Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Today is so-called Super Tuesday, when a lot of states over here hold their Presidential primaries or caucuses. I voted late this morning in Connecticut’s Democratic Primary. I was a John Edwards man, because he was the clearest, most detailed, and, I think, most courageous of the candidates. Democrats have been so browbeaten over the last generation or so that it’s actually shocking to hear one talk the way Democrats habitually talked when I was a young man. Edwards did. Neither Clinton nor Obama was willing to engage certain issues until he pushed them into it. Now Edwards is out, though, I’m going with Barack.

I like Hillary. We’re the same age, members of the same graduating class from similar Northeastern colleges (mine was for men, hers was for women), and she is the kind of get-out-of-my-way feminist I certainly hope I would be if I were a woman. I feel as if I know her pretty well, and I admire her. She would probably be a good president. But she is surrounded by advisors I detest, epitomized by her pollster and chief strategist, the repellant Mark Penn (who will be remembered by Brits as a one-time Blair advisor). Penn and the rest of this crew epitomize big-money business as usual, and the kind of politics that has pushed this country into a kind of glazed, cynical despair.

I have much less fellow-feeling for Barack. But he’s got something going that I’ve decided to pin my hopes, my political contributions, my campaign efforts, and my vote on. Hope, eloquence, and excitement aren’t enough. Not even close. But what I do know about him indicates that there is a fine mind there, strong beliefs, and solid political skills.

Of course, I’ll vote for any Democrat in November (we had a pretty good field, actually). This corrupt, criminal Republican administration has done possibly fatal damage to the US. But I want someone in office who will give our necessary regeneration a real shot, and who is most likely to give the rest of us good reasons to help. I think Obama’s the one.

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