Fearing the Candidacy Reaper
Janet Kuypers editorial
I have been watching the just-about weekly caucuses and primaries for this election, and I have seen the Democrats battling it out like you wouldn’t believe. In the beginning, Hillary Clinton was the shoe-in for becoming the Democrat candidate for the 2008 Presidential election (not because she’s a woman, of course, but because she’s attached to Bill Clinton and the Clinton political machine). But this gleaming prospective nominee came into the spotlight, and Barrack Obama gave generic speeches of “hope” (something you resort to when nothing else works) and “change” (something most every Democrat wants, after dealing with 8 years of the President Bush kakistocracy ), wooing everyone over to his side.
I have been asked who I would vote for, and I said I wouldn’t vote for either one of them. So I was then asked if I had a choice of the two, who would I pick... Now, I haven’t scrutinized the platforms of each candidate that much, but when I heard Sen. Clinton talk about pushing universal healthcare through onto the American people, I immediately recoiled. I mean, in lofty vouge terms it seems like a good idea, but in practice it fails miserably, where insanely long waiting lists have to be made for necessary operations, and sub-standard care is all that is available (because there is not enough money for the health system we currently have to offer those services to every person in the country, even after the inevitable massive hike in takes to pay for this).
Oh, I’m sorry, I’m going on without backing this up. Check out future editorials “U.S. Healthcare & Canadian Healthcare” (http://www.janetkuypers.com/kuypers/prose/2007/u-s-healthcare-and-canadian-healthcare.htm) or http://www.janetkuypers.com/kuypers/prose/2008/free-healthcare-and-the-poor.htm with the editorial “Free Healthcare and the Poor” that shows how Canadians do pay an additional amount so they might be able to see doctors and in Europe they don’t have the money to take care of people with more chronic illnesses... I don’t want to make the same arguments again, so please check them out to know why the idea of universal healthcare is not a good idea.
But making this decision alone was enough to make me say that I wouldn’t want to vote for Sen. Clinton.
But then I think of the fact that there is a decent chance that the Democrat candidate (Clinton or Obama) will beat McCain and become the next President, so a part of me feels like I should be pleased that a talented woman could actually become President. The side of me that cares about women being treated equally should really be pleased that Clinton could pull this off. Some would say that that alone might be reason enough to sway me to vote for a viable woman for President.
But the thing is, that same emotional side of me should also think then that I should be voting for Obama, since he is representing Illinois (I’m the Chicago girl, I have to have some loyalty somewhere, don’t I?).
But I have heard people talk about his speeches and what a great orator he is, and I’m sorry, but every time I hear him speak (oftentimes even when he is reciting a practiced, overly-prepared speech) he pauses too much. And I seriously think that I could make a drinking game out of doing a shot every time he says “uh” in the middle of his sentences, and I would be hammered within 15 minutes.
Obama’s speeches and speaking abilities have greatly improved since the beginning of these debates (good thing they’re taking so long, he’s got time to clean up the way he speaks with all of the speeches he has been having to make), and I can tell (even from early speeches) that he’s saying things stylistically to make you think of Rev. Martin Luther King (which everyone is wooed by, even me). He’s saying those generic vague lines very well, and it’s pulling at a lot of people’s heart strings.
And in light of all of these debates, I really don’t know what his positions are on a lot of things, because he usually just talks about vague ideas and nothing concrete. The only thing I have heard is that according to voting records, people have said Obama is more liberal than Clinton.
And Sen. Clinton wants universal healthcare (that’s so liberal it’s socialist). And Obama is even more liberal than her?
Okay, I really don’t need to be thinking about who I’d vote for; I’ve just been watching the 24-hour drive-by media so much that I really feel like I’m embroiled in this long-running debate. But I just watched the West Virginia Primaries this week, and Sen. Clinton won them over big time. And a lot of people have been telling her to get out of the race, that it’s clearly Obama that should be running (it’s funny, I just keep thinking that like how the white men gave blacks then women the right to vote, I think people are more comfortable with the idea of Barack Obama being a black man as President than Hillary Clinton being a white woman as President...). But when I listen to her speeches, she does make a point: she wins the big states, which will need to be won by a Democrat in order to become President. She was able to pull off Ohio, and is begging to have them include Florida. Clinton has won over most of the northeast states, California and Mexico border states... It seems to be in the more rural areas is where Obama is able to get people’s attention. She even noted that every Democrat that was President of this country since like 1903 won West Virginia (which she did).
And maybe the West Virginia argument really isn’t a valid one, but she does have a point with the big states. When you’re battling McCain for the Presidency, you have to be able to pull these large victories to beat your opponent. People keep talking about the fact that Obama has won more states, but they have been smaller states, where he is able to make more of a grass-root appeal to people to win their vote.
So when Clinton is saying that Obama cannot get votes from a wider racial and financial groups in the country, Obama seems to be trying to appeal to lower economic levels (you know, to hopefully make him look less stuffy, since that’s the wrap he’s been getting). John Edwards just endorsed Obama, which may pull a different group of supporters to Obama’s side. Now, I am writing this in the middle of May, and this issue will be released just at the climax of the Clinton and Obama debates, so it will be fascinating to see how the final minutes of this insanely long nomination process will unfold.
News sources have been saying that Obama would be a stronger candidate against McCain than Clinton would, but comparing head to head polls (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/national.html) currently Senators Clinton and Obama have the same advantage percentage-wise over McCain.
What is sad is that after all of this debating between Clinton and Obama (along with the media and both Clinton and Obama even saying that they are very politically similar), is that there are Democrats that have said that if the person they’re supporting doesn’t claim the candidacy for the Democrats, they would either not vote or vote for McCain instead of vote for the other Democrat Candidate for President. And it’s funny, I listen to scraps of Rush Limbaugh every once in a while in the car (it’s odd, Chicago is more Democrat than Republican, but it’s next to impossible to find a non-Republican radio show on the dial...), and he calls his efforts “Operation Chaos,” to have his Republican lackeys vote for Clinton in the primaries, just to make the whole Democrat nomination process that much more difficult to understand. And i’m sure Rush probably takes credit for the length of this Democrat nomination, but we’d guess that his pleading with people probably accounts for only a few thousand votes going toward Clinton.
I can’t even explain why people are flocking to Obama’s side instead of Clinton’s for support in this nomination when all Obama seems to give are generalities to appease and soothe the restless masses down. But my husband made a good point (not a politically correct point, but possibly a valid one). A lot of people seem to be supporting Obama for the Democrat nominee, a part of them might make the decision to support him because on some level it might make them feel good to support an African American. He seems like a good candidate, and supporting him in this process makes them look like they are not bigoted or racist.
But with all of this in the mix, you really have no idea how everything is actually honestly turning out in the first place. But when we are so close to the final decision being made for the Democrat nomination, it will be fascinating to see how everything actually ends up falling into place.
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