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I’ve decided to support Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s primary. If you want to do the same, please go to Obama’s Missouri website right now to find out how you can help.  One easy way is to make calls from your home using this handy tool.

More on my reasoning below the flip.

I don’t think it’s any big secret that I am a huge Edwards supporter. I’ve given him a good deal more money than I could afford; I volunteered throughout this past year as a One Corps captain; I traveled to Iowa in the heat and in the snow and ice to knock doors for him. If he had stayed in the race, I would likely be making phone calls on his behalf right now instead of writing a post.

But now John Edwards has decided to drop out of the race in order to allow the field to coalesce around a single Democratic candidate, since the Republicans seem to be doing the same around John McCain. And I have a choice; I can vote for Edwards despite the fact that he’s no longer seeking the nomination, or I can vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Staying at home isn’t an option.

If I really thought that there were no differences between Obama and Clinton, I would vote for Edwards. But while I feel much more comfortable with Clinton than I did at the beginning of the primary, there are significant differences between the two of them. Obama’s more likely to undertake diplomacy in resolving conflict and to withdraw all troops from Iraq. He’s more likely to press on campaign finance and ethics reform. He’s proposed a set of technology policies that are as far reaching as experts could imagine, and frankly, they blow Clinton’s proposals out of the water. And Obama’s emphasis on process reforms could yield more substantive results for progressives later on down the line, much as Progressives in the early 20th century paved the way for FDR’s New Deal decades later.

Now, Barack Obama is not the progressive messiah. Nominating and electing him will not solve by itself the many deep problems in our society. Obama will need to be pushed to live up to his campaign promises, and we’ll also need to do a lot of work to improve his ideas on the environment, like correcting his openness to “clean” coal and nuclear power. But the same can be said about Clinton. And don’t get me started on the nightmare that would ensue from the election of yet another Republican president.

Whatever you decide to do, whether you support Edwards, Obama, Clinton, Dodd, or any of the other Democratic candidates who threw their hat in this year, remember to stay involved on Tuesday and beyond. This year in Missouri, we could see a Democratic president, a Democratic Congress, a Democratic governor, and a Democratic state legislature, but it’s not going to happen without your participation.