Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards Out

It's just been announced that John Edwards is going to be dropping his presidential bid today. I knew it was coming, but it still hurts. I feel like the Democratic party allowed itself to be blinded by the novel possibility of an African American man or a woman in the white house, and forgot about the importance of policy and vision. I know that's not PC of me to say, but I feel as strongly about it today as I have since before the Iowa caucus. So now what? I have to say I'm really undecided. To be perfectly honest, I'm not a Hillary lover. I campaigned in my youth for Mr. Clinton, and was thrilled with his presidency and felt betrayed by later scandal. Hillary has seemed over confident and even flippant to me in the past. On the issues, she seems to have relatively solid plans. I admit that I softened to her when she did her playful You Tube videos, and again when she had her "teary" moment. I was livid that the press jumped all over her for the incident, though I knew immediately that it would be a big issue. Later, when I saw footage of the "incident" I realized it wasn't that big a deal, and seeing her interviewed about it, I was very impressed with the way she described what happened, both brushing it off and acknowledging the emotions, embracing the importance of being human while making it clear that it didn't affect her ability to lead. That said, I still have my reservations about bringing Old Washington back to the White House. I'm not totally sold.

Now Barack Obama had me at "hello" when he spoke at the Democratic Covention a few years back. I became a big fan even though at that time I was not familiar with his politics. He was inspirational and charasmatic, and I believed in his vision. Now, nearly four years later, what his "Audacity of Hope" done? I find it interesting that the American Rhetoric site was the first to come up when I googled for that speech. Of course "rhetoric" is the proper term for the speech, but it also has connotations which I now associate with Obama. To keep with my movie terms, show me the money, Obama. I have a hard time looking at his voting record and seeing "NV" for no vote so many times. Obama is 4th on the list of senators who has missed the most votes. It should be noted that #1 is dear Senator Tim Johnson, who was absent most of his term due to a stroke, #2 is candidate John McCain, and #3 is Joe Biden. Hillary isn't that far behind at #7. I realize that these people are missing a lot of votes because they're campaigning, but c'mon, you have a job to do! Obama missed 178 votes, over 37% of the votes he had a chance on. (Clinton missed 105 for 23%.) So what is he doing there? I hear his incredibly eloquent words, and I want to believe, but where is the action? I like his ideals, I like his diverse background, but it just doesn't feel right.

I've been dissappointed to hear the intense and immature bickering that's gone back and forth between Clinton and Obama, dissapointed in the real estate scandal and WalMart ties that have come forth, and I'm left completely undecided. So why only a picture of Hillary today? Well, I tried to download a picture of Obama, but every time I did, his site locked up my computer. Maybe it's a sign. We'll miss you, John. Keep fighting the good fight.


Green Bean said...

I'm completely bummed. And hey, I already turned in my absentee ballot voting for Edwards! I'm inclined to head to the Obama camp but I really did like Edwards. I think of Obama and Clinton, Obama is far more likely to win non-Demoncratic votes. Heck, my Republican parents were talking last night about how much they like him.

Meg said...

I was so disappointed to hear the news this morning. Like you said, I knew it was coming but now that it's here it sucks. I'm not sure where I am between Clinton and Obama. I'm leaning towards Obama, I think, but I admit that I haven't been reading up on the two of them as much as I could be, so we'll see. I also agree with Green Bean, though: I think Obama might pull more swing votes in the general election, especially up against McCain who seems to have alienated a lot of Repubs even though he's been doing well in the primaries.

Melicious said...

A friend suggested that Edwards would be a great Attorney General.

When Bill Clinton left office, my mantra was "Hillary in '04." But then I heard Obama at the Convention.

They both have similar voting records. But Hillary voted for the war. I don't agree with Barack 100% on the issues, but I believe he acts with integrity and thoughtfulness. I've seen him speak twice now and am filled with pride in my country in a way I forgot I could feel. Sure, being a strong speaker isn't enough to be president, but acting with integrity goes a long way in my book.

On the electable factor, people (republicans especially) despise the Clintons and will do everything possible to prevent her from getting into office. If she did get into office, I don't imagine much would get done in congress because of their disrespect of her.

Anyway, those are my two cents. Obviously I have a strong opinion and have personally invested time and money in Obama's campaign for more than a year, but it's because I believe he is the best person for this country right now.


Mia said...

Meg and Green Bean, I agree that you're probably right about swing votes. Mel, I know you're an Obama supporter and that gives me hope for him. Hillary doesn't sway me her way anymore that Obama sways me his. I've heard people dream of an Obama-Edwards ticket. That's something I'd love to see. If I had to vote today, I'd vote Obama, but I'd do it with my breath held, fingers crossed, and eyes squeezed shut, praying he'll make his words a reality.

Gina said...

Another bummed out Edwards voter. He didn't even make it to the primary in my state.

I really have no idea at this point, but I agree with the Repub vs. Clinton thing.

Meg said...

If I had to vote today, I'd vote Obama, but I'd do it with my breath held, fingers crossed, and eyes squeezed shut, praying he'll make his words a reality.

Mia, that's just the thing. While in theory I like much of what Obama and Clinton have to say, I don't trust them like I trust Edwards. They seem much more tied up in the politics of things. I guess we'll have a better idea of what's going on after next Tuesday.