Apr 272008
 

I’d written back in February about my relative indifference regarding Clinton and Obama, and had discussed the good and bad points of each. In balancing these back at the time, neither came out as a favorite.

I have finally made a decision on who I support as the Democratic nominee. I am supporting Obama, but that support is less dramatic than that expressed by many of his supporters. I continue to harbor some concerns over a perceived lack of patriotism on the part of Obama, and further, I don’t think he marks the dramatic change that everyone else believes he will bring.

That being said, this decision is based more on how Clinton and her campaign have comported themselves than it is about anything Obama has done to gain my support. I know the stakes are high, but nothing justifies the scorched earth policy the Clinton campaign has employed recently. I believe, had Hillary stuck to attacking McCain and the Republicans and offering up her ideas, I would most likely have decided I would support her. That has not been the case.

I’m not sure what she is trying to accomplish, but it is not becoming, and does not denote the change that people are seeking. Obama needs to stay on top of his game, and he needs to keep to the high road. Thus far, he’s given that perception, even if some his surrogates aren’t a lot better than Hillary’s.

I don’t think the in-fighting has irreparably hurt the Democratic Party…yet. However, if it continues beyond the North Carolina and Indiana primaries, I believe it will begin to cause damage to Democratic chances in November. I’m all for fighting it out to the end, but only if Clinton can learn to conduct her campaign appropriately, and, at this point, I don’t believe she can. For that reason, I hope Obama has definitive wins in those two primaries. I hope that will pretty much end the election.

The last thing this party needs right now is a brokered convention.

Feb 262008
 

We have already held the primary here in Florida, but of course our vote didn’t count (more on that in another post). At the time John Edwards was still in the race, and I voted for him. I believe he was the most sincere candidate running, and he seemed to have the most radical ideas for change, and some radical change is needed. Of course you know he’s out now, and it’s down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So who will I be voting for in the general question? Well frankly, I’m still debating who I hope gets there for the Democrats.

I don’t know if there was ever a time I would have voted for John McCain, but there was a time I could have probably lived with him as President. I have completely changed my mind about him. I think he’s been in Washington long enough to have become pretty much as corrupt as the rest of them. Despite his rants against the lobbying industry in Washington, he’s more connected to it than anyone. His complete support for The Bush/Cheney War and their attempts to circumvent the constitution makes him unsuitable to be President.

There was a hint today that Mitt Romney might “un-suspend” his campaign. While it’s obvious the religious wingnuts don’t like McCain, I hope the Republicans won’t reward this Ross Perot move (I’m in, I’m out, I’m in again.) Of course this has been typical of the Romney campaign. He’s changed his position on practically every issue since he played to liberals to get elected in Massachusetts. So his dishonesty makes Romney unsuitable (but a perfect Republican candidate).

Ralph Nader has said he plans to enter the race again. I’m sure there are a bunch of Republicans whispering in his ear to run, and I suspect they are lining up the appropriate funding for his campaign. Ralph Nader used to have my respect, but his feeble attempts at politics has diminished his legacy. I do believe his 2000 campaign helped King George ascend to the throne. Nader hasn’t even been an active consumer advocate for the past years. He brings nothing to the table. Mervin Malone at ARIA Blog has a great post examining Nader’s motivation.

So, that leaves the choice between Hillary and Barack. I have to admit up front that I can’t imagine not voting Democratic, but I am waffling between these two. I think they started off pretty strong, but have both fallen into the trap of attack politics.

I think Hillary does have more experience/exposure. She would also have access to many of Bill’s former staffers, so she could get up and running much faster than Obama. That will be critical in this time of war. Also, let’s be honest, Bill Clinton is very popular around the world, and frankly, America could use someone like him as a roving Ambassador to help restore our reputation world-wide. I am still a believer in single payer healthcare, but that’s going to require a real leader, and we’re not yet there. But I do like Clinton’s healthcare plan better than Obama’s.     Continue reading »

Aug 042005
 

This morning I listened, as I always do, to NPR‘s Morning Edition. They interviewed Sen. Rick Santorum about his book, It Takes a Family. Clearly, the book’s title is a slam against Hillary Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village. I haven’t read his book, but according to what he said this morning, instead of slamming Hillary, it sounds as if he actually agrees.

At one point Santorum talked about it takes religious institutions, neighbors, schools, etc. to instill good values in children. Sounds like a “village” to me…certainly something more than just a family.

I’d like to throw in my two cents on the topic. I grew up in an extended family. My grandparents lived close, and I spent a lot of time with them, with cousins, with Aunts and Uncles, and I’m glad of that. I have no doubt it gave me some advantages that probably aren’t measurable, but are there nonetheless. However, I know it also took a lot of other people that were part of the community in which I grew up, and I think those other groups and people are even more important for those children that don’t have two parents and other close relatives.

I know most all the teachers I had exercised a great deal of influence over me in a positive way. I know that our neighbors kept an eye on us, and that made us misbehave less. I remember a time after I was finally allowed to “cross the four-lane” to go to the little store and get gas for lawn mower. I usually got 50 cents for a drink and candy too. But not long after that, the next door neighbor was checking in with Mom because she’d seen me crossing the highway. Mom assured her it was now “OK.” but that’s how we were looked after.

So, Rick, children are certainly better off if they are the product of a close and loving family, a unit that takes many faces and complexions, but even you admitted it also takes all these other people and groups….so you really do know Hillary was right and kids are better off if they are part of a “village.”

I think a lot of the problems today come from the fact that we don’t develop relationships with and attachments to our neighbors like we used to. We have no sense of community, as we’re all self-contained. In Tampa, everyone seems to have a lawn service, so I never see kids out mowing lawns. Both parents work, so there are no more coffee cloches. Right now, I’ve lived in my house for nearly four years, and I can’t tell you the names of one set of next door neighbors. (See, I’ll admit to being just as guilty as everyone else.) Continue reading »

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