Friday, February 01, 2008

Vote Barack Obama: It's time to become the United States of America again

Three months ago, if you told me that I would write about politics on this blog, I would ask you what you were drinking and could you pour me a glass. Strangely though, this is what I am compelled to do, I feel I must do, as I watch the presidential primary unfolding. I am watching this race as closely as I have watched the season of my beloved NY Giants become magical. Why do I suddenly have a red hot interest in politics? Because Barack Obama has inspired me. Put simply, I believe. Every time I watch him speak, I believe in him and his message. I feel compelled, pulled even, to write this. Even if politics isn't your thing, I encourage you to read and think about this anyway. Full disclosure, I am a registered Democrat but I vote across party lines based on who I like better as a candidate, and is not to divergent on my core issues.

Barack can heal the country
Americans like no time I have been alive are questioning what we stand for, our place in the world, and thanks to the Bush administration, we have lost our moral authority due to the Iraq invasion. I think by simply electing Barack Obama, we can restore a measure of faith to the rest of the world that we have not all lost our way. More importantly though, electing Barack I think can symbolically heal the literally centuries old racial schism between whites and blacks.

Barack is an inspirational story
Born in Hawaii to an immigrant father from Kenya and a mom from Kansas, his is a truly American story, the embodiment of the American Dream. His election to the presidency would be a wake up call to the world, this is what America is really about. Not true for Hillary because...

I have seen Billary for what they really are, evil
First, Christopher Hitchens at Slate makes a strong case that the Clintons have been playing the race card all along. Bill Clinton, who I previously liked and thought did not deserve the impeachment nonsense, has really crossed a line. It couldn't be more clear he is trying to divide the Democratic electorate to exploit fear of race to get Hillary the election. Make no mistake, this is a calculated Clintonian strategy for Bill to play bad cop, and Hillary to be good cop, well as good as she can conceivably be. Paint Obama as the "black" candidate, marginalize him, and it's despicable, and I have had enough of those kinds of politics. During the primary it has also become crystal clear that Hillary by herself is the worst kind of politician, the one that will say anything to get elected. I don't for a second see that when I hear Barack speak, I believe he actually means what he says. The final nail in the coffin is the fact that the candidate is Billary. Put another way, I am not sure if Bill is running for a third term, or Hillary is running for her first, but it's clear she is leaning on him like a crutch. I would love to see a woman president in my lifetime, I think that will happen, but not one who so obviously counts as her experience for commander in chief her time as spouse to a former president. I am sorry, she was never elected until she got to the Senate, and she isn't standing alone as a candidate, at times the situation is nearly to the point that Bill is the candidate and Hillary is just there to end run around the constitutional term limit. When Hillary lost South Carolina, the first Clinton to give a concession speech was Bill, how wrong is that. The presidency is not a dynasty, and I don't want to see Bush/Clinton alternating in perpetuity.

With McCain the Republican frontrunner, Hillary has an immense electability problem
With McCain all but certain to clean up the Republican nomination on Tuesday, you have to look at the Democratic candidates electability in the general election. With Mike Huckabee the presumptive VP candidate for McCain to throw evangelicals a bone, I don't think Hillary can win the general election. Hillary is a lightening rod candidate for Republicans, they want her to be the candidate. She plays to McCain's strengths, she is weak with Independents, McCain pulls from that demographic. McCain most of the time seems to say what he believes, even breaking with his party, whether you disagree with him or not, you can at least count on mostly the truth. Independents love that. John Pearce and Kathy Cramer have a great post on Hillary's electability problem at the Huffington Post. Barack pulls votes from Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, trumping McCain's independent pull.

On the issues, Barack and Hillary are very similar, but where they differ, Barack has made the right choice
Look no further than the Iraq war. Hillary clearly voted yes to bolster her foreign policy credentials, and refuses as of the last Democractic debate, to repudiate or apologize for her vote.

There is only one Dream Ticket, Barack for President, Hillary for Veep
The reverse doesn't work, Hillary's negatives become much too strong if she is on top of the ticket. Hillary could be Barack's Dick Cheney (and yes I know they are distant cousins), the nasty crafty Washington insider that knows how to break the system. Also, there is no place for Bill with Hillary as Veep, and after watching the primaries, I am firm in my conviction that I never want to see Bill Clinton in the White House again.

For all these reasons and more, I urge those who can and those that are able to vote Barack Obama on Tuesday Feb. 5th.