As the primary season begins and the Oklahoma primary is less than one month away, I am filled with excitement about this political season, which is the most exciting since I began paying attention in 1988. One reason I am excited is because I feel there is an actual choice. Two candidates for whom I would be happy to vote (even more than that really, but it is down to those two). I am still open to being persuaded.
I was last on record as a Hillary supporter. And despite her campaign's faltering in recent months, I still have a lot of regard for her and think she does appear the most presidential.
Earlier in the year, Obama moved me into his camp when I heard him speak in Hartford. I was very impressed then. His campaign had some weaknesses that were corrected this fall. And now there is such an exciting Obama movement that it seems like it would be fun just to jump aboard and be swept along in what may be remembered as one of the great moments in American political history.
Yesterday at the Bipartisan Forum at OU, the panel of distinguished elder statespersons insisted that candidates for office not only present their policy proposals, but that they tell us how they expect to actually get things done. How will they find ways to work with different factions and parties to make the big changes that are needed?
It seems to me to be THE question. I'm pleased that the country really is debating between experience or freshness as to which one is most needed at the moment. There are pros and cons with both candidates.
Obama seems like he really could unite folk, and had a record of that in the Illinois legislature. He doesn't have baggage either. And I find Andrew Sullivan's arguments for him to be quite persuasive.
Hillary seems to be two people. There is Hillary-the-most-divisive-political-figure-of-her-generation and Hillary the effective, pragmatic Senator who worked with all sides in what has been a good career in the Senate. My boyfriend Michael is right that Hillary the Divider is largely the creation of the Far Right, though she didn't help her self much in the early days of the Clinton administration (e. g., keeping the public out of the health care task force doomed it and foreshadowed Cheney's energy task force). And my friend Jon is right that regardless of how the reputation came to be, that is the reputation and the reality we must consider. Yet, I highly respect her Senate years and since the early nineties I've always liked her more than her husband for her intelligence and dedication to important causes.
Okay, so now I get to the question that heads this post. For whom are you voting? And why? And if you are voting for someone other than Clinton or Obama, tell me why as well. I'm open to being persuaded, and I want to hear from my friends.