Barack, not Hillary
Chances are that if you live in the US, you might be voting February 5th. If you are undecided, or if you are leaning toward a candidate who is not Barack Obama, please read the following.
For those of you leaning toward Hillary Clinton: She is completely disqualified for so many reasons that I will have to give just the highlights here. I'll start with a practical, tactical and strategic argument for my fellow Democrats and independents. All due respect to Senator Clinton, but please understand the extent to which a nominee who is so bitterly polarizing and divisive will put us at a disadvantage in the general election. There are two reasons for this. First, as Richard Bond, former chair of the RNC indicated in the NYTimes last week, nothing will unite a currently disjointed Republican party and inspire Republicans to take up arms like having Hillary Clinton as an opponent. Letâ€™s not unite their party for them. Obama had four times as many Republicans caucusing for him in Iowa. Read Peter Wehnerâ€™s article Why Republicans Like Obama, Washington Post 2/3.
Second, remember how close Florida was in 2000 and Ohio in 2004? It will be that close again, especially if John McCain is the man to beat. We will need votes from Republicans and independents if we want a Democrat in the oval office. Barack has BY FAR the best shot to get their votes. In a November Gallup poll, with a strong lead nationally, Senator Clintonâ€™s net favorability among independents was -9%. Senator Obamaâ€™s was +24%. Her net favorability among Republicans was -64% versus -24% for Obama. This should give you great pause. Their policies are so similar and they are both highly capable and intelligent. Vote wisely.
We need someone who will be able to unite this country and move us forward to a common purpose - Senator Clinton cannot do this. She is far too polarizing and will divide our country further.
She's disqualified for me because she voted for the Iraq war (Obama is the only leading candidate who opposed it). She has been a hawk on Iran (see her yes vote on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard resolution). I will not compromise my commitment to peace by voting for a candidate who voted for war. Are you ready to compromise your commitment to peace?
She is so out of touch with what true change for the country would mean: she has taken more money from federal lobbyists than any other candidate (Obama has taken nothing from federal lobbyists). Also, just one quick case study: the Clintons' backers tried to sue to disenfranchise casino and hotel workers in the NV caucus - it was luckily denied by a judge (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/us/politics/17cnd-campaign.html). How GROSS!!!
Also, check out this video. Fired Up and Ready to Go has been a Barack Obama slogan for some time - it was said spontaneously by an older woman in the audience at a campaign event and it caught on. How embarrassing for Senator Clinton. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rweVOO-fhug. This kind of thing illustrates a lack of genuine inspiration and authenticity. And that says something very important about her as a candidate.
Also, Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton? America was founded in part on the rejection of dynastic rule. So, what, all of Bill's old cronies are going to have the same kind of access to Hillary? The same old favors and back scratching? No! IF WE WANT TRUE CHANGE, THE NAME CLINTON CANNOT BE IN THE EQUATION.
With Barack, we have a shot to show the world a new face of America and to re-engage with our neighbors in a respectful way behind a leader who is the embodiment of what the US should be in the 21st century: honest, humble, respectful, worldly, genuine, courageous, brilliant. This is our have-our-cake-and-eat-it-too moment! A super-progressive, decent, young statesman with a diverse background who can actually win!
I'm for Barack because with him, I don't have to compromise any of my progressive values (he has a much more liberal voting record than Hillary - to check, see the National Journal's rankings). For example, I won't compromise my commitment to peace, so I can't vote for somebody who voted for war. And he seems genuine and authentic to me - seems like a regular person. His vision of where this country needs to go meets up with mine very well: universal health care, heavy government-led effort to reverse climate change, serious re-engagement with our world institutions and neighbors, heavy efforts to shore up American education, insistence on peace and diplomacy and good science.
Congressman Abercrombie of Hawaii recently said that Barack is the first citizen of the world to run for president of the United States. That's the kind of leader we need. Heaven for bid we might have someone in the White House with a father from Kenya and who lived in Indonesia as a child. Whose Dad split early and who grew up poor and worked his ass off to get through school. He just paid back his student loans. He still lives in a regular neighborhood in Chicago. He was a civil rights lawyer. Got his start as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago. He was a lecturer of constitutional law for 11 years. And on and on...
JFK's daughter made Barack her first ever endorsement. Ted Kennedy endorsed him. MoveOn.org endorsed him.
Our moment is now.
No, it really is. If you are voting Barack and know someone who WOULD but are not planning on voting, BRING THEM WITH YOU TO VOTE!!!!! It's going to be close.
For inspiration, watch this speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tydfsfSQiYc
written by lila sklar, from the soup list
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