Sunday, February 3, 2008

Undecideds: Go With Your Gut

Since John Edwards stepped out of the ring last week, millions of his supporters have been searching their souls to determine how to re-cast their vote. I'm sure many of them have been listening carefully to the Democratic debates and doing their due diligence on the issues.

Truth be told, until now, I've done very little research and paid very little attention to the Democratic candidates plans. Really, there was no need. I've known I would vote for Barack Obama the minute I saw him speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I remember so clearly being agape at his eloquence and his inspirational reminder about what was good about America. As shivers ran down my spine, I thought, "This is the guy. He's it. He's what we've been waiting for."

The decision was confirmed when I saw the Obamas on Oprah, months before he announced his candidacy. They talked about how Barack insisted on helping plan their daughter's birthday party. Michelle wisely assigned him the simple task of ordering the pizza because she knew he could handle it. When he insisted on doing the goody bags too, she refused saying that his "head would explode" with all the options he would have to choose from at the party store. I loved that as a young, well-educated, dual-career family, I could see our family in theirs. But I also knew that because of their heritage, they understood a harsh reality that I would never know, but would be invaluable in leading our country.

Having already cast my vote, I was curious to see just how far apart Hillary and Barack really were on the issues. I realized that by casting my vote for Barack, I was relying on intuition and trading inspiration for considerable experience in Hillary Clinton. So I figured I'd go see what I'd sacrificed. After studying both their campaign Web sites, I was surprised to learn that aside from some subtle nuances, their plans were practically identical on most of the issues. Hillary's site laid out proposals in greater depth and detail on some issues, but Barack's did the same on others. I was surprised to learn that Hillary dedicated much of her career to non-profit work and spent many years as an advocate for mothers and children.

I was almost starting to like Hillary when I finally ran into exactly what has turned me off to her as a potential President. There it was, right on her site: blogHillary. In today's post, her chief strategist, Mark Penn, takes aim at Barack Obama, laying out all of the "facts" that journalists have uncovered lately about the Senator and his "claims" on his so-called record. Reading this treatise, designed to "help" me learn more about Senator Obama with this "new information," my stomach started to churn.

Just to check myself up, I flipped back to the Obama site to see what dirt they were dishing on Hillary. Of course, I couldn't find a thing. All I found were page upon page detailing the Senator's positions on the issues, his activities on the campaign trail and his latest list of endorsements. I did land on this page, which asks me for feedback on his policy ideas and to share mine as well. Whether he actually uses my ideas or not, it sure is nice to be asked.

I don't know about you, but I can't take four more, eight more, or any more years of negative, divisive politics as usual. Penn's "new information," factual or not, is irrelevant in my eyes. I'm glad I went with my gut -- I'll take integrity over experience any day. I hope Edwards supporters nationwide heard Maria Shriver's endorsement speech for Obama. Here's the best part:

"This is a moment. It's a moment to have a conversation with yourself. Not with anyone else. Have a conversation with your own heart and ask yourself, 'What kind of America do I believe in? Do I believe in an America that's about unity, that's about coming together, that's about seeing beyond the labels that divide us?' And if that's the kind of America I want, I think it'll be very clear to you what you should do on Tuesday."

Barack Obama Logo


MojoMom said...

I decided to see how many Clinton events are scheduled within 100 miles of Chapel Hill, NC versus how many Obama events. Based on the results from each candidate's webs site, it's 19 events for Obama crushing 2 for Clinton. How's that for grassroots mobilization?

I plan to stay up late tomorrow night watching election results with local Obama supporters.

PunditMom said...

Wow, MojoMom, that's shocking.

I'm still undecided -- even my gut is!

Glennia said...

I'm with you! As a former Edwards supporter, I was torn about who to vote for as well. When it came down to it, I went with my gut and voted for Obama, too.