OK, OK, I know I was a bit late on the Obama bandwagon. But after my exceptional experience at the caucus, after hearing from friend after friend on the subject and after doing a bunch of reading of my own, I am sold. And I would like you to be sold too.
Because the honest truth is, if Barack Obama doesn’t win Ohio or Pennsylvania, he may be sunk. If he doesn’t have the numbers and it goes to the DNC, that means the “super delegates” start voting. Guess who is a super delegate with 12 votes? Bill Clinton. Meaning Mr. Yes We Can may very well won’t. Our primaries and caucuses only really make up 80% of the voting power and the DNC takes over from there. So we need to make it count.
I’ll be honest. As I have said before, it’s not that I dislike Hillary, or even that I think she is a bad candidate.
But, to quote a friend of mine: Anyone will be great after the “F-” president the George Bush has been. But why settle for a “B” candidate when we can have an “A” candidate?
TOP 10 REASONS TO VOTE
FOR BARACK OBAMA
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s his standard line. But I mean it in a different way. As I mentioned before, people hate Clinton. Both of them. And if it comes down to McCain as an opponent, which it looks like it will, the old dude is more appealing to many people than Hillary. If you want a Democrat in the White House, you really need to think about this one. Because I am not sure Hillary can beat McCain. While Obama will inspire independents and even Republicans to cross the ropes as they vote. And it’s not just about partisan “let’s get a Democrat in the office at all costs” tactics. It’s about getting someone with a fresh perspective, a fresh attitude, someone who hasn’t been dragged through the mud for the past 20 years. Do we really want Clinton spending half her presidency fending off attacks – like Bill did for the last half of his?
2. He “deserves” it.
I actually don’t really mean that, but I am starting to take issue with people who are mad at me for not voting with my vagina. So, if they can say that Hillary “deserves” it because of what she has had to suffer through in man’s world, I get to say that Barack deserves it for the way black men are treated in America. In fact, if you go toe to toe on this issue, ridiculous as it is, I’d be willing to bet that white women come out way ahead of black men every single day in terms of services and advantages.
3. Obama has held more elective offices than Clinton.
People seem to feel Obama has much less experience than Clinton, but I am not convinced that being First Lady gave her as much experience as everyone seems the think. Also, Obama’s stint as editor for the Harvard Law Review actually gives him more policy experience than Hillary. While Hillary has one more term as Senator than Obama, he started in his state legislature in 1996.
4. He was right about the war from the start.
I will let him speak for himself. This is a quote from a speech that Obama gave right around the October 2002 vote to invade Iraq. (Obama was not yet a Senator at the time and did not vote).
“I know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors… I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I’m opposed to dumb wars.”
On this score, those who want out of Iraq need to think very carefully about McCain and the ramifications of his impending nomination. While he does tend to be more moderate in some areas, he is a strong supporter of the war and wants an enduring American presence in Iraq (if you call 100 years enduring).
5. Obama has a good health plan.
You can read the whole thing here, but essentially, he wants to make a national plan for all Americans that is modeled after the coverage Congress has. Employers would still offer coverage as they have, or they would contribute to the national plan. All children would be required to have coverage. He estimates his plan would lower costs by $2,500 on average annually per family. He estimates the cost of the plan at around $50-65 billion and plans to fund it with the surplus when Bush’s tax gifts to the rich and famous run out.
6. Obama has always worked for the environment.
He gets the environment. It’s not just talk. During his undergrad at Columbia, he worked with a Ralph Nader offshoot organization trying to convince minority students at City College in Harlem to recycle. In 2004, the the League of Conservation Voters named him an Environmental Champion, one of only 18 members of Congress to receive the award.
7. He will protect Net Neutrality.
If you haven’t heard of Net Neutrality, basically the deal is this: large corporations and gatekeepers of the big internet pipes have been toying with the idea of an “upcharge” for premiere customers, like other big corporations and rich people, thus leaving the slow internet for the rest of us schmucks. We are just starting to bridge the digital divide and it would be a real shame to lose what we have gained now.
8. Obama will overhaul No Child Left Behind.
Let’s face it, No Child Left Behind sucks eggs. It “teaches to the test” and penalizes schools that started out as lower performers to begin with. Obama still would expect excellence from our schools, but he wants to grade on progress, not some imaginary line in a sand. That way, if a child is 3 years behind in reading and makes up 2, that school is recognized for their efforts, not penalized as they are now.
9. Obama thinks about the little guy in terms of the economy.
Bushes tax cuts – everything he has done since he took office, really, has been to make his rich friends richer. Sure, we all got some piddly $300 check here and there, but did that REALLY impact our lives? What it did (in conjunction with an outrageously expensive war) is give our children a mountain of debt. Obama believes in jobs-based recovery, not “give to the rich so they can spend more and spark our economy” recovery.
10. He is optimistic.
I know this sounds funny coming from me, when I am usually fairly cynical – but I love that I have a candidate here who gets me excited and enthralled. Honestly, sometimes when I listen Clinton talk, all I hear is bitter. When I listen to Obama, I hear hope. I feel like HERE is a person who can make the world respect us again. HERE is a person who is ready to go, do what he needs to, isn’t tired – but energized! So, let’s. LET. HIM. GO!
I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.
UPDATED OVER LUNCH:
A friend just sent me this video. Talk about an articulate, AWESOME young man. Who speaks to so much of what I just said above.