February 6th, 2008
Hillary Clinton is still my first choice candidate, although my state of Minnesota leaned heavily towards Barack Obama. I’ve watched, I’ve listened, and with apologies to Obama’s many supporters, I just don’t share your excitement for the Great Orator. Possibly because I’ve met a lot of great poets in my lifetime, and know that a mastery of words doesn’t necessarily translate to a mastery of action.
Yes, I think, we can be excited about change, and I think Hillary Clinton will bring about the changes so many of us seek. As an attorney, former first lady, and Senator, she has a history of being dynamic, strong, informed, and hard-working. She not only speaks with authority on the important issues, but has actionable long-term plans to back up her agenda, including the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East, and universal health care.
It’s still early in the process, and the news agencies seem to be in a disagreement over whether there was a Democratic front-runner in Super Tuesday elections. Even the projected delegate counts being reported are off — MSNBC is reporting that Obama is leading, while Politico claims Clinton is on top*.
It looks like it’s going to be a neck-and-neck race to the nomination, and maybe it’s odd, but the closeness of the race makes me feel proud. After a long dry spell of pessimism and apathy, it looks like passion is making a comeback. Moderates and liberals, long disgusted and disenfranchised by the closed door politics of the right wing, are finally feeling the power of choice.
The debates between voters are heated, and often edge into personal territory. After seven years of feeling invisible and shut-out, Democrats want their issues known —not just the global issues, but the everyday ones. They want to know if they’ll be able to afford next year’s tank of gas, health insurance premium, or mortgage payment. Bush is leaving America in a recession — how many jobs will be lost, what can the candidates do to save them?
Politics is being taken out of cloisters, and highbrow philosophical creeds are being taken down notch by notch, torn apart, and vigorously questioned. The doors to the ivory towers that are endemic to politics are being taken off their hinges — Americans simply aren’t as willing to believe the analysts, the spinners, or the talking heads as they once were.
It’s become an everyperson election and really, no matter whose candidate of choice eventually takes the lead, I think we can all be proud that our voices are resonating around the world with messages of hope, change, and optimism.