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Primary Confusion Continues

“San Francisco, my favorite city, where the women are strong and the men are pretty.”

That’s what the Democratic primary looks like: we’ve got a strong tough woman running against a soft gentle man. Who’d have imagined?

Personally I’m feeling more like a statistic, or stereotype, than I’m either accustomed to or comfortable with. Here it is, the eve of Super Tuesday, and I’m still wavering between The First Woman and The First African-American candidate. Hell, even Billbill-clinton.jpg Clinton began a speech yesterday with “I’ve waited all my life to vote for an African-American for President.” (Come to think of it, where was he in 1984? He could’ve done so in the Democratic primary then.)

My inclination is towards Hillary: She’s more experienced than Obama, more focused, more committed. Underneath Obama’s charisma and oratory I still perceive little substance, and the qualities I admire in him as a man don’t bode well for him as President: He comes across as wishy-washy, entirely too malleable. I read a story about his anti-nuclear work in Chicago, where his proposed legislation started off tough and ended up so compromised as to be useless. That’s not someone who’s going to stand tough against the Republicans, let alone Al Quaeda.

On the other hand, I am terrified of what the Republicans will do to Hillary during the campaign, particularly if McCain, who comes across as a straight-shooter (never mind reality versus myth) is their candidate. They’ve developed anti-Clintonism to a fine art, and will almostimages-31.jpeg effortlessly eviscerate “Billary,” as they’re sure to label her. Unfortunately, voters are likely to believe their tripe. Not only doesn’t Obama have as much baggage, but the Republicans know they can’t be blatantly racist without causing a backlash.

It seems illogical, though, to choose a candidate because of what might happen during the campaign. On the other hand, what I’m talking about is electability.

(I’m beginning to feel like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, weighing pros and cons on each hand, until he finally shouts, There is no other hand!)

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In addition to agonizing over this decision, I’ve got to study the election pamphlet to figure out how to vote on the usual list of California ballot measures. This makes me apoplectic; I think I’ve ranted here before about the California legislators, too lazy or scared to do their jobs, dumping every decision on the electorate’s shoulders. Wading through the rhetoric and political lingo in these proposals to understand what the hell I’m voting for takes up hours of my time every election eve, and I’m never sure I voted for what I wanted, so convoluted is the wording in them. I consider myself fairly intelligent, and I cannot imagine that most other voters know what they’re doing any more than I do, making the whole ballot proposal process an exercise in futility.

On the other hand, it keeps me from dwelling on my personal problems–which is a good thing. There’ll be plenty of time, and plenty of other hands, for that on Wednesday.

Interesting Tidbit: Over on the Zambian Chronicle blog, they’ve endorsed Hillary Clinton: “Our natural inclination would have led us to endorse him (Senator Barack Obama) based on even racial affiliations…. but over here at the Chronicle we revel more in logic and intellectual honesty than all else.”

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One response »

  1. here’s the deal: sure hillary will take a hard stand against the conservative stalwarts but to what end? another stalemate in the abyss of political bureaucracy? fact of the matter is, many independents and so-called “like-minded republicans” are willing to make a move towards barack because he seems more compromising and not so divisive as hillary…so when it comes down to where the independents go with a hillary nomination, they are certainly leaning…slightly towards mccain. this is obvious with mccain’s apparent endorsement of hillary in saying that she is the best candidate to beat him. he knows that with her nomination many independents will go to him. i think perhaps, in response to your comment {on my blog}, the change people are looking for is something vastly different from what it has been. most of us have come into our political awareness during the bush administration and are not very optimistic about the future. so while there is no doubt that hillary is certainly a strong leader, she reminds people too much of old washington.

    -Gerard

    You’ve hit on the central fact of Obama’s campaign with: “most of us have come into our political awareness during the bush administration…” At least, it’s the central fact for me, of why I feel frustrated by his lack of substance while younger people are all ga-ga. I’ve been through considerably more Presdential elections than this one; more important, I’ve heard enough charismatic leaders to be deeply suspicious.–MS

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