As many of you know, I follow politics and especially presidential campaigns very closely. This campaign, which is now getting into full swing, has been most interesting as it is the first time time since 1928 where no incumbent in office is running for the presidency. I have been watching the candidates on both sides, and I do always try to keep an open mind with both sides of the aisle. Now that it is three months before voters head to the polls for their respective primaries, I would like to now endorse my choice, and there is no candidate I not only can say I respect and trust, but also agree with on most issues, and that would be Barack Obama, for President of the United States of America.
HOWEVER, lets not be boring. We all know the issues, and we all know where we stand, and some of you will not even be voting in the Democratic primary. But if you are, lets talk about what is most important. I personally believe that when it comes down to it, the Democrats are always stupid enough to vote for the worst candidate in the primary. John Kerry. Walter Mondale. Michael Dukakis?! Need I say more? Well the way things are looking so far, it seems the Democrats are going down the same path of defeat.
The ‘leadership’ this country has been under for the past 8 years has been abysmal. An unwarranted endless war. Record deficits. Abortions on the rise (under a Republican administration no less). The value of the US dollar sinking daily. American reputation severely damaged across the world. The president’s approval rating hovering at Nixon levels for two years at least. I could go on and on. There is simply no excuse for the Democrats to lose the White House in 2008. Especially against the sad lineup of candidates on the Republican side. Willard Mitt Romney? Kill me now. But it comes down to this simple question –> If not now, WHEN? But there is one reason why the Democrats will lose the White House in 2008, and her name is Hillary Clinton.
Let there be no doubt, Hillary Rodham Clinton is a very smart, very tough, very strong, and very capable person to be president. But there are some very serious problems with her candidacy, and I believe Barack Obama fills these voids.
What Hillary has, that Barack doesn’t.
First, she has a lack of electability that Barack doesn’t. This is always in question, and denied by many, but people need to understand the absolute hatred that Ms Clinton brings to the surface on the Republican side. If anything can unite the Republican Party again and fire up their base, its Hillary Clinton. The GOP is nearly in shreds, with them disliking their own president, and not happy with any of their candidates. This may change, but nothing will bring them together in Karl Rovian fashion again than their complete hatred of Hillary Clinton. She will energize the GOP to not only campaign against her as hard as possible, but will vote in record numbers against her.
‘But Republicans are not going to vote for her.‘
This statement is true, but it brings up two more issues. Elections are won in the middle, meaning the independent voters. How can the independent voters be swayed? Voters know enough of Ms Clinton already, where her high negatives are so high (bordering on 50%, which is unprecedented), its hard to see where she has room to change that. How she can motivate them to get out to vote, and to be swayed to vote for her? She is simply too polarizing, and if nominated, she immediately starts at a huge disadvantage. Voters will go with someone they will have a chance at liking and seeing in their living rooms and on their computers for another 4 years, especially after 8 years of George W Bush. A few months ago I watched a focus group on C-SPAN of independent voters, and it was just astonishing not only the lack of amount of people who would actually vote for her (1 out of about 20 people in the group), but their reasoning for not even considering voting for her. I think Elizabeth Edwards (wife of candidate John Edwards) said it best. “I want to be perfectly clear: I do not think the hatred against Hillary Clinton is justified. I don’t know where it comes from. I don’t begin to understand it. But you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist, and it will energize the Republican base. Their nominee won’t energize them, Bush won’t, but Hillary as the nominee will. It’s hard for John to talk about, but it’s the reality.“
And if she squeaks out a victory in November 2008? Well its like 2004 all over again, just instead of George W Bush in office that half the country already hates and wont give a chance, we now have Hillary Clinton in office that half the country already hates and wont give a chance. That is the last thing this country needs right now. American needs a chance to start fresh.
What Barack has, that Hillary doesn’t.
One of Obama’s early campaign ideas was this ‘Dinner with Barack’, where a few donors were picked to sit down and have dinner with Mr Obama and discuss the issues of the day. A bit later, a quick highlight reel was available on his website, and watching it really clinched for me who I was going be be voting for. There was just something that made him seem genuinely caring. Maybe what some deemed a liability, his lack of ‘inside Washington’ experience, is what became his asset, being able to still connect with normal every day Americans one on one. He was able to talk to people on equal level, converse, without talking down to anyone. He had a conversational manner to him, and I sensed he was able to draw them in, to see his point of view. Yet he was unafraid to compromise, to hear everyone out. Even if they disagreed, he made them feel involved, and treat each others view with respect. This open charismatic personality gives him the ability to bring people together and feel comfortable with his leadership, at least far more than any other candidate. For America, this is very important. On the world stage, this is essential.
Where does this come from? I think his diverse background has helped him be more understanding, more compassionate, and gives him more balanced view of the world. Mr Obama was born in Hawaii, the son of a black Kenyan father and white American mother. He lived there until his teens when he moved to the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta. From there he moved to the United States and attended Columbia University and Harvard University. This background I believe helps him form points of view not only from inside-out, but from an outsiders point of view as well, seeing the US and its role in the world from an outside perspective. This makes someone more understanding and empathetic, and give someone the ability to make sounder judgements, and thus a stronger leader. And this depth of judgement has been tested, when the alarm bells of an invasion of Iraq began in 2002, Obama was against it. He was one of the few voices who not only knew it was wrong, but voiced his view publicly as a member of the Illinois legislature, even when it was politically inconvenient.
But what about experience? Easy question, easy answer. Answer this; what did all that experience that Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of this current administration get us? In my view, judgement and wisdom outweighs any perceived so called ‘lack of experience’ Mr Obama may have, and Mr Obama has demonstrated his ability to clearly think through an issue, and through the smokescreen. And now he doesn’t have to go around the country saying he was ‘tricked’ by George W Bush. (Hillary outsmarted and outplayed by George W Bush? Wow.)
Barack Obama represents change, Hillary represents more of the same. Want proof? She voted for war again this past week, this time with Iran. America needs a change of pace. American needs a new POV. America needs someone more in touch with today’s generation. America needs a fresh start, with the judgement and lack of baggage we have been suffering the past decade, and Barack is it.
Don’t be fooled, the White House is not for the Democrats taking in 2008, especially with the chance of the continuing of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty. I hope I’m wrong, but in the meantime, vote wisely.
“The same old experience is not relevant. … And you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience.” – Bill Clinton
Sounds like Bill is voting for Barack Obama.