Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Just a Mama for Barack Obama

Unlike my son Aleks, I'm not particularly astute or attune to national daily political goings-on, except on a visceral level. I can't tell you much about a particular candidate's policies, philosophies voting history, but I can tell you how a particular candidate makes me feel.

Barack Obama makes me feel HOPEFUL. That, in itself, is a huge difference from what any candidate has made me feel in years. Obama feels real in ways that I don't think I've ever felt from a candidate. I have a feeling my parents' generation might have felt this way about Kennedy, who had the same "looking to the future and we have work to do" approach to the action and the mood he'd bring to the White House -- and to a struggling nation.

I never really liked Hilary, and I can't even tell you why. (I told you, this is all very visceral and not at all logical or educated!) She seems too harsh and too... well, too 90's. And her husband's involvement in her campaign doesn't help her on that front, much as I admire him. Bill Clinton, after all, pretty much defines the 90's. And a step backwards, even to the decade of his (mostly) positive presidency, is not what we need right now.

The next president needs to be soooooo NOT the 90's. Or the millenium decade, which will, so unfortunately, be defined by the buffoon who's currently bringing down the presidency and the nation and my mood and my hope and my belief in anything even remotely political or anyone in politics.

And then along comes Obama. OK granted -- right from the beginning I have to admit that he's just damn sexy -- and I am well aware of the danger of that kind of thinking! It is, after all, likely a good part of what got Mr. Buffoon elected, since many middle aged, middle American women probably said exactly the same thing about him that I'm now saying about Obama. (But Bush is sooo NOT sexy, and in my opinion never has been! How could those women not see the sneakiness in his eyes? He looks like a serpent!) Obama's sexy in the same way that my college professor was sexy: I can't separate his raw sex appeal from his very appealing, very high intelligence.

But let's leave sex appeal alone for now (if we must).

I simply believe Barack Obama when he speaks. I don't get the feeling that he's bowing to handlers, or to the media, or even to his constituents. I get the feeling that he's just so incredibly secure in his opinions and ideas (but not closed-minded) that he's decided just to always speak his mind and be honest and if it rings true for people, great. If not, then I have a feeling he'd rather bow out than change his in-the-trenches, I'm-one-of-you approach.

Now, I could be wrong on that because I also know that he's had presidential ambitions for a very long time -- like since kindergarten! -- so I don't think he'd let go of that very easily. But fortunately he doesn't have to, because he does ring true for a helluva lot of Americans right now. Thank goodness. And I think largely thanks to Obama, young people are beginning to take notice and get involved.

It's about time. But really, who can blame them for feeling removed for the past decade? It's been a catch-22 for so long: young people feel removed from politics, so the politicians ignore them. Finally now, a politician is embracing them, while also managing to embrace their parents. Hell, that's no easy feat! When in the past three generations could parents and their young adult children sit around the dinner table and completely agree on a political candidate? Maybe that happened with John Kennedy; I know my parents loved him. But then, they were already young parents themselves and, being German immigrants who had lost their parents in the war, there wasn't the opportunity in our family to test that theory.

So without telling you specifically WHY I feel as I do about Barack Obama, and without bringing it down to his policies and promises, I'll just say that he gives me hope. He gives me hope that he can bring together our divided and divisive country and, just as importantly in my opinion, he gives me hope that he can begin to repair severely broken relationships with countries around the world which Mr. Buffoon single-handedly destroyed to the point that they're in ashes right now. (I heard it constantly when I was in Germany: we don't blame you for your president... but how could your country have voted him into office? TWICE?)

Can one man do all this? Nope. But one man backed by a hopeful, trusting and determined nation CAN. It's about time, and I am so excited to watch and to be involved in the process of bringing Obama into the White House later this year!

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Anonymous said...

I'm on the fence on this right now. I like Barack Obama, but I also think Hillary Clinton has a lot to bring to the table. One thing I cannot understand is just why a lot of people actually HATE, HATE, HATE Senator Clinton. They make her sound like the embodiment of Satan. I have yet to hear a valid logical reason for that. Could it be just the fact that she is a woman? You know, a man is assertive and the woman aggressive.

emily said...

You've summed up why I feel myself drawn to him as a candidate. Go Obama!

surfie999@gmail.com said...

Well Carol......I have a gut feel that it will be the same in the US as Oz. People want a major disconnect with the "old guard", and those untainted by past associations with politics will win the guernsey. Still early days, but momentum IS bulding. The R party seems mired in the past and as such is doomed to fail.

This sentiment of change and people being "fed up" was part of the push that saw the Labor government with Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister get elected in Australia, with a very large swing across the whole country.

The old adage that government loses elections, and not that opposition wins, does not seem to be functioning.
Politics is a grubby business, unfortunately with now tooooo many cronies beholden to the status quo.

Jen said...

This is similar to what I posted last Saturday, but I had to go to a single word for Singular Saturday, lol. I was fence sitting for a bit, but I'm solidly behind Obama now. And I'm scared by today's outcome - currently Clinton is ahead in New Hampshire.

surfie999@gmail.com said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surfie999@gmail.com said...

Obviously not over yet......a long way to go. And Clinton has got up in New Hampshire too.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I hadn't thought of the Kennedy idea. I think (HOPE) most people are ready for a big huge change. It's going to be an interesting ride until the next election.

vailian said...

Thanks for writing this! I admit I cannot testify to his sex appeal as he is not my type, but I am glad to hear that he does have some effect on a certain segment of the population, and you do give a few other reasons for electing him. :)
I have been touting Obama ever since I read some of the speeches he made. Here is a guy who is not only a gifted orator, he actually is saying something that is reasonable-- and inspiring.
My sympathy is with Hilary, I respect her and don't understand the visceral hatred she seems to bring out in some people. Her heart is in the right place and she knows what she is getting into. My vote would be for her or Edwards (I like him too) if I didn't have the feeling that she is too caught in the net of influencers and lobbyists (where is all her campaign money coming from? Those supporters are going to want repayment in some way if she is elected!). She will be the candidate of those who are content with the status quo.
Another blogger pointed out that there is a strange phenomenon going on with Hilary: many of the conservative Republicans are trying to help her campaign, because they feel she is not electable, and having her as a candidate could push a moderate Republican into the White House.
I am writing from Europe, where I daily see the damage Bush has done to America's reputation. Hilary is seen as yet another member of the American equivalent of the old Russian politburo, and will find it very difficult to repair our standing. And much as I appreciate her obvious intelligence, I have some lingering doubts about her integrity (Whitewater) and her ability, finally, to get things done (her modus operandi is making tiny deals with politicians, buying them out in essence, rather than inspiring people to do the right thing).
Obama, on the other hand, would show the rest of the world that America is capable of being (you have the right word here) hopeful and changing course.
Barak Obama embodies what is great about America, and I am hoping for an Obama candidature... I would even go for Hilary as runningmate!

vailian said...

Sorry for repeated misspellings of Hillary. No slur intended.

Unknown said...

Dude, great minds think a like!

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