COLUMN: World leaders take Clinton seriously, so should we

With the 2016 democratic presidential primary heating up, it has turned into a two-candidate race between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secetary of State Hillary Clinton.

Both candidates have made a career in Washington fighting for reform and progressive ideas, something democratic voters clearly value.

But the biggest difference between the two is Clinton’s vast foreign policy expertise. This is an area Sanders lacks in. He has never had to negotiate with foreign leaders or broker a deal between nations.

We live in an ever-changing global landscape. We need our next president to understand what is going on in the world.

Clinton is no stranger to foreign affairs.

Before she held public office, she spoke to a group of world leaders at a United Nations conference in Beijing. She emphasized the importance of advancement to women’s rights globally and challenged foreign leader to give women equal rights in their respective countries.

After one of the toughest primary fights in Democratic Party’s history in 2008, Clinton chose to work for a former rival in the Obama administration.

When President Barack Obama took office, the Bush administration had left a bad impression of who America is and what we stand for.

Clinton took on the role of Secretary of State or “Chief Diplomat” and began to restore faith in our allies of America’s values and commitment to making the world a safer place.

When Clinton served in that important role, she worked daily with foreign leaders and has built a reputation as a tough negotiator with a willingness to seek a peaceful solution.

She is also not afraid to use the full power of the American military.

Sanders does not have any of this experience.

We cannot afford a president’s long learning curve.

We need a leader who, on day one, will enter office ready to lead and position the United States as a global leader willing to stand up for American freedom and help spread human rights across the world.

Sanders can’t do this effectively.

I endorse Clinton in her bid for the presidency in 2016 and I look forward to the direction she will take us.