For those of you keeping track, that's +1 absentee ballot for Obama in Missouri.
I haven't been very vocal on my blog about the primaries, mainly because I've been feeling too burned out to write substantial entries on the site. I've been following the race very closely, though, and have been publicly supporting Obama for several months now.
I liked the policies of all the major candidates well enough, and will have no trouble pulling the lever for whichever one gets the nomination. However, I think that there are some strong reasons to support Obama over Clinton_
Divisiveness: It's not that I don't think Hillary will be a strong president, it's just that I can't understand why we'd want to field a candidate with such incredibly high negatives, before the real mud-slinging even starts. Years of bashing from right-wing sources have left a huge percentage of the country unwilling to even consider voting for Clinton. That's a huge black mark, and frankly, I don't want to take any chances this year. Eight years of being in the minority is enough.
Obama, by contrast, excels in reaching out to independents and young people and bringing them to the polls in exceptional numbers. The breakdowns of the primaries thus far have clearly shown that. Obama is capable of bringing new voters to the Democratic side and that's something that can have consequences far beyond the presidential race. Do you think Democrats in rural states want to be down-ticket from a Clinton, given all the vitriol that has been spewed about her? That's as bad as adding gay marriage amendments, in terms of rallying the conservative base.
Iraq: Does "I was for it before I was against it" sound familiar? I understand Clinton's postion, but I also understood Kerry's position. If we nominate someone who was against the war from the beginning, it will be a fantastic contrast to all of the "stay the course" bullshit that the Republicans are spouting.
Message: Obama offers something new and fresh. He reaches across class, racial, and party lines and inspires damn near everyone with his speeches. The man's gift for uplifting rhetoric even has conservatives impressed_
Barack Obama's speech tonight was simply exceptional â€” and a reminder of why he is one of the most remarkable political talents in our lifetime. He was able to speak in ways that seem to rise above conventional politics, even as he was able to masterfully push back against the Clinton attacks of the last several weeks. His capacity to touch and stir authentic emotions is remarkable. And unlike Clinton and especially Edwards, the Obama message is about unity, not divisions; and hopes rather than grievances. If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, Republicans have a great deal to fear. He has tremendous break-out potential.Mostly though, I'm tired. I'm tired of winning or losing by a few highly contested votes. I'm tired of narrow victories being described as "mandates". I'm tired of divisive politics that alienate half of the country. I'm tired of being unable to even speak to people on the other side of the aisle.
I want to believe in America again. I want a leader who speaks for everyone, and seeks solutions for the problems that affect us all. I want a leader who inspires the young and apathetic to care about politics. I want a leader who makes Americans proud of their country again, and who inspires them to work for a better tomorrow.
I believe that leader is Barack Obama.