Sunday, February 3, 2008
Obama vs. Clinton
My heart says "Obama," but my head says "Hillary."
Obama is the nebulous "change" candidate. We've never seen anyone quite like him. Impossibly lean, his very physique suggests a sort of spartan Lincoln-ness, the anti-fat cat. His demeanor is calm and reassuring, yet his oratory can move crowds to tears. And his own family tree makes us hope that this black man with a white mother can help tone down the polarization and divisiveness of the Bush/Coulter/Malkin/O'Reilly idealogues.
But, is he still so naive as to believe Washington can change?
If Hillary were a man, she'd be described as a tough, brilliant, and focused politician, with a real understanding of what it takes to pass legislation. But Hillary is a woman, so she's stuck fighting stereotypes. She believes she must appear strong and hawk-like; this led to her ill-advised war authorization vote, and her standing refusal to negotiate with our "enemies." It's a shame to think a woman must act more like a man to achieve a position of power, but for now, it's true. Still, she's as qualified for the job as any candidate could be.
But, do we really want to continue with this Bush/Clinton/Bush dynastic hold on the White House?
Which candidate will face a tougher road to the White House? Hillary, without a doubt. A white woman will have a tougher time cracking the glass ceiling than a black man. Look at a football field: white men and black men play together while white women with pom poms cheer them on from the sidelines.
So, that's our dilemma. Let's try to work through it with some lists:
Why I want to vote for Obama:
1. He opposed the Iraq occupation from day one.
2. He's not a baby boomer.
3. His election will instantly restore America's reputation abroad
4. His campaign is forward-looking and inclusive
5. His election will end the 28 year old Bush/Clinton hold on the White House
Why I want to vote for Hillary:
1. Her high level of political savvy
2. Her personal character
3. Her promise to focus on economic issues that affect working class Americans
4. I know her; I feel safe with her.
5. The historic importance of her election will be a positive development for women around the world.