Sunday, March 2, 2008

JMO - Why Obama would be good

The Democrats are engaged in a very interesting primary election campaign, and although I don't listen to the debates or the interviews very much and don't listen to the mainstream pundits either, I read and listen to enough to see the distinctions between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama, and know why Obama would be a good President.

I'm not discounting Ms. Clinton's capability to be President, she is very intelligent with the skills to be President. I think, however, the differences are significant enough to make a choice about the future of this country. And while I have some criticisms about or with Obama, I have a lot more criticisms with Ms. Clinton. And it's not about her personality or temperament, but about the way she would be as President.

And that is what it is about, being President. I see Obama offers what John Kennedy did in 1960, hope. Not blind hope as maybe then when we were young and naive about the future, but hope about making this country and nation the envy of the world. We don't need to be a military power anymore, we only need enough to help when called up or attacted by another nation.

Ms. Clinton, like McCain, in my view, sees our military power as our trademark. It's time the change that image. If we hadn't attacked and invaded and are occupying Iraq, but focused on Afghanistan, we would be see far better in the world's eyes than we are now. We wouldn't have the huge war debt, the many killed and injured soldiers and the hatred of every terrorist group in the world.

I won't go much into the issue of the Iraq war. I saw in coming in Bush's January 2003 State of the Union Address. I was against it then and still was. I hate all the polticians who voted for it then and still hold it against them. It was the worst thing Congresss has ever done, give Bush the power to do anything he wanted in the name of fight terrorism, and we're seeing the results of that stupidity now and will be for generations.

I admired Senator Robert Byrd's speech against the war funding bill. He and the few other politicians, like Obama, were right, and very few of those who voted for the war have apologized to the American people. And even though Ms. Clinton says she would go for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, her previous speeches and statements say otherwise. She supported the war in 2003 and she still supports it today.

And that is reason enough for me not to vote for her. There are other reasons, some of which I'm now tired of hearing her whine about Obama. The truth is she doesn't have that much more experience than Obama, so her talk about "more experience" is a farce and a lie. Being First Lady under President Bill Clinton is good experience but doesn't count in my book compared to Obama's community and life experience.

But the real reason I like Obama is simply he's open, honest, and offers this country to opportunity for real change. He doesn't have a real agenda and therefore will be open to all sides in a discussion over any issue. I would rather know we can argue for something with the President than have to argue against something else with another President. It's better to know the President will listen because they haven't decided yet, than one who won't because they've already decided and discussion is futile.

The trouble is that I like John McCain, or at least I did in 2000 and wanted to see a Presidential compaign between John McCain and Bill Bradley (I still am a Bill Bradley for President person). I'm less enamored about him now. I like Hilary Clinton, and know she would be make a good President but she's just to the right of center where I'm a middle left-center independent, and she show too many signs of checking the wind before she decides and votes.

And this leave Barack Obama. The least experienced of the three but he doesn't lose anything in credibility to the others. He's the gamble, and as I we liked John Kennedy then, with all the good and bad (remember he got us in deep in Vietnam), he still did the right thing in most cases. We gambled then with a equally hopefully candidate, and it's time again to give hope a chance.

And another reason Obama may be better is that we know McCain has some political baggage to pay if he were elected President, including his Vice Presidential nominee and especially his cabinet. His history in Washington means his cabinet will be more of the base Repubiicans, meaning the old crony network in the name of experience.

And Ms. Clinton won't be much better as here contributors have been from the mainstay Democratic party and corporations. She has her own old crony network along with those she's had long ties with in her political, public and legal career. I don't see here being innovative about people for her staff and cabinet.

Obama will have the opportunity to bring in a diverse group of people with the breadth of experience from many aspects of our country, including the younger generation. And it's this idea of possiblities that provides the best hope for this country. And yes, I know he has his cronies and friends, but I haven't seen it yet.

So, Mr. Obama, so far, you have my vote. And now I hope you'll listen to us as you promised. You offer us hope, and we'll offer our hope we'll be heard.

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