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The TNR Primary: Part Fourteen

Our distinguished panel of eggheads and eminences announces its votes.

''Change" alone cannot be a basis for deciding which candidate to support. Every candidate--from Dennis Kucinich to Mike Huckabee--favors change. What matters is the direction of the change, who is in charge of bringing it about--and who is supporting the candidate. When I cast my vote, I look not only at the candidate but at who is supporting him or her. Elections empower not only the winning candidate but the constituencies that helped to elect that person. I worry about the constituencies that are supporting some of the candidates.

For this reason, I favor the nomination of a centrist Democrat, one who is capable of attracting independents, moderates, and the growing number of anti-Bush Republicans. Hillary Clinton understands this and has not pandered to the extreme left of her party. She understands that this small but vocal faction helps to buoy candidates but then often helps to sink them in the general election.

I support Clinton because she is the most knowledgeable, experienced, mature, and deep-thinking of the major candidates. I would trust her to make the wisest decision in the event of a major crisis. Clinton is a progressive on social issues, a realist on foreign policy, a pragmatist on the economy--in other words, a centrist Democrat. I hope she becomes our next president.

Alan Dershowitz is a professor at Harvard Law School.

Part one: Randall Kennedy

Part two: Judith Shulevitz

Part three: Erica Jong

Part four: John McWhorter

Part five: Paul Berman

Part six: Graydon Carter

Part seven: Allison Silverman

Part eight: Alan Wolfe

Part nine: John Anderson

Part ten: C.K. Williams

Part eleven: Todd Gitlin

Part twelve: Daniel Alarcón

Part thirteen: Larry Kramer

Part fourteen: Alan Dershowitz