New Hampshire tells us “it’s not over yet”

hillarybarack.jpgA friend of mine sent the following email last night

…is New Hampshire really that white? They voted for Hillary. Are they serious? I was so stoked for Barack going into there, I can’t believe they gave Her a comeback. Iowa is actually a smarter state than NH, I never would’ve guessed it. If in the end we’re forced to choose between Shrillary and Huckabee, is it then time for us all to move to Vancouver?

I feel the same way. I was thinking Barack had it sewn up and that the next two weeks would be the long lead up to his coronation. People keep talking about electibility and I have to say I view Obama as more electable than Hillary. Aside from the bigots, no one hates Obama and even then, when you compare that to a woman candidate, it’s a wash. The Republicans hate Hillary with the fire of a thousand stars, and while I could live with her as President, I think the Republicans want to run against her.

Secondly – there’s always this talk about how much smarter women are than men, and sometimes I buy it, but are you telling me they bought Hillary crying? I never thought crying would be a valid Presidential campaign strategy. So New Hampshire let her off the hook. Last time I listen to the polls.

One interesting thought last night on CNN was the idea that people said they would vote for a black candidate when polled, but when in the privacy of a voting booth, they wouldn’t. I hope that isn’t the case, but after hearing someone down south sincerely say “I don’t know if I can vote for a colored man”, it seems plausible.

It’s a shame we expect so little from our politicians, but after listening to Obama’s speech (a speech after he lost a contest), he inspires me. Obama has presence. He makes me believe in something better. Hillary is a politician, a good one, but that’s all she is. I can live with her as President, but after 8 years of a long national nightmare, we need better. Hillary’s new stance is that Obama promises change that he can’t deliver, that he delivers “false hope”. She doesn’t get it. He brings change by his very existence in the race. His call for change is sincere and his very presence would signify that enough is enough – that it’s time we took the statehouse back. Any time someone suggests change, there will always be someone there to say – “that’s not possible”. It is up to the citizens to say it has to be.

Don’t be fooled, Hillary is nothing more than another old white man wanting to keep things the same. Is she better than George Bush? Yes, but that is small praise. We should be looking for the best of the best.

The following video is from last night. It’s worth the listen.

  • http://abbondanza.blogspot.com kristen

    all i can say is word. watching him last night, i felt chills. like something important was going on. he sounded like a world-class, inspirational statesman. she sounded like a scripted bureaucrat. i want to be inspired. i want to think about doing things in new ways. i want to have hope. the status quo only benefits those in power, and installing another clinton dynasty is not the way to shake things up.

    i hope obama can pull this off. i want something to be excited about, something to fight for. not a president i can “live with.”

  • http://www.myspace.com/radiocynic radiocynic

    It’s probably never good to espouse semi-apathy in the way I’m about to, but I’m finding myself strangely comfortable with just about all of the Democratic candidates — not quite “excited about” yet, but something beyond the “live with” level.

    This was proven slightly-scientifically by a pretty cool (though a bit oversimplified) website I recommend — http://www.votehelp.org

    It’s kind of an issues-algorhythm, which at the very least is informative as to where ALL the candidates stand on many important actual issues (rather than attempting to form opinions based on spin and soundbites.) It asks you 28 questions (which you can answer in varying degrees of positive/negative and weight how important each issue is to you.) Then it does the math and tells you in percentage form just how much each candidate agrees with you, also letting you see their detailed responses.

    Again, does nothing for nuances or more visceral qualities like leadership skills or experience (or something that’s become VERY important to me in the past 8 years — my perception of how intelligent a candidate comes across!) Yet, pretty cool, and informative to see actual answers, voting records, etc.

    Anyway, for me, the surprise was just how much of a solid Democrat I seem to have become. I’m a registered independent; always considered myself a left-leaning moderate… and somehow enough of an idealist to believe there might occasionally exist right-leaning Democrats or left-leaning Republicans that might “cross over”… Ha! But my results sure broke down along party lines. My top “match” turned out, surprisingly, to be Bill Richardson (of course, since he’s dropping out of the race today,) but ALL of the Democrats ranged between 95% and 96% of agreeing with me on the issues! Barack Obama was a VERY close second; Hillary Clinton a VERY close third, so again, it supports my overall comfort level that most any Democrat will work for me!

    (No surprise to me that Fred Thompson was last, but even those wacky Republicans ranged in the 60′s-to-low-70′s percentile range for me. I’m guessing that, since there are only a few issues I feel REALLY strongly about, some of my other don’t-care-all-that-much issues may have still skewed me toward the middle.)

    Anyway, sorry to ramble on as usual, but I was looking for an appropriate place to recommend this. I’d love to hear any other results that anyone would feel like sharing.

  • http://cynicsgirl.blogspot.com Cyn

    Let the stoning begin…

    Alright, I’m going to confess right here. I secretly want Mrs. Clinton to get the nomination. There, I said it.

    Yep, Spencer, I remember sitting across from you in a restaurant in Glenside and saying she was too polarizing and could never get elected. But, still…

    Honestly, I don’t think Hillary’s getting emotional was the least bit scripted. However, anything from now on will be highly suspect. But that’s the bull of the campaigning process as we know it.

    I’ve got nothing particularly negative to say about Barack. But I think in Clinton’s case, her life experience is key – after all, I dare say no other candidate has a better sense of what the job entails.

    A candidate can be idealistic and charismatic…but the hard cold fact is that a president has to work within the machine. And it helps to have already seen the schematics.

    Oh, and that survey Randy mentioned — my #1 match was Kucinich.

  • Spencer

    I will say no one on the Democratic side scares me. The Republicans minus Ron Paul, Rudy Guliani, and John McCain scare me. Romney, Huckabee, and Thompson are just George Bush redux. Maybe a little smarter, maybe not. And I think that’s my biggest concern – we need to get rid of the current regime and I’m concerned about one of the whackjobs getting the Presidency by default because people hate Hillary.

    As for working within the machine, I think most of these candidates are capable – I think we’ve got a good group of candidates running, but I want to look towards our President the way we were able to do with Kennedy, and I just don’t see Hillary as that person. I think she would do a fine job, but she does not inspire me.

    My final hope is that McCain wins the nomination – because then I could live with whoever wins.

  • http://www.myspace.com/radiocynic radiocynic

    Agreed that McCain might be one of the only Republicans I could live with. (Oddly enough, he was also my top Republican “match” on issues on the votehelp.org thing, though FAR behind all the Democrats.)

    Also agreed that I hope he (or some other non-whackjob) wins the GOP nomination. Mainly because I still must admit my underlying fear — I do worry about that polarizing effect Senator Clinton seems to have amongst the conservatives. And, though I certainly HOPE that Senator Obama’s race or Senator Clinton’s sex would not make either of them unelectable, I do still worry a bit about the bigots and other unenlightened folk. I would have certainly hoped that the intelligence level of this country would have progressed beyond that type of thinking — but the (to-me-still-unbelieveable) results of the last two Presidential elections now always give me pause to rethink my confidence in the good sense of the electorate.

  • http://cynicsgirl.blogspot.com Cyn

    Karen Heller wrote an interesting column in yesterday’s Inquirer that fits in nicely with our discussion here — addressing the nation’s hunger for change (and Hillary)

    http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/13555711.html

  • grace

    Radiocynic: I have the same kinds of worries as you. But one thing that should raise your hopes for Obama’s electability (if that’s what you want, I’m not sure) he did win a seat in the Senate by getting more than 80% of the vote in a state whose population is more than 80% white.

  • grace

    Ha ha… Spencer pointed out to me that Obama ran against another black candidate for the Senate, so I guess technically the population of Illinois had no choice. BUT, Obama was originally running against a white candidate that had to drop out at the last minute, so we’ll just stick with the story that the people of Illinois had no qualms with rallying behind a black candidate.

  • radiocynic

    Just to clarify, yes Grace, that’s definitely what I want, and your original contention about the Senate race — and even the fact that it ended up two black candidates — is indeed encouraging. From everything I’ve seen so far, I feel that both Senators Obama and Clinton are highly-electable from my personal standpoint; I only run a bit scared when second-guessing the rest of the country!

    My amazement currently is that I’m unusually happy with what I see and hear. Despite a couple of drawbacks — Clinton’s “politician-ness” that Spencer originally referred to, Obama’s perceived lack of experience, Edwards’ “slickness” — I could see myself getting inspired and excited by whichever of them ends up being the nominee. (I also agree with most of what I hear from Kucinich, but, ah hell, who are we kidding there? It’s a little sad, and a topic for a different day’s discussion, but in this superficial country, when a dude looks like that, now THAT’S unelectable!)

    I always like Karen Heller’s writing, so it was interesting to read her
    viewpoint, which I regularly find myself respecting. So, she bought the Clinton crying episode and gave a plausible explanation. I’m not sure if I found the whole thing sincere or calculated or a mix of both, but honestly, she did it well enough that it’s okay with me either way.

    Both Senators Obama and Clinton do indeed embody that change we’re all so hungry for, by their very existence in the race, and that is itself a great and inspiring thing. Until one of these folks says or does something really dumb, I’m certainly ready to support and get inspired by any of them.

    Speaking of stuff I’m unusually pleased with, Karen also mentioned Mayor Mike Nutter — one of the only Philly City Council members I always liked and respected, and damned if I’m not liking just about every word and deed of his first few days as mayor.

    So it seems we’re on a roll with these improvements. Let’s keep it going!

  • Spencer

    And of course today comes news that Ron Paul had some racist newsletters and comments released under his name. This is what scares me about supporting a politician – you just never know. But you need coming back and having faith that you won’t be disappointed.