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Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Politician vs the Prophet

So many professional, personal and family events, all wonderful (for one thing I'm moving to a place of my own) have kept me pretty busy, and happily so, since the last post but I can't help but marvel how wrong I, and most other pre-election coverage have been about super Tuesday being a decisive primary event. By now, Obama is somewhat ahead and with a head of steam that is as mind-boggling as it is inspiring.

I still believe that Clinton would be the better candidate on several fronts. She has decades of track withstanding Republican attack. She has White House experience. She is already familiar to world powers. She is a seasoned legislator with demonstrable success at "reaching across the aisle." And a hell of a gal, if you don't mind me saying so.

But that doesn't seem important enough to the record turnout of voters and I am beginning to understand why. The flashflood of new, previously uninterested and especially young voters are responding to Obama's impassioned rhetoric because it's truly touched a nerve. I believe these voters are so demoralized and disappointed with what they perceive to be "politics as usual" that they would rather have a prophet than a politician in the White House. The attendance at Obama rallies does have a quasi religious fervor. Many Clinton supporters in my home state who went to the Obama rally in Bangor rather than the Clinton rally in Orono (the weather and road conditions precluded doing both even though the schedule of the rallies would have otherwise permitted going to both) went to the Obama rally just to see the show, to experience the phenomena. Obama's Bangor rally was likened to a Bruce Springsteen concert. People stood outside in the snow to listen over speakers when the Bangor Auditorium was full to capacity.

It's not over till the fat lady sings, and in this case the super delegates might be the fat lady. But there is no denying that Clinton, who started out as the presumptive nominee is now being overtaken. There are some potentially decisive primaries to come and then of course there are the state and the Democratic Party conventions, where, if it goes to second ballots (in the event that the delegate count is too close to call) things could slide. But even as a Clinton supporter whose allegiance and conviction grows stronger as the campaign progresses, I believe the delegates should balance the will of the primary voters very carefully against the interests of the Party (to win over the Republicans in the November presidential election) in the selection of the candidate.

I am aware that many of the younger Obama supporters will just drop back out of the electoral process in disgust if Obama is not the nominee. Whereas I don't believe that the Clinton supporters, who tend to be older, like myself, would do the same if the reverse were true. This is a regrettable, but a credible scenario. We must get out the Dem vote no matter who the candidate is.

Though I am obviously disappointed that Clinton may not be the nominee, I would be happy and proud to vote for Obama in November. And I am most certainly not disappointed in this most thrilling campaign that I continue to follow and participate in with great relish.

// posted by Ellen @  12:54   //Permalink// 
Ellen says hey
Mainer, New Yawka, Beijinger, Californian, points between. News, views and ballyhoos that piqued my interest and caused me to sigh, cry, chuckle, groan or throw something.


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