Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thoughts on the 2008 Presidential Election

Just before the Iowa caucus (doesn’t that seem like years ago?) I posed a question to Rob at Bluey Blog as to why people hate Hillary Clinton. This led to probably the most comments I have ever received (that doesn’t really say much) and inspired another post about Clinton at the landmark site, Smart Bitches. (I am being completely serious about this statement; SB discovered that a major author plagiarized material in her books, and the site was referenced in stories by the AP, New York Times and Newsweek. Conversely, Sean’s Ramblings has been mentioned on Star Trek and WVU fan message boards.)

Anyway, I check out Bluey Blog occasionally and was extremely surprised to discover that Bluey voted for Barack Obama in Tuesday’s primary. You see, Rob is the director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, serves as a contributor to a prominent conservative blog, writes weekly columns for sites including The Conservative Voice and is a contributing editor to Human Events, the national conservative weekly. These are not quite the credentials of Dennis Kucinich. So why the heck did Rob vote for Obama? He gave a few reasons including that he’ll "do whatever it takes to avoid another Clinton in the White House, even if it means crossing over to vote in the Democrat primary." He also stated that

[Obama’s] lack of experience makes him even more vulnerable. It is for this reason that I would give McCain the edge in a head-to-head matchup with Obama. I’m not so sure the same is true against Hillary.

I don’t buy that second theory and here’s why. As I lifetime Democrat, I openly wonder who I would vote for if it came down to Clinton vs. McCain. This has less to do with politics than it does the people themselves. I really liked McCain when he ran in 2000, and although he seems to be criticized heavily by Rush & Coulter (more on them momentarily), he stands by his convictions and has sincerely worked with his Democratic Senate colleagues on some controversial topics for folks on the right such as campaign finance reform. I don’t agree with McCain on a lot of issues, and I think he’s changed significantly since 2000, but I think he is an honorable person. Actually, just the fact that Rush and Coulter seem to dislike McCain right now as much as Clinton is a reason for me to like him. By the way, is there anything more asinine than Ann Coulter being anti-McCain because he’s against torture? Hello, McCain was a POW who was tortured. I’ll take his opinions on torture over just about anyone. Folks like Rush and Coulter will end up coming around on McCain as they’re not going to vote or support Clinton or Obama. However, if Clinton does get the nomination or even elected, that's great business for them. Think about it: four plus years of high ratings in criticizing Clinton. The ratings and listeners won't be nearly as big if McCain wins.

Back to Hillary, while I would tend to agree with her on most issues, I think she would have an extremely difficult time working with Congress and getting the support of a large majority of the American public. There are just so many people out there that hate her and that's not going to change. As an aside, I would love to see Bill Clinton as the first man. I think he would do a fantastic job as an ambassador to the world traveling from country to country. Could Bill serve in this role during the entire term and only return to the U.S. for holidays?

As mentioned above, Rob gave McCain the edge against Obama. I don’t buy it. The knock against Obama is his inexperience and that may be valid. However, he can put good people around him. (Bill Richardson as anything would be great. How about Al Gore for Secretary of the Interior?) More importantly Obama is inspiring. I think it’s fair to write that there has not been so much hope for/by a presidential candidate since JFK or Reagan depending on your political views. I also don’t think you can discount age. The youth vote would certainly migrate towards Obama (born in August 1961) over McCain (born in August 1936).

So what do you think? If this is too deep, you can always go over to Kissing Suzy Kolber who wrote a post titled Vote for Barack Obama And Receive A “Get Out Of Racism Free” Card.

This entire post may be too deep for me too. I’m going to play Madden now.


honeykbee said...

Very interesting point about the ratings, very interesting indeed. And isn't BJC already touring the world as an ambassador?

Sean said...

I think Bill has spent some time touring the world getting paid to give speeches. He has probably spent much of the last year or two campaigning for his wife.

If Hillary gets elected, I think he could be an "official" ambassador as someone working for the government; not as an ex-President who world leaders know has no say on American policies.

Anonymous said...

i cannot begin to express how excited i am about obama! the people he has surrounded himself with, including his wife, are simply wonderful.

Dan said...

Sean, what gaming system do you play Madden on? If it's the XBox 360, we must play online!