I like the idea that our next president might be an intelligent human. A thoughtful person. I like the idea that the next president might be smarter than me. More eloquent than me.
I like smart people.
That's why I'm an Obama guy.
John McCain is not a bad man. He's brave, he's committed, and I think he has the best interests of America and Americans in mind. But he's a conservative, and because of that he's set the world up in an us-vs.-them paradigm that doesn't work and that has never worked. He's comfortable if circumstances fail people as long as his interpretation of the founders' intentions is kept intact. I was ready to vote for McCain over Gore in 2000--and then the Village Idiot won the Republican nomination. How did that happen? I don't know. I will never understand how Dubya got a single vote, let alone enough votes to make the Florida robbery plausible.
Hillary Clinton is not a bad woman. But her insistence on practicing negative politics and obfuscation make me want to strangle her. I believe she'd be a decent president, but I can't vote for her. The more I hear her speak the less I hear of her. It's like a focus group took possession of her head. There's no there there anymore.
I'm a Barack Obama guy. I read his book, Dreams From My Father, which struck me as a rare achievement: a candid memoir that was interesting and compelling, but one that lacked the self-importance it would seem necessary to bother writing a memoir. It's a great memoir. And I feel like Obama is a genuine man. Nothing he's said or done during his campaign has changed my opinion of him. This isn't just a candidate I wouldn't mind seeing in office--I actively want this man to be president. I've never been able to say that before. I've voted for Dukakis and Clinton, Gore and Kerry. In all of those cases I just thought they were lesser evils than G.H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and Dubya. Honestly--Dubya? Could there be a worse human being in charge of this country? I don't think so.
But I like Obama. He's intelligent and articulate. He seems thoughtful. Even when he takes on the cadences of MLK during his speeches, and I get a little uncomfortable with that, I feel as though he's still conveying valuable ideas, that he's committed to a humane platform.
As a side note: Keith Olbermann is my hero. Seriously. I liked him a lot when he co-hosted SportCenter with Dan Patrick in the mid-nineties, but he's infinitely more valuable now that he's brought his intelligence and outrage to nightly news--even if he's stuck on MSNBC, where nobody can see him. I like when my news people are intelligent and thoughtful.
So here's a question: Who are you voting for and why? If you're not voting, why not?