Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Idealist Torn...

Maryland primary elections are to be held Tuesday. It seems that each day it draws more near, I am less certain about which candidate to whom I should give my vote.

This morning, I was bowled over by a close friend who told me that should Obama fail to secure the Democratic nomination, she would vote for McCain over Clinton. Wow. It gave me great pause. This friend is overtired of divisive strategies that pit American against American, Democrat against Republican, Liberal versus Libertarian and counts "the Clinton Machine" as equally culpable as that of the Bush family.

So I decided I would place some phone calls and ask some people who I know think carefully about their votes and see if they might be inclined to tell me how they chose their candidate. Another big surprise: a person whom I regard as quite the libertarian and one whose priority issues are immigration, anti-socialized health care and support of the war in Iraq (!), told me that his candidates came down to a close run between Huckabee, Obama and Clinton. And I wondered: what is happening here? I mean, really? wow.

So here's my thing. I admire Ms. Clinton and I think she has every qualification a strong President requires and her ideology is very well matched with the issues I consider to be the most important. I also think that she goes to bed most nights with Mr. Clinton and he would certainly bring a lot of perspective and perhaps influence to that Administration.

Mr. Obama speaks straight from and to the heart. His earnest pleas and promises for change resonate with me much as did WJ Clinton's in 1992, days when I used to get goosebumps thinking that the time had finally come for the issues of my generation to be addressed with the all-embracing spirit of American freedom I hold so dear. Mr. Obama, however, could be too idealistic. He's a very smart man and he certainly has been at least partway around the block once or twice but I wonder if his experience has really prepared him for the overwhelming tasks he proposes. I wonder if, in the long run, his confronting a long learning curve would crush his Administration and leave us all in a precarious position.

So here I am; 44 years old and feeling torn between the sweeping changes of youthful idealism and something that might be less radical but is more certain of success. Both candidates appeal on the diversity score. Should any of you care to log in as an anonymous commenter and reveal how you chose your candidate and who that candidate might be, that could be illuminating.

In any event, as of tomorrow morning, I'm assuming radio silence: I will only read comments here, video clips of campaign speeches and official policy papers of the candidates. See you after I return from the polling place on Tuesday...


Anonymous said...

I must say that I agree with what you have written here. I think that both candidates have strong points and some downside too. I have thought about it a lot, especially with a family member strongly campaigning for one of the two, but I have come to the conclusion that I personally think that while we do need change, we need a leader who can lead today. Someone who has the history to stand up for what they believe and be supported by their colleagues, regardless of how the colleagues may feel about them.

Like you I thought Edwards was the best candidate and am disappointed that he is no longer (or really never was) in the running.

Against my brother in laws request and continuous campaigning (and since he can't even vote that is pretty sad!), I will cast my vote for Senator Clinton.

I also have to add that I am happy to see McCain getting the Republican Nod. Just in case the democrat does not win in November, to me, McCain is by far the best option (and by best I mean least frightening).

Kathy said...

I like that! A leader who can lead today. Nice. Good point.

Don said...

Primary day. Waiting to see how you voted. It sounds to me that regardless of how you voted, using the "super delegates" the bureaucrats in the Democratic Party will get the candidate they want not necessarily the candidate the members of the party want.