Barack Obama

I’ve sort of fallen off of the blogging bandwagon, but what’s the point of a blog if you can’t be political with it? So, with that in mind, we now take a break from our regularly scheduled midwifery for this brief political message:

I’m voting for Barack Obama

I like the fact that he’s run a very clean campaign and refused corporate lobby money. I like the fact that he’s an idealist—people try so hard to call him naive and inexperienced because he’s idealistic and hopeful—but why should we vote for our fears rather than our hope? How deliciously refreshing to be voting for a candidate that you actually like: someone who inspires you and makes you hopeful, rather than voting for the candidate that you dislike the least! There’s an excitement and an energy in his grassroots movement which is sweeping the country right now that’s really got me excited, so much so that I’ve actually given money to his campaign. My donation was then matched by another Obama supporter in California, and we’ve since gotten into an e-mail correspondence. I like the sense that his campaign is driven by hundreds of thousands of little guys like me, and that our combined small-fry donations are actually adding up to a lot.

I think this country needs a radical change in leadership, and while I really like Hillary (I’ve voted for her twice as a Senator), she and her husband have been the darlings of the Democratic party for over 20 years now. Clinton ran on an anti-establishment platform of change in 1992, but now he and Hillary have become the establishment. It’s time for some new blood. It’s Obama, not Hillary, who’s most successfully running on Clinton’s legacy of change.

Some of our greatest presidents have had very little Washington experience. Abraham Lincoln served only one undistinguished term in the House before becoming president. “Looking at the 19 presidents since 1900, three of the greatest were among those with the fewest years in electoral politics.Teddy Roosevelt had been a governor for two years and vice president for six months; Woodrow Wilson, a governor for just two years; and Franklin Roosevelt, a governor for four years. None ever served in Congress.” [1] Even Clinton himself came in with gubernatorial experience, but not a whiff of congressional first-hand know-how.

I’m impressed by Obama’s history of being able to unite both sides of the aisle and craft true bipartisan legislation. I like his constancy and his character; when you actually look at his record (short though it might be), you quickly realize that he’s someone who sticks to his guns. I like the fact that he’s been opposed to war in Iraq from the start. I’d much rather vote for someone with good judgement and little experience than someone with lots of experience but judgement calls which they’ve since regretted. “Obama is an inner-directed man in a profession filled with insecure outer-directed ones. He was forged by the process of discovering his own identity from the scattered facts of his childhood, a process that is described in finely observed detail in “Dreams From My Father.” Once he completed that process, he has been astonishingly constant.” [2]

I think Barack Obama is more electable than Hillary Clinton. This is partly because I know many people—Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats—who don’t just dislike Hillary….they DESPISE her. I don’t know why, I don’t understand it, but I know that it’s a very personal, deep-seated hatred, and that many people feel this way about her. My number one goal is to get a Democrat in office as the president, and I feel that a Hillary nomination will be a blessing in disguise for the Republican party. They’ll sling mud, they’ll get dirty, they’ll draw upon that strange RABID Hillary hatred, and maybe they’ll win because of it. I don’t want to give them that chance. I think that Obama has the potential to reach out and win the vote of not only Democrats, but Independents and *even* some moderate Republicans. He’s running a campaign that’s trying to beat the Red State/ Blue State mentality, which isn’t something that Hillary (who’s too firmly entrenched as a Democratic bastion) can transcend. As for the question of whether or not he can withstand the Republican mud-slinging machine….well, Hillary hasn’t exactly been kind to him, but she hasn’t been able to dig up anything on him yet. Maybe because there ISN’T anything to dig up.

Finally, I don’t think it’s possible for America to fall much lower in the esteem of the international community. We need a new face, a new message to be sending to the world to redeem our great country from the ravages and stupidity of the Bush years. I feel that Obama, as a relative unknown, is best poised to start with a clean slate in the opinion of the world. Barrack HUSSEIN Obama—fathered by a Kenyan, growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, attending a Muslim high school—offers an opportunity to rebrand the face of America in the eyes of the world which Hillary just can’t match. [3]

I like Hillary. When this election started last year, I was pretty certain I was going to be a staunch Hillary supporter to the end. The fact that I’m voting for someone else instead really surprises me. I’m a strong feminist, and I do think the time is ripe for a female president. However, I don’t think she’s the right candidate. I think she’s more divisive than unifying in this current climate, and I think the Republicans will have a field day with her record and her history (anyone in the mood for an ugly recap of the Monica Lewinsky affair or WhiteWater? I’m certainly not!! ). I think Obama offers a new start and a new opportunity to actually get beyond the partisan divide which has been the crux of Baby Boomer politics. If Hillary ends up winning, I’d be happy to vote for her in the general election, but I think Obama is the better choice.

So there you go: that basically sums up why I’m voting for Barack Obama. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!! Who are you voting for, and why? And if anything I’ve said helped tip your hat into the Obama ring, go give him $20 at and join his grassroots movement—you too can have your donation matched by someone in another state who is believing, just like you.

[1] NY Times Op-Ed 1/20/08

[2] NY Times Op-Ed 12/18/07

[3] The Atlantic: Goodbye To All That

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