I decided to support Obama and then really started to pay attention. Then I couldn’t stop paying attention. I wanted to hear him speak, I wanted to know more about what he thought, I read his book. I started reading other websites that I’d never even heard of a month before. I am lucky to belong to a non political message board with some of the smartest political junkies assembled and I really learned how to educate others. I bit my nails during the primaries. I pulled on my lip during the debates. I haven’t sucked my thumb since I was six but if there was one more debate, it was either that or start smoking.
The first time I was able to vote legally was the year Carter ran against Reagan. I didn’t like either and hated the fact that I wasted my first vote on John Anderson. I’ve been interested in every election since but I’ve never felt this invested. I’ve never contributed to a political candidate until this year. But, the country that I love was one I feared was becoming unrecognizable after eight years of Bush/Cheney/Rove. How could we find a candidate that was intellectually capable of solving their mess and at the same inspire people enough to want to solve the mess together? There is no denying that Al Gore and John Kerry were smart people but they only made me want to vote for them because they weren’t George W. Bush. I craved for something more.
Obama has been mocked for being all about the speech and all about hope. But when you are facing the problems that America now faces, shouldn’t the first thing necessary be hope? Hope is what keeps this country moving when we are fighting two wars and we’re not sure why we didn’t just finish the first one and avoid the second. Hope is what keeps people working hard despite the fact that their college funds or retirement portfolio is shrinking faster than a grape in the sun. Hope is that there is someone out there who can fix it. Hope is personal. Mocking Obama about hope reminds me of that scene in You’ve Got Mail. When Meg Ryan’s character is losing her business to a ruthless competitor, she is told it’s not personal.. it’s business. And she replies, “What does that mean? Whatever else something is, it should start by being personal. It’s personal to me.”
It’s personal to these women here from a recent Obama rally in Virginia. Look at them, they come from different backgrounds, different faiths. The hope in their faces is personal and yet it’s universal too.
But pull back the curtain on the great speech making; the message, the plan, the ideas are all sound. They aren’t perfect but they are a good foundation to stabilize and then grow the economy. When I watch him speak or when I read about his ideas, I don't see a black man. I don't see a liberal man. I see a smart man. I don't want to have a beer with my president, how ridiculous is that? It's the toughest job in the world and it doesn't belong to an average citizen.
The other thing I noticed as I began to follow Obama is how steady he is when chaos reigns around him with unfounded attacks, campaign suspensions, plumbers who weren’t plumbers just famewhores, constant viral email (and I mean viral in the original and cyberspace definitions) that falsely accuse him of everything under the sun and McCain/Palin harping on one stupid thing after another, in some cases outright lying. Obama continued to keep his cool while McCain gritted his teeth. Obama kept telling us what he was going to do to make things better, John McCain kept telling us he knows how to fix it but not how he is going to fix it. There is a crisis a day in the Oval Office, some we probably don't even hear about. It's been noted that Barack Obama had two presidential level decisions to make in the last few months. One was his VP pick and the other was how he handled the economic crisis. He made these decisions with smart, careful deliberation. He did not make these decisions for short term gains at the expense of an actual solution. John McCain cannot claim the same thing. McCain's constant below the surface tension and anger is of great concern to me. It's right there, visible to everyone. Body language is truth, far greater truth than any "risk" that McCain tries to fabricate about Obama's background. Who do I want leading this great country when Putin shows he still doesn't play well with others? Who do I want analyzing the best course of action if the other economic shoe drops? Not someone who can barely control his anger and contempt in front of tens of millions of people in a debate.
On a side note, I’m partial to Michelle Obama too. Probably because I like smart women, like my ConClayve sisters. I couldn’t tell you if Cindy McCain is smart, she's been a mannequin through most of this election. Her heart does not seem to be in this thing and I actually feel a bit sorry for her until she opens her mouth. I think Sarah Palin answered the smart question after her first two interviews.
I find myself thinking about the election all day, when I’m not checking the market. Bill Clinton said yesterday that right now, our country has so much promise and so much peril. I feel that Barack Obama offers the best chance for a new America; one that competes in the quality of its schools, the innovation of its energy policy, the smart use of its military force. An America that stands tall with honor in the eyes of the world, like the man I hope is elected on Tuesday.
Mosaic found on itech news net made by Charis Tsevis. Constitution picture found on thebruceblog.