The cat and dogfight is over and now we can finally move on to the real race-the one to the White House.As a woman, yes, I was proud to have a woman running for the Democratic nomination. As a minority, yes, I was proud to have an African-American running as well. Was I happy that it dragged on as long as it did? Absolutely not.

The mudslinging and business as usual mentality in regards to running a political campaign left a nasty taste in my mouth for Sen. Hillary Clinton. She clearly was using her husband's popularity and then when that no longer worked-she played dirty like the rest of the Republican boys. And for what? Now she has embarrassed intelligent women with her negativity. Most of her support base was comprised of older women who lived through the Women's Liberation Movement, which I understand. But do we just want any woman representing us or a good woman.

A good woman would not fuel the fire of the Republican nominee for the November election just to make history. As a Democrat who has voted in more than one election, I know how dirty the Republicans can play. For the good of the party (which is exactly what wise Nancy Pelosi wants-she wants a united party) Clinton needed to take a step back and look at how damaging her rhetoric could be to the Democratic Party as a whole.

She needed to step down before now and unite her supporters with Obama's supporters so we could take back the White House.

The fact is the past decade has been horrible due in part to Bush's daily foul ups that resulted in a record deficit and too many soldiers and civilians around the world dead before their time.

We needed to keep our eye on the prize and not distract the American people with nit-pickings that held no real bearing. The goal for the Democrats is the White House and that was lost with the almost daily reports about flag pins, fictitious sniper fire, and five-second sound bites of sermons given by pastors.

Sen. John McCain has been getting away with not supporting the new GI bill, confusing the difference between Sunni and Shiite in Iraq and their associations with Al Qaeda, troop levels, as well as most recently claiming that he had supported "every investigation" into the horrible response to Hurricane Katrina, when he had actually twice voted against creating a commission to investigate what went wrong.

All of these very serious errors by McCain have gone virtually unnoticed to the average American as Clinton's campaign has struggled to keep its head above water with her dipping into her own pocket to keep the fight raging on.

Since March she has made every attempt possible to try and close the huge gap in delegates between herself and Obama to no avail. For months every political analyst in the business outside of her campaign had been stating that she mathematically couldn't overcome the deficit in delegates to clinch the nomination.

But Clinton's argument was that she was the stronger candidate against McCain in the fall and that Florida and Michigan's votes should be counted. The fact that she attempted to change the rules of the game that were set by the Democratic National committee just shows her desperation and is awfully arrogant.

It took the focus away from the fact that McCain was making private and public appearances with George Bush. The same president who's polices have given us a war that McCain vows not to end.

Meanwhile gas prices are almost triple what they were when Bush took office and a tarnished global reputation leaves us on the outside looking in on our former friends. McCain shares the current President's policies but the Democrats haven't had a chance to address it because of Clinton's antics.

While it is true that every state should be given the right to vote and that didn't happen during the Democratic primary, the focus and responsibility of every Democrat and every American at this time in history should be making sure that we do not continue down the same disastrous path that President Bush has taken us down during the past 8 years.

The focus of every Democrat and presidential candidate should be on what is best for the party and positioning the likely candidate to go on the offensive against a Republican candidate that has demonstrated that he represents a third Bush presidential term.

Going on the offensive against a fellow Democratic candidate at this time in history is something that was an extremely counter productive move.

A spirited debate is something that politics is built on, but debating and prolonging the inevitable while denying reality as Clinton has done does not benefit anyone except John McCain and the Republican Party.

It's time to face reality.

Obama represents the change that is necessary for a better country and world. He has kept it clean because that is how politics should be-the facts, the policies, the vision. Uniting people from every ethnic group and class is something only Obama could have done. He came from a broken home, bi-racial background, and no wealth. He worked hard to become the man he is today and represents the American dream. No wonder he has inspired so many to vote for the first time in their lives.

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