The Outrage Machine is a weekly opinion column by voices from the left and right on Washington. Want to write for us? Contact us at

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the best hope for Americans who are counting on strong and experienced leadership to deal with the economic injustice, educational crises, and foreign instability, which have plagued our country in the early part of the 21st century.

Clinton’s three most compelling characteristics continue to be her vast experience in foreign and domestic policy; her tenacity and history of getting things done across the political aisle, particularly as a senator; and the ferocious enthusiasm of her followers, particularly among young women working for true political gender equity that is long overdue.

Clinton is not only the smartest and the toughest person in the race, she is also the person who has put forward specific policy proposals on issues ranging from profit sharing for workers, revitalizing rural America, criminal justice reform, universal automatic voter registration, to an economic plan that recognizes equal pay, paid family leave and childcare are essential to competitiveness and growth.

I want her sense of justice, and policy understanding in the Oval Office when we face up to the fact that we have to forgive over half of our student debt, and fundamentally change educational opportunities for poor kids in America.

I want her courage in the Oval Office when we have to make tough decisions and come to a compromise with Republicans so we can reform the Tax Code to stop giving taxpayer money to the corporate class and start doing something for the working and middle-class.

I want her compassion and leadership in the Oval Office when unarmed teens are killed in our streets because we have not been more forthcoming about race relations in America or done enough to overcome our divisions.

Clinton has been subjected to more criticism and vitriol in this campaign than any other candidate, much of it at taxpayers’ expense, as they have funded nine investigations by congressional Republicans, none of which have produced a shred of credibility for allegations of wrongdoing, anymore than the investigations into Whitewater, Vince Foster or any of the other GOP attacks have produced results before them.

The press has taken their best shot in this campaign, as is their role, and it has come up with no credible evidence of any wrongdoing. The media has, however, written and said a great many things that have turned out to be factually incorrect and in some cases plain dishonest.

These attacks are part of the process. If a candidate can’t take a hit from the New York Times or Fox News, how are they going to stand up to Putin when he demands Alaska back?

All this has made Hillary more than the best person for the toughest job in the world. I want her as my president, and I trust her to do the kind of job that is necessary in a very tough world.

Howard Dean is a former Vermont governor, ex-head of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic presidential candidate during the 2004 cycle.