Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pin the Tail on Which Donkey?

Never have I gone into a major election feeling so conflicted. I know I want a change of administration, I want us out of Iraq ASAP, I want affordable healthcare, I want to see economic recovery. But I’m still unsure about who is the best person to deliver these things.

I went into this race strongly in support of Hillary, knowing that if she were elected we would also be able to draw heavily on her husband, who despite his penchant for young girls was one of the best Presidents this country has ever had. But with each passing day I am being attracted by the cool charisma of Obama.

My children are definitely in the Obama camp. Otherwise they would be voting for someone who could be their mother or grandfather!

Unfortunately this race has not really been about issues. There has been nothing remarkable or revolutionary said in any of the debates. There has been a lot of dirty mudslinging as the front-runners vie for their spot.

I know I’m not alone. Someone who is equally confused suggested we think about who we would rather see negotiating with Musharaf. We both said McCain. What about the candidate with whom I would rather sit down and have a conversation or a cup of coffee? I think it would be Obama.

My husband is a big Hillary supporter. He keeps pointing to the lack of experience of Obama and is not anxious to watch him learn how to govern the country. I too worry that he might not be able to assemble a cabinet and advisors sufficiently capable of taking on this big job. But part of me wants to break from the past and take a chance on this man.

It’s interesting that for me race and gender don’t even figure into my decision in the least. I think that may be true for much of the country. However I can’t imagine anyone where I come from in the Florida panhandle voting for a Black man or a woman of any race.

Part of me just wants to vote for whichever Democrat has the greatest chance of beating the Republican, who will be John McCain unless there are some big surprises between now and election day. But which one would that be?


Blogger steve said...

I had a disscussion with the EX the other day...she is a Hillary fan....she says that while it may have little bearing on the election, most of white America would rather have a Woman in the White house than a Black Man....it saddens me to think she is probably right.
I liked hillary, but the way she and Bill are operating recently, this white boy just might be goin' fer the Black guy!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- My dilemma exactly. I'll let you know if Virginia thought the way I did after the dust settles tomorrow.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

"Part of me wants to vote..."

Most of me wants to ignore them and hope it will all go away like a bad dream. :)

2:03 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Well, I voted for Hillary in our primary, but I figure the Democrats have an embarrassment of riches this time. Barack has strong appeal for change which we badly need. The bottom line is I know where Hillary stands on issues and that she will form a strong cabinet to help her through the next four years. It is unclear to me that Barack can do that. Both are exceedingly intelligent and that alone will be a welcome change come January!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I agree, Kate. It's excellent to have two frontrunners who have such great strengths and represent two groups of Americans who have never made it to the Oval office.

I like Hillary for pres for so many reasons, but I'll be so happy to vote for Barak if he's nominated. I'm not ANGRY that Barak is doing so well, not at all. I think it's fantastic.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Mike -- Looking at your Blog, you seem like a pretty conservative, very religious guy. Unfortunately there is no one (other than Huckabee who isn't going to be nominated) in this dogfight for you right now. I can see how you might characterize it as a nightmare, worse than a bad dream.

Kate, Reya -- I really hadn't made up my mind as I walked into the polling place. But I looked at the voting screen and pushed "Hillary Clinton", perhaps not wanting my vote to cancel out my husband's, perhaps because she is still more of a known to me. We'll see if the majority of Democrats in Virginia felt that way, too.

Like both of you, I'm happy not to care who wins. I just hope whoever it is can prevail in November.

Interestingly, we have been getting recorded messages from John McCain all day long. Did he really think he had a chance in this left-leaning household?!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

While I do not follow your politics too closely, my preference is for Obama because from what I have heard, he speaks well. Sofia prefers Hillary for the experience.

I think the argument in favour of experience is a false one and stems from a fear of change. It can also stem from a parochial attitude of people waiting their turn.

I find it amazing that Obama, given his background (what little I know) has risen so far. If you want real change, then I think he is the one to go with.

As for the Republicans, there doesn't seem to be much aside from John McCain.

6:06 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

there's some interesting comment on Hillary's experience here: http://www.slate.com/id/2182065/

I often read The Nation and when I read this excerpt recently, I decided that what my gut was telling me all along had just been corroborated.

"...Barack Obama, who, because of his background and his relatively brief time in the national spotlight, is a truly improbable contender for the presidency. This magazine has been critical of the senator from Illinois for his closeness to Wall Street; his unwillingness to lay out an ambitious progressive agenda on healthcare, housing and other domestic policy issues; and for postpartisan rhetoric that seems to ignore the manifest failure of conservatism over these past seven years. But as Christopher Hayes argued in our cover story last week, Obama has also exhibited a more humane and wise approach to foreign policy, opposing the Iraq War while Clinton voted for it, and has been a reliable progressive ally over the course of his career. While his rhetoric about "unity" can be troubling, it also embodies a savvy strategy to redefine the center of American politics and build a coalition by reaching out to independent and Republican voters disgruntled and disgusted with what the Bush era has wrought. Most important, we feel his candidacy, in its demonstrated investment in organizing and grassroots activism as well as his personal appeal, represents the best chance to forge a new progressive majority. For these reasons we support Obama for President."

6:38 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- You Canadians have the advantage of being able to look South and laugh at us as we go through this awful period once again. I hope either you or Sofia is supporting the winner!

Pauline -- Unfortunately Obama is not squeaky clean either. There just hasn't yet been as much effort to expose his warts. I somewhat dread the ensuing months that will make it absolutely impossible for these two to consider being running mates. I just hope they don't offer up so much against each other that neither is electable! I still maintain the country has a better chance for recovery and healing with a Democrat than with any Republican. I will ardently support whoever is nominated.

8:16 PM  
Blogger M said...

Read Obama's book The Audacity of Hope- It's very well done and he know's his stuff.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

It's a tough one and a definite 6 of one 1/2 dozen of the other type situation. Hillary would win hands dow if she were black!

5:13 PM  

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