Thursday, July 26, 2007

fifteen months until the general election, and i still feel like i'm late in choosing a candidate

You've been waiting on pins and needles long enough. The coveted official JFW endorsement for President goes to Barack Obama. The two thoughts this evening that finally pushed me decisively out of the "uncommitted" category:
1. Idle googling regarding Ricky Ray Rector, the retarded murderer that Bill Clinton made a special trip to Arkansas to see executed in order to help win a few extra votes in New Hampshire in 1992. (At least according to Wikipedia, Rector's mental ability was such that he saved the dessert from his last meal so he would have it to eat later, after his execution.) I tried to imagine how the different presidential candidates would contemplate the Ricky Ray Rector situation if they had been governor, and Obama was the only electable one I could imagine actually tossing and turning over it. Honestly, I would not be at all surprised if Hillary Clinton was keeping a retarded killer in a hotel somewhere that she will bring out in January and execute with her bare hands just so everybody knows she's tough.

2. Walking by that [expletive deleted] Paul McCartney poster yet again at Starbucks, and realizing how much I would love to have somebody who was not a baby boomer elected President. This, in conjunction with the realization that, with Hillary Clinton as the nominee, there would be the possibility of me spending my entire adult life up to age 45 with only members of two different families being my President.
Mostly, though, what I want is a Democrat who will win. It's only because I've become convinced that there is no reason that Obama would be a weaker candidate than anybody else that I'm allowing the fact that I can vote for him with genuine enthusiasm prevail.


dorotha said...

i am late deciding on a candidate, too. i'm not even close. i feel like i need to sit down and do some research. maybe dedicate a day to really trying to figure things out. with diagrams.

i do know that clinton gives me the heebie-jeebies. i would hate to have to vote for her.

Mary said...

Mostly, though, what I want is a Democrat who will win.

We tried that last time with Kerry though, right? Not a winning strategy since too often people misjudge their fellow voters on "who can actually win".

I know in some circles -- academic, high income, idealists -- Obama is hitting all the right notes in his words and of course is electable. But even in the Chicago area where he enjoys enthusiastic support, there's a question about if he's ready for the job and could win the general election. If he's not ready, his policies will be led by those around him, much like President Bush. If you like/trust the people currently lobbying for his campaign and their interests, I suspect that's what you'd see in his term.

A voting competition is pure numbers, not like other competitions where we take other factors into account. Even in blue Chicago, you'll hear caution about whether right now, he's the right person to back up the talk, if he's "developed" enough for what he's getting himself into. It's a lot more than being a good speechmaker, after all, and the specifics of how he'd take on major issues -- war, social security, immigration -- just aren't out there, well developed yet.

Maybe in the primaries, we should vote for the person and their administration -- the people they will surround themselves with for advice -- that we think will do the best job for the country.

Sure you're not a closet Republican with party talk like this though? Honestly, I would not be at all surprised if Hillary Clinton was keeping a retarded killer in a hotel somewhere that she will bring out in January and execute with her bare hands just so everybody knows she's tough.

The more we start veering into the non-issues -- and of course there will be people from both parties with incentives to do just that -- the less chance we'll get to know the serious details of what we're electing. Enough of that

jeremy said...

Mary: Your writing style reminds me of somebody who used to comment on this blog anonymously. I notice, meanwhile, that you have the comments on your own blog turned off. Why?

I never thought Kerry was the most electable Democrat in 2004. I did think that he had an actual chance of being elected, which the subsequent election showed was correct (60,000 votes in Ohio), and take it as obvious that he did far better than Howard Dean would have done.

Mary said...

I never thought Kerry was the most electable Democrat in 2004.

Apologies if you read me as insinuating you did. All the post-election analysis pointed to a common theme you might have heard: that people voted Kerry over Dean or others in the primary not because his campaign excited them so much, but because they thought he could win.

The knock was Dems voted "looking ahead", instead of taking a closer look at Kerry to see if he's what the party really wanted. So much for the "electable" strategy in voting the primaries...

Yes, I used to comment anonymously here when it was one of the options available.

I did not turn off my blog comments. The default is no comments; I choose not to turn them on. Why? Because I'm not near a computer like many are much of the day to watch what's coming in. And I'm offline mostly when I travel.

You seem to be soliciting thoughts and discussion on your blog. It's entertainment-like for the audience, right? Mine is quieter, more for me, not looking to blog as a career networking took, or to build traffic or seek link-friends to grow the audience.

You're welcome to read there, though it's not a deliberate invitation -- when you don't have the anonymous option to choose from, the default is your name is linked to your blog. I haven't changed that either, that's the default you see on that option too.


** Longtime reader, starting back when you had those blog dinners with Nina, Oscar, Tonya, etc. Their links brought me to your blog; I suspect you get a lot of readers from those Madison links. I respect that you don't choose to "turn on" a counting program to determine who your audience is and where they're coming from. If you're still wondering who writes what though, you can better track ISPs through those programs.

And no, I've made critical and honest posts of what you put up here. But you had a lot more than one "anonymous" commenting, I noticed, back in the day. Maybe it's good that you eliminated that option since there's always the risk a blogger runs in assuming all their negative or critical commenters are from one person. Glad you make no accusations though; I've had that happen -- people attributing things to me that others have written. Drama! Gotta get your facts straight before you accuse, but you seem scientifically honest like that no to jump the gun.

Gwen said...

I simply refuse to take part in a ridiculous system in which campaigning last for nearly 2 years, so I intentionally don't think about it too much. I do not want to vote for Hilary. I dislike her intensely, I don't trust her, and I'm sick of the two-family presidential dynasty thing we may have going here.

I will remain intentionally undecided until January, at which point I have to pick someone for the NV primaries. Then I suppose it will come down to Obama or Edwards. And then once there's a Democratic nominee I'll just vote for them, unless it's Clinton, and then I might write in my dog.

I will say, though, that if that guy from Law & Order becomes president, I will give up paying any attention to politics at all.

Brock#20 said...

Edwards is my man, since I saw him last election at a town hall in Milwaukee. He actually has the nerve to talk about class issues, which I respect. I see a scenario where he splits Hillary and Obama and wins.

As a very liberal dem, I cannot agree with you more on Hillary.

Mary said...

Better Hillary than Mitt Romney, folks, if it comes to that.

Hold your nose and vote for her over 4more years of extreme corporate interests.

28 doesn't seem so bad when you consider we've already had 24 of BushBushClintonClintonBushBush...

Ang said...

That makes it sound worse instead of "not so bad."

Mary said...

I was thinking of R/D balance:


That's 20 to 8, by my score.

I'd hate to run it up to 24-8 myself because political "dynasties" are a major voting concern all of a sudden.

Oh well.
Lot's of time to see what we're in for, I guess.