Friday, January 04, 2008

Maybe There is Hope After All

The results in Iowa knocked me for a loop. I did not expect Obama to win, especially not by the amount he won. I definitely did not expect Hillary to come in third. These amazing results have made me realize something: I am rooting for Obama.

I thought I was on the fence. I thought what really mattered to me was whether the person who becomes our nominee is "electable." And I was nervous about both Hillary and Obama in that regard. Hillary because of all her baggage and the fact that so many Republicans hate her guts; she would mobilize their base like no one else. And many Democrats, including myself, have trouble feeling all warm and fuzzy over her.

I was nervous about Obama for two reasons - his "inexperience" - and let's face it, his race. I was afraid too many people in those Red states would consciously or subconsciously not vote for him.

So that left Edwards. I like his message, admire his dedication; I do think he is sincere in his populism, and I am impressed by the strength of his marriage and the way he and Elizabeth have gotten through hard times together.

But something was holding me back. Maybe I wanted this year to be different, a year when we got someone other than a white, Anglo-Saxon male from a southern state into the White House. Nothing against them, but it's been done to death.

So I was on the fence.

But these results have given me hope - the audacity of hope, to coin Obama's own phrase - that perhaps this country really is ready for an African-American president. That perhaps his so-called inexperience equals an idealism and ability to inspire that have not been seen since Bobby Kennedy. That perhaps it's more important to have ideals and principles than understand how to get bills through the Senate. That perhaps it's more helpful to have lived in other parts of the world and understand other cultures outside of our country than to have years of experience wheeling and dealing in the insular world of Washington or being governor of a state that hardly represents the world at large.

Obama gave a great speech at the end of the evening - you can see it here if you haven't already seen it posted on someone else's blog. He sounded presidential. He sounded inspirational. He sounded as if he could go the distance.

I realize it is a long slog ahead and anything can happen. But I think I've found my candidate. No one is perfect. But if we want change, I think Obama will give it to us.

I know not everyone will agree with this - some feel he is going to be as beholden as Hillary to those who support him. But I just have this feeling about him that I don't have about Hillary. I think he'll try to stick to his principles.

I may be wrong. But we never really know how a person will act until they are in the White House. As Bill Clinton said, it could be a roll of the dice. But sometimes we have to roll the dice in order to win.

31 comments:

M said...

I wish I could feel hopeful as well. I'm so scared of a repeat of these past years with Bush and don't feel confident that the American people will ultimately choose Obama or whoever will be the Dem. candidate. It's terrifying to think of things not only not improving but getting even worse. I'm listening to the speech now--sounds good so far.

M said...

This is what I'm afraid of we're going to be stuck with for at least 4 years. I pray it doesn't happen. And the factual errors and lack of knowledge he's [Huckabee] displayed remind me so very much of a certain other Republican who I still can't believe this country actually voted to have as our leader!!

(Sorry, I couldn't help making one a second comment on this post. I just keep remembering the feeling when I found out we had voted Bush in--I don't want to experience it again!!)

enigma4ever said...

It was amazing...and his speech was amazing...and he has been giving speechs like that all over...I have been watching cspan...but I didnot realize HOW MUCH he is connecting with people....I still like Edwards...alot...but I want Change...so I want them as a team...I really do...

I don't want Hillary at all...

His books are amzing btw ....I really started to look at him differently after I bought the Audacity to Hope....

Hill....too entitled...expected to win..now she is blaming Iowa for HER loss...oye...

and BTW we never ever voted BUSh in=- both elections were stolen...so don't feel bad....we were hijacked....

anyways.....it was quite a night...what will happen on tuesday...now it will get really interesting...

Have Hope....

david santos said...

Happy New Year, Mauigirl! And best wishes for a healthy and successful 2008

Larry said...

I'm just glad the anointed one Hillary was subjected to her rightful spot at third.

Mauigirl said...

M, I totally share your fear that we might once again blow it and end up with a Republican - and I also share your horror of the idea of Huckabee in particular. I'm hoping New Hampshire puts him back in his place. (Surely we can't be so stupid again as to elect an ignoramus???) John McCain is starting to look good to me when I compare him to Huckabee.

We can only hope that whoever ends up being the Democratic nominee manages to ride the wave of dissatisfaction with Bush into the White House no matter what.

Enigma - me too, I didn't realize how much he was connecting with people until he won in Iowa. It is very inspiring. I'm going to buy his books so I can understand his point of view even better.

I agree those elections were stolen. We all know 2000 was; and in 2004 the Ohio situation was very suspicious. And I think there were a lot of cases of people being disenfranchised due to having to wait in 3-hour lines, etc. We can't have this happen again. I swear we should ask the UN to provide people to watch over our elections the way we watch over those in third world countries to make sure no cheating happens!

Larry, I agree. I was so tired of hearing how Hillary was inevitable.

David, thanks so much and Happy New Year to you too! May you have a wonderful 2008!

enigma4ever said...

I moved to Ohio after the election....and boy the stories I heard,..and where I was living was one of the caged areas...that had NOT been counted before..
anwways...I have a whole post that I did on another blog about 6 monthes ago- about Voting Experiences in 2000 and 2004-I will post...again next week..

I know for sure that my 2000 vote was not counted it was part of a legal case..and my 2004 one ?

2006 I know was counted....finally...

and Obama is interesting...
and so is Edwards..I hope they don't snipe at each other..( I think they will go after Hill.....let's see - the media is still saying she will win NH..I don't think so after watching the 100 Club Dinner there tonight- on cspan...man it was HUGE...they practically brought down the roof for Obama....)

Have Hope....

Distributorcap said...

this whole election has gotten a lot more interesting

but it is way too long -- and of all people -- Hillary and Rudy should know a long election is NOT to their advantagee --- and it showed on Thurs

she will finish badly in NH -- maybe second, more likely third

i dont know about Obama -- but as long as it is not Hillary i feel a bit better

Randal Graves said...

I'm glad Hillary finished third, I definitely prefer Edwards over Obama, but the idea of a black man as president would be great if only for making the heads of the racist wingnuts explode.

Of course, if it really looks like the Dem nominee is going to likely take it, we'll just have to see if the election gets 'temporarily' postponed because of something. Evil men will go to great lengths to maintain power. ;-)

Rhea said...

I, too, was astounded at the Iowa results. Huckabee?!? And Obama. I thought it would be generations before a black or female candidate would be taken seriously. wow!

Sue J said...

I guess I feel too betrayed by politicians in general to be moved much by Obama's speeches. I know, that's sad, isn't it? I really do want to get behind him and his words of hope and change, but I just don't see a lot of substance behind the words.

I know he has a lot of experience in politics at a local and state level, but he has only been in the Senate for 3 years. My greatest fear about his inexperience, is that -- just like George W. Bush -- he will need to surround himself with more experienced Washington insiders (ones who, by the way, we don't get to vote on: think Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, et al.). Those insiders become the ones who actually run the country.

I am not convinced that Obama will be able to run the country without relying heavily on those kinds of insiders. That's why I'm leaning toward Clinton at this point (tho clearly in the minority here!).

Having said that, if Obama wins the nomination, I'll back him 100%,. If a Republican wins the White House, I'm starting a caravan to Canada.... Anyone?

Friend #2 said...

Maui - Don't buy his books, I have both of them.

Mauigirl said...

Enigma, it's interesting to hear about Ohio from an insider's perspective, since you lived there. It is scary to think that in this country we could actually be unsure whether our vote really got counted. I'm glad NH is enthusiastic about Obama so far - it is looking good for him.

DCap, I agree - people we're used to like Hillary don't stand up well to a long campaign. And in Rudy's case, of course, the rest of the country is now finding out more about him, stuff that we in this area already knew. I certainly do feel better about the election now as well - things are definitely interesting!

Randal, I know what you mean - I've been worried all along that this administration isn't going to quit when they're supposed to if things aren't going their way. Fingers crossed that we have no new "terrorist attacks" (either manufactured by the Bush administration or real ones) that might give them an excuse not to leave.

Rhea, that was my reaction as well. Wow! I couldn't believe the results and the more I am reading about Obama's message the better I like him. We really do need some inspiration around here, not just the same old same old.

Sue J, I understand your hesitation, which was one reason I'd been on the fence. We can only hope that he picks the kind of advisers that are not like the ones W picked. I think of Obama as more like JFK than any more recent president; if he does have advisers he will still make the final decisions on things and assess the advice with his own intelligence. W doesn't have that ability. He doesn't have the innate intelligence and critical thinking skills that are needed for someone who isn't experienced and relies on advice from others. The other thing he doesn't have that Obama does have is the international perspective that someone who has experienced other cultures can bring to the table. So, fingers crossed. Let's hope he chooses advisers wisely if he gets to the White House.

Mauigirl said...

Friend #2, thanks, I'll borrow them!

Mauigirl said...

Oh, Sue J - I am with you on the Canada idea if someone like Huckabee wins! Or maybe New Zealand - it's warmer there!

TomCat said...

I'm still an Edwards fan. I think Obama's "Big Table" strategy is naive. He has no single-payer option in his health care plan. His support of Joe LIEberman over Ned Lamont, his own party's nominee, is inexcusable.

That said, if he wins the nomination, my differences with him are small enough that throwing myself behind him 100% would be an easy task. If Hillary wins, I'll support her too, but trying to explain the difference between her and a Republican may be an insurmountable task.

Mary Ellen said...

I agree with Tomcat as one of the big reasons I don't like Obama and will continue to support Edwards. If Edwards drops off, I don't know who I'll support. I feel an equal dislike for Obama and Hillary.

CresceNet said...

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Mauigirl said...

Tomcat, I like Edwards too, so I could support him with enthusiasm in November if Obama doesn't get there.

I understand your feeling that Obama may be naive in some of his assumptions and he may learn as he goes along that you can't always have a consensus on big issues. But I like the idea of trying.

As for the single-payer healthcare, I don't know whether that will ever fly here. But another way of addressing the issue to make sure everyone is covered would work for me. We shall see what happens I guess!

The Lamont-Lieberman thing is a mystery to me; don't know why he did it...

Mary Ellen, I hope if it's Huckabee versus either Hillary or Obama you'll vote for the Democrat! ;-) I think there is still a difference there...We'll see, maybe Edwards will win the nomination It is early days, for sure.

Christopher said...

I am so pleased at the campaign and the message Barack is offering the American people.

I agree that there's something Kennedyesque about Obama and his gorgeous wife and family.

It's a new day in America and Obama is ready to lead!

Jolly Roger said...

I wish I could share in your enthusiasm, but Obama's voting record leaves me cold. There isn't spitting distance between he and Hill on most issues.

Edwards, at least knows what it's like to be poor, even if he did make good for himself later. I trust that kind of "experience" in these times above anything else. We're desperately going to need someone who understands what it's like to be impoverished.

Christopher said...

In 2004, John Edwards ran as the DLC candidate. Not exactly the type of liberal bona fides I can embrace.

But, we have to choose our candidate and for me that candidate is Barack Obama.

FranIAm said...

I think Obama did great and I loved the speech, but I am not there yet to support him.

I was so glad Hillary came in third.

Tonight's debate was interesting. I thought that Edward's did great.

LET'S TALK said...

At this point I want anyone who's not a Republican to be our next President, be it Clinton, Obama or Edwards.

Candace said...

I'm so pumped about Obama's big win! I've been signed up at his website since the very beginning - you can even create your own blog there - and I tell you, all along we've been saying that Obama would astonish the pundits. Well, that's indeed what he did in Iowa, and I think it's just the beginning.

We could feel that something big was happening because never before has a candidate mobilized so many first-time voters, attracted such a broad demographic range, and on top of that, raised such incredible amounts of money (without taking PAC money, like Sen. Clinton). The money, bear in mind, came in amounts as little as $5, $10, and $25! And it keeps coming in that way, from people who've never contributed a dime to a candidate before in their lives. This is extraordinary, so it's not really surprising to see the momentum now.

Mauigirl said...

Christopher, I agree, it is time for a new day. And what we need is someone who can lead that hasn't been worn down by the cynical back room politics that so many other candidates have been. Why make Obama wait until he's like all the rest? We need him as he is now - enthusiastic and energized.

Jolly Roger, I do agree, I like Edwards' background and the fact he didn't come from wealth and privilege. I'll have to study up more on Obama's voting record, I admit I haven't really looked into it yet. I also am interested in what he did in his own state. I'll still be studying all of this as we go along.

Fran, I'll have to catch up on the debate as we were out last night and missed it. I'm sure there will be some posts of clips of it I can look at. I'm going to try to catch the next one. It is a very different election this time, with all of these debates. Or as I think DCap mentioned, they're not actually debates, but at least they're exposure to the candidates and their ideas.

LT, amen to that. Last night my husband said he wouldn't vote at all if Hillary was the candidate and I was outraged - I said, "Do you want President Huckabee???"

Candace, it does seem as if there is a real groundswell of support for Obama and it must be exciting to see those donations roll in! I just signed up on his website yesterday, although I did donate twice to his campaign earlier on. Even though I had been "on the fence" overall there was something pulling me to Obama that made me want him to succeed.

Candace said...

I think more and more people will be intrigued enough by Obama, now that he's won in Iowa, to learn more about him and maybe even join up. I recommend that anyone who hasn't read his book (The Audacity of Hope) to go ahead and find a copy of it - it just came out in paperback, btw - and see what he thinks about the issues. I expect he'll win in New Hampshire tomorrow night, too.

Dorie said...

It's looking like Obama will win New Hampshire too. Then what will Hillary do?
The next President will have to hit the ground running, because there's crushing debt from Iraq and a Recession headed our way.

Mauigirl said...

Candace, I think you're right. It's what pushed me off the fence, to realize he could actually win. I'm going to read his book.

Dorie, I know - Hillary is running scared. I feel kind of sorry for her in a way. I know my mom is supporting her and feels she's the only one qualified to be President. But I'm more excited about Obama and I can't help it! And I also don't like the tactics she's using against him now that she fears losing. I agree the next President will need to hit the ground running. I hope if Obama wins he'll have good advisers.

Marjorie said...

You guys, I'm a Kucinich fan, but I'm going to sit down today and write him a letter to please drop out and throw his support to Barack. After NH, I am saddened and shocked. We are doomed if Hillary is the nominee. This is really bad, just more of the same if not worse.

Take care you guys.

Mauigirl said...

Marjorie, good point. I'm hoping the same if Edwards were to drop out. I know it's too soon for that but if it comes down to it, I think he would rather support Obama as well.

The results in NH indicated to me that Hillary has more support among traditional Democrats, who are the ones who will be deciding the rest of the primaries - independents don't vote in the other states' primaries (or most of them anyway, don't know for sure if it's all of them). I really fear that she can't win the general election because she can't pull in independents as Obama can.