Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I’m Voting for Barack Obama

I intend to vote for Senator Barack Obama in next Tuesday’s presidential primary.
I have often said that how a person thinks is as important as what a person thinks. The major Democratic candidates have largely said the right things about Iraq, the economy and climate change. But the challenges we face are immense enough so that I want someone who looks ahead, and not back, in making decisions. This isn’t about pretty rhetoric, at which Obama excels. This is about looking forward instead of looking back. I want someone who isn’t using the thinking of the last year or the last decade to decide where we’re going in the next year or the next decade.
My vote is not based on any antipathy towards the Clintons. The Washington media may despise Bill and Hillary Clinton, but I remember the 1990s as good years for the U.S., with growing employment, budget surpluses and no protracted military conflicts. Also, I and many Americans admire their toughness under fire, which is where they have spent the last sixteen years of their lives. Lest we forget, it was early in 1993 that Pat Robertson was saying the Clintons engaged in contract murders and the Wall Street Journal hinted at foul play in the suicide of White House lawyer Vince Foster.
I admire the Clintons as superb tacticians, but I’m looking for vision, not tactical skills. Presidential campaigns are useful in revealing who is or isn’t tough enough for the job; Barack Obama seems to be meeting that test.
Perhaps the best way to put it is to say that I’m ready for the future to start happening. I grew up thinking of the 21st century as a time when either marvelous stuff would happen (space travel, medical miracles, clean energy) or disaster would bring us down (overpopulation, environmental degradation). Either way, I always had the sense that we had big stuff to work on when the year 2001 rolled around. But after eight years, the 21st century is a nightmare from which we have been trying to awaken.
Under George Bush, the country has suffered in comparison to the presidency of Bill Clinton. Instead of peace, we have war. Instead of budget surpluses, we have deficits. Instead of economic growth that benefits all, we have prosperity flowing to the wealthiest. Instead of a uniter, we have a divider: a president who has consistently portrayed his opponents as less than patriotic and somehow uninterested in keeping us safe. For all the belligerent talk from the current regime, we have lost influence abroad and seen our military weakened by a perpetual conflict with no end in sight.
It will take at least two terms of a Democratic president to undo much of the damage of the current regime. In many respects, I would like to have the country return to the peace and prosperity of 1999.
But my fondest hope is that we can belatedly get started on the work of this century. I think people are ready to live in the present and get working on the future.
There are some in the mainstream media who, enthralled with his soaring speeches, complain that his style lacks substance. This says more about our lazy media culture than about the candidate himself. Obama, along with all of the significant candidates,
has put forward substantive policy proposals.
On just one subject, energy and the environment, he has the right ideas, and has the numbers right: He has called for reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050 and restoring U.S. leadership in turning back the accumulation of greenhouse gases that is leading inexorably to catastrophic climate change.
There’s another, less lofty reason why I’m supporting Obama. I like candidates who think my vote matters. Even though Delaware is just one of 22 states voting on Tuesday, Barack Obama has set up shop here with 35 paid and volunteer staffers. Michelle Obama will speak to rallies in Wimington (noon at the Grand Opera House) and Dover (2:30 at Delaware State University) tomorrow. If you want to attend, RSVP at or call Obama for America’s Wilmington office at 302-573-2540.
His campaign has told me that their strategy is to compete in all 22 states with contests to win as many states and delegates on Tuesday, instead of focusing on a small number of big states.
So I’ve cast my lot with Obama, and plan to do what I can that he wins here in Delaware on Tuesday, wins the Democratic nomination, and is elected president in November.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it! Damn glad!

10:56 PM, January 30, 2008  
Blogger owenandbenjamin said...

He is exciting a lot of people. He has intelligence and charisma. We will see if that is enough to overcome his lack of political experience.

I think intelligence and leadership abilty and the ability to inspire people is enough to overcome inexperience.

4:47 PM, January 31, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Tom. Although I think Clintons have an excellent track record from the 90's and would probably do a wonderful job in the Oval Office, my vote goes to Obama because he represents a new wave of change similar to what Bill brought in 92. And quite frankly, if McCain is the Rep. nominee I do believe that Obama would stand a better chance at winning due to the substantial age difference and favorable voting track record.

Any by the way, I'm a registered Republican in Delaware tired of our present leadership.

12:33 PM, February 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet I am a Republican that may also vote for BO...

"Obama's tax increase would saddle the United States with the highest marginal tax rate in the world -- higher even than countries like Sweden. Studies based on the WEFA macroeconomic model, a metric developed by economists at the Wharton School of Business and employed widely by Fortune 500 companies, suggest that they would cost the United States as much as $136 billion in lost economic growth over the next 10 years, and as many as 1.1 million lost jobs. In exchange for this economic catastrophe, we would gain surprisingly little in terms of Social Security's finances. Even completely eliminating the cap, without allowing any additional credit toward benefits, would result in only eight additional years of cash-flow solvency. Rather than beginning to run a deficit in 2017, Social Security would continue to run a surplus until 2025. That's very little gain for so much pain."

12:50 PM, February 12, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

I remember some pretty smart people telling me back in 1993 that Bill Clinton's economic plan would wreck the economy.

And yet we discovered that balancing the budget and making the tax code a little fairer for working folks helped create eight years of economic growth and I don't remember how many millions of jobs.

1:04 PM, February 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SS, Medicaire and Medicaid will not be so easy this time.

For anyone. At least BO is positive. I am tired of pandering, fear mongering and hate. I wish him luck.

1:25 PM, February 12, 2008  

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