Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama and Clinton on NPR

Click here to listen to a 90 second clip of stumping by each candidate on Monday.

I am struck by the difference in confidence levels - Obama seems very self assured and energetic. Hillary seems tired and desperate.

She says over and over in the clip, "I want people to say, 'She promised health care, when is that going to happen? She promised education reform, when is it going to happen,' (etc). I want people to hold me accountable." It seems to me Hillary has doubts about her ability to get these things done.

I don't want a doubtful President. I want an inspired and energetic President who is confident they can make change happen. I don't want to have to ask, "when is XY or Z promise going to happen?" I want to say, "Wow, I am really impressed XY and Z happened!" I want to elect my President and have him or her go to work - I don't like having to worry about George Bush and how he is f-ing up our country. I want to put Obama in office and know he is doing good work and forget about him for a while!

Some will say I am just looking at Obama's confidence alone and that character and inspiration are not enough of a reason to vote for a candidate. They might say, "Obama is all words and no specifics."

I would counter Obama has many specific, intelligent and thoughtful solutions to make our country as strong as it can be. In fact, I believe his policies are just as strong as Hillary's - they both have strong policies and both would make great Presidents.

So, if the policy is equal, then what is left is character. Which leads me to the reasons I support Obama:

  • Electability - Obama has much more appeal to moderates and independents than does Hillary. He has demonstrated this appeal by consistently winning states in which independents and Republicans can vote in the Democratic Primary. An Obama candidacy puts traditional "red" states into play for Democrats (which also extends "down the ticket"). I am afraid that Hillary will unite what is a fractured Republican party against her candidacy. While I don't blame her, and I will fight against it if she is elected, there is anti-Hillary bias, especially amongst the right.
  • Coalition building - As described above, Obama can reach across party lines to get things done. I believe his pragmatic style, his depth of understanding in policy issues and his vision for better possibilities will allow him to work with Republicans and Democrats in guiding our country towards a more positive future. And, if he wins a 60 - 40 general election (versus a Karl Rove 51-49 split Hillary would likely win by), he will have a real "mandate" for pushing his agenda.
  • Inspiration - I love his inspiration! Every time I listen to his speeches, I find myself nodding my head and saying, "yes, right on." And not because he uses pretty words and has a nice voice - I am inspired BY HIS IDEAS! He has great ideas! He has a positive vision for our country! And, he can communicate that vision and get people excited about that vision. Our country is down and depressed. George Bush put us in a serious case of the blues. I want a President I am excited to see on TV. I want a President who excites young people and who makes people want to be involved in the country. Yes, he is inspiring and god love him for it!
  • Authenticity - They (being marketers) say younger generations are more focused on a person's authenticity - that the person is who they say they are, that the person isn't trying to be one thing, or saying they will be something, when they are really not that thing. They say younger generations are sick of constant marketing and fake appeals, they are tired of empty promises by companies, by parents, by teachers who say one thing but take a different action. This is why younger generations flock to Obama - they have a built in "authenticity radar" and can spot fake from a mile away. They smell fake when Clinton is around. They sense, and I believe rightly so, that her candidacy is about her, not about the American people. And, because they have such a nose for authenticity, they believe Obama when he says it's not about him, it's about the American people. And I believe him too.
  • Power to the People - I received an email from the Obama campaign today stating they have received support from over 905,000 individual donors (like me!) for the campaign. Here is an excerpt from the email, "Think about that ... nearly one million people taking ownership of this movement, five dollars or twenty-five dollars at a time. We're already more than 900,000 strong, including over half-a-million donating so far this year. This unprecedented foundation of support has built a campaign that has shaken the status quo and proven that ordinary people can compete in a political process too often dominated by special interests. Unlike Senator Clinton or Senator McCain, we haven't taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. Our campaign is responsible to no one but the people." I added the emphasis because this is one of the big reasons I support Obama. Hillary ranked second or third, I forget which, on the list of candidates who had taken money from the Health Insurance industry - how does she hope to reform the industry she is beholden to for her election dollars? The only people Obama is beholden to are the people - you and me, American citizens. That is how it should be. That is New American Politics. That is demonstrated leadership and change. Taking a stand on not getting money from special interest groups. Change I can believe in.

For any undecided voters who might stumble upon this from PA, OH, or TX and want to chat about the election and get my Obama sales pitch, shoot me an email. If you are leaning Obama and you have specific questions about why you should support him, let me know.

Obama '08!

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