Published: May 5th 2008May 5th 2008
Having just watched the Democrat speeches in North Carolina I feel that I need to take a minute to talk about the the elections.
First of all, I am so excited and I feel so privileged to be alive in a time where an African American and a woman can run for President of the United States. Both democratic candidates spoke with admirable conviction and there's no doubt that they both are excellent public speakers. It's been a long time since I have felt motivated enough to lay aside my political cynicism. There is not a doubt in my mind that a ripple is spreading through the American people. A realization and excitement for change, for a new American way. For a new American dream.
I am personally supporting Obama in this election. I began as a Clinton supporter, which stemmed directly from what I know about Hillary's political track record (health care is a huge issue for me) and Bill's presidency. But as the election has progressed, I took some time to research the growing popularity of Obama. I feel that his potential to take our country in a new direction cannot be underestimated. I, like so many Americans, are tired of the “boys club” and as much as I would love to see a woman President, I must confess that my respect and admiration for Obama's strength of character and innovative solutions to age-old problems has won my loyalty. Many have insisted that Obama fails to lay out concrete plans for change. I would encourage all who feel this way to visit his website and review his “plans.” This and in following his campaign speeches, I feel that Obama has a conviction that stems from his personal life experiences and in his study of the Constitution.
When both spoke at N. Carolina, I was struck by the strength and articulation that they both possess. But I was far more inspired by Obama's humility and support of cross-party relations. This is an attitude that is so lacking in American politics. I know that Clinton and Obama both have been guilty of slinging mud at one point or another and I was very pleased to see Obama address this in his speech. His focus on a Democratic win, rather than just his win, is something that I really respect. In addition to his policy of not taking contributions from special interest lobbyists, he has had the courage to air out the dirty laundry of our administration. The fact that he draws courage and wisdom from civil rights leaders of the past as well as from the essence of our Consitutional foundation, makes me feel as a voter, that he can and will serve the people.
My concerns about Hillary are that although she advocates universal health care and independence from foreign oil, she has accepted campaign contributions from both HMOs and oil companies. That of course means that somewhere, someway she will be owing people favors. I'm tired of favors and I'm tired of upper-class politics. While Obama comes straight from the immigrant, poor, and disadvantaged base of America, Hillary grew up privileged and with money. While I have no doubt that she sincerely believes in the “common man” she hasn't lived it. She has and never will know what poverty feels like, what it looks like, what it means to be poor. Obama's experiences plus his willingness to embrace Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in his campaign for a new America is far more compelling than the “machine” as Hillary has been called.
These “machine” attributes were certainly telling in her speech. She is a strong presenter but whereas her voice gets loud and tense in confrontation, Obama's voice drops softly. It's almost as though he caresses the ideals with his voice and his persona. Hillary commands attention but Obama attracts it. This is the difference between commanding and compelling.
Regardless of who is chosen as the Democratic candidate, I will gladly put forth my vote for either of them. Though Obama has my heart, i sincerely believe Hillary would also do well as the President. They both have good plans for addressing American issues and I can only hope that Hillary can rise above the “debt” that she has placed herself in.
Good luck to all of us democrats and a special wish you for you Mr. Obama. I'll see you at the polls.