Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why I'm voting for Obama

Two years ago, I went to my state Democratic Convention. This was when there were still 8 candidates in the primary and they all wanted to make an impression, and most of them did.

I was yet to make up my mind at that time, so I tried to be somewhat objective. Bill Richardson was smart and obviously qualified, but I knew he had little chance. Hillary commanded the room and the moment she walked it. She was a force and I was impressed. And Barrack Obama was charismatic and eloquent, but I didn't get the same feeling I got with Hillary. So, I made my choice. I proudly wore my Hillary T-shirt, and put her name on my bumper. I'll admit, I was bitter when she didn't get the nomination. I really wanted her to be president.

I'll also admit that I did not immediately jump on the Obama band wagon. He had my vote, but I had no excitement for him as a candidate until the debates. What Barrack Obama failed to do for me during the primaries, he more than made up for in the debates and the campaign after. I saw a candidate who is thoughtful, methodical, and smart...real smart. And then I learned a little more about him as a person. Despite the Republican's every (wo)man approach, I feel much more of a connection with Barrack Obama's determined rise via an unpriviledged life. Despite his time as an Academic, he does not appear to be so far removed from the modest life that led him to this point.
As a writer, I've never cared for the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words. In truth I prefer the words. But this picture says it all for me. The caption from this picture stated that Senator Obama said he had already had these shoes resoled once on this campaign, and that was all I needed to know; that despite his education, and experience, he is still sensible enough to know that problems have sensible solutions. It might be inconvenient to resole shoes, but it's sensible. And, beyond that it shows a sense of value that we seem to have lost in recent years. I believe we are more likely to replace things than to fix and reuse them as though we are a country of spoiled brats. Having a leader who will resole his shoes is a sober reminder that maybe we shouldn't want to be like Paris Hilton. Maybe we should want to be more like our grandparents who lived through the Depression, and WWII and learned to tap cleverness and ingenuity from those experiences. Personally, I would be very proud if my grand kids were amazed at what my generation accomplishes. I hope I can tell them, "we elected one of our nation's greatest presidents."

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