. Oddly enough, other candidates and elected officials have now taken up her battle cry and tried to make it their own, as if our American memories are truly that short! When she was trying to bring universal health care the first time she was made a laughingstock, as many Republicans and others vilified her for this idea. This is an idea whose time has come.

The money that we spend as individuals on health care nationwide is more than enough to pay for universal health care. What's the glitch then, you might ask?

It's all about the money. The insurance industry is a big business and has a great deal of influence. You and I don't have that kind of influence or we would already have universal health care.

I see the efforts that Hillary has made over the years - not just political battles, but battles to be seen as a contender beyond her gender.

While I may not agree with all of her policy proposals, the scales f compatibility are heavy enough that she has won my vote over that of other candidates.

While the race will continue, I hope, until the very last vote is counted in the primaries, it is also a race of hope. All kidding aside, we all know we have a viable candidate in either of the current contenders. Clinton or Obama, we all win. If they would unite on the same ticket, I think they would be unstoppable.

I have met Senator McCain several times. He and his wife are very nice people and they have a lovely family. I have also seen his position change when it comes to how he used to vote for Native rights and issues versus how he has voted since positioning himself for his bid for presidency. I prefer the old fiery McCain, not the McCain "light" version.

This campaign has sparked controversy, it has emboldened citizens to volunteer for their favorite candidate and it has created a new interest in voting and inspired interest in the political process and its potential outcome. It has also sparked countless conversations about the current candidates.

Just that alone makes it a race worth watching, a race worth participating in. I hope you choose your candidate with care. I hope you do vote and make your vote count, supporting your favorite candidate until the very end.

This is an important race - a long distance race that will be over at the finish line, not before.

I hope that both candidates continue to give us a good race, to allow us all to cheer them both on. I'm looking forward to the finish line, to cheering on my competitor with my vote. I hope you'll be doing the same.

See you at the polls.