Friday, January 04, 2008

I'm A Believer

What I'm about to say may hardly seem to be the definition of cogent, trailblazing blogger thoughtfulness: I mean I held out for most of last fall hoping Al Gore would enter the race, and then when it became evident that it was getting too late I hemmed and hawed about who I favored in the race to the Democratic nomination. So now that Obama has made it easy to support him by altering the fundamentals of the political universe I once thought I knew... let me give him the much coveted (SCOFF!!) bhfrik endorsement.

See, waiting 'til now to endorse Obama really does ring hollow does it not? I could have done it when Obama was 20 points behind Clinton in Iowa and 40 points back in the national polls, and looked prescient now. I could have done that when all the major Democratic party hacks were endorsing Clinton and crowning her the nominee months before the first vote was cast, and just think about how much more impressive I would look now.

But I do have reasons for waiting for a bit to hop on the Obwagon. Never in a future election will I withold even seeking a favorite until the person I really really want to run lets the time for entrance into the race pass by with passive denials and half hearted responses to questions about their candidacy. I must admit that the non entry of Gore into this race has been a bitter pill to swallow for me, and I won't fall into that hole again.

Next, I really do appreciate all of the candidates for the Democratic nomination. From Gravel to Obama, they all would make fantastic Presidents. Should a Democrat win I truly hope they find a place for every one of these candidates, either in their cabinent or at the table where important decisions are made from time to time if the candidate is already in high political office and does not want to move on.

It is particularly difficult for me to announce for someone other than Senator Clinton, given that she is really trying to follow stratagems I have called for and it may actually be costing her popularity. In several posts I have called for a nitty gritty back alley fighter to be the Democratic nominee in order to combat the certain smears they will face from the Reublican machine in the general election. My perception is that Clinton is trying to prove herself willing to do whatever it takes to win, and she is coming out the lesser for it. If there is a lesson from Iowa, where Romney went negative on Huckabee and recieved a thumping, it may well be that the mean season in our national politics is coming to an end. Could part of the national yearning for change from the politics of Bush include a desire to put the blatant partisan ugliness behind us, and to punish those who go there? Then my call for a back alley fighter is admittedly wrong headed, yet here I go abandoning Senator Clinton, partially for doing what I called on the Democratic nominee to do.

But the kicker for me has been personal experience. I am married to a conservative Mormon. I am not in the business of trying to convert my wife from the conservative darkness, just as she is not in the business of trying to convert me from non Mormon apostasy. We try to avoid talking about the hot political subjects of the day because those disussions can get very argumentative, and the chances of one side or the other persuading the opposite outlook with their logic is just about nil.

My wife started out with a political and religious prediliction to support Mitt Romney. But my wife has become something of an Obamanatic, and this is only getting more pronounced by the day. My everyday life is a testament to me of the cross idealogical appeal of Senator Obama.

And the kicker for me was indeed the result of the Iowa caucus. I watched Obama's speech and despite that fact that he was two dimensional and electronically piped into my living room, I found myself inspired. His message doesn't just reach my wife, and alot of other conservatives who hold my wifes outlook... but he reaches me too.

I've heard the pundits talk about Obama the rock star and how pumped up his crowds get. But that victory speech brought it home for me. Obama is more than a rock star... he is freaking inspirational, and that feeling is held across the political board. I couldn't help but watch that speech and think about my personal experience with my wife and decide that to support Obama going forward.

I remember telling my wife early on when she started warming to Obama. You might like him now, but just imagine a six month stretch where he has to deal with daily attacks from the right wing noise machine... Osama/Obama, Obamanation... all of the childish language with the Islamic hoo haw and so on and so forth. I was convinced that after such a daily barrage that my wife and others like her would never vote for Obama and fear for the children if he ever visited the state. Maybe... just maybe I was wrong, and at this point, I want to find out.

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