Monday, February 11, 2008
Come November, Democrats in Arlington will come out in full force and vote for whoever has a “D” next to his or her name. As a bloc, Democrats will not hesitate at that point to vote either for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. I know, you’re surprised at my audacity to predict the future, but there you have it. (Now, we’ll see if some terrible skeleton emerges from a closet in late October and keeps all the Dems home on election day, thereby trouncing my prediction.)
Therefore, I’m willing to put my money up front today, before tomorrow’s vote, as throwing my left-leaning attitudes behind the nominee in late October will be as useful as teats on a bull. --ST
I do not really see the difference between Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton in policy. I have read through much of both of their web sites. I have read other articles. Watched video.
So it really does come down to two things for me, as the national media says it has for many people around the country.
The first is leadership style, which plays into the second, the experience and background of the two.
Mr. Obama is the unification candidate this time around, the guy who will talk with and work with everyone until he gets the job done. Mr. Obama’s continual message of hope and change sounds nice, but can all the talk and discussion win the support to actually make it happen? A person with great ideas but an inability to garner the votes to see them through is nearly as bad as a person with lousy ideas.
Ms. Clinton is the combatant candidate this year. She will knock heads and take names, forcing people to vote with her. Ms. Clinton is so despised by the far right (and much of the near right) that I wonder if she has the ability to change people’s minds, find the consensus and shove the legislation through. A person with great ideas but an inability to garner the votes to see them through is nearly as bad as a person with lousy ideas.
Both styles can work. At times, the bully-pulpit stick puts a recalcitrant representative into line where the carrot does little good.
Still, I tend to be a carrot-styled negotiator myself, when I need to negotiate (though my children might say otherwise).
But then I think of inexperienced leadership and President Bush. His inexperience as a leader (even as a businessman he lost money) I thought less of when he first took office in 2001, but his lack of historical understanding, and his lack of a basic understanding of human nature has hurt this country in ways it will take years to repair.
But Mr. Bush’s lack of experience as a successful leader is not the real problem. The real problem is that he just does not think. What he lacks in deliberation over issues, he replaces with arrogance.
Although I do not believe Mr. Obama will be as stupid as Mr. Bush, I do wonder what pitfalls he will encounter if he were to take the reins of the country. This is the problem, too, with having Senators running for election. Although Ms. Clinton has been in politics at all levels for years, she has never been the sole person in charge. Neither has Mr. Obama. The Senate is committees, not executives, and the Presidency requires someone who can be an executive.
But a smart person, who admits mistakes (like drug-taking) will also be able to make compromises, I believe. If you do not always have to be right, then you can see how other people feel, how others understand the world. This is what the country needs, and I think Mr. Obama will best give that. Ms. Clinton strikes me more as the one to hold the truncheon, the type not to listen to political foes (although I have heard from friends in northern New York she is an excellent listener on the campaign trail).
I will be voting for Mr. Obama tomorrow.
On the Republican side, vote for McCain. He has the brains and experience, and has never once said our Constitution needs to be Evangelized.
Bush lost money in his oil ventures, but he made millions on his baseball team (Texas Rangers). He did this by lobbying the Texas legislature and by convincing the public that it was beneficial for the public to pay for a new stadium. The bill to fund the stadium project passed a public referendum. While his name recognition played a role in this, he did excerise considerable skill in obtaining approval for a very controversial measure.
Bush later became the Governor of Texas. His successes in this office helped propel him to the Presidency.
As President, Bush was able to pursuade Congress enact a tax bill that reversed some of President Clinton's tax increases and that, among other things, greatly reduced the highly unpopular death tax. This was not easy; even President Reagan was unable to accomplish this.
It is impossible to determine whether the Iraq war was a mistake, as the war is not yet over. Many people contested his claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Nevertheless, a substantial majority in the politically divided Senate voted in favor of the war resolution. This was a major accomplishment.
Bush quickly defeated the Taliban in Afghanistan. Although he has not yet been able to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice, a coalition of many nations has enabled to the U.S. Army to bring most of people involved in the planning of 9/11 to a military tribunal.
These are not small accomplishments. The next President would do well to achieve anything even close to these.
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