Okay, I haven't said much about the elections, but I have been following the elections very closely.
Now, I cannot STAND George Bush. He is a lying, scheming, snakeoil salesman. Which gives me a huge problem with John McCain.... he of the "I'd be happy to have soldiers in Iraq for the next 100 years, and so would the American people." Um, not THIS American person! He talked about how we still have soldiers in Germany and Japan, and South Korea. And how this is okay. Well, IMO, it's actually NOT okay. I don't see any of the Republican candidates except Ron Paul who would NOT simply carry on the absolutely disastrous road down which Bush has taken us the last 7 years.
Which leads me to the Democratic debate last week. I have to say, I'm glad the fields on both sides have been whittled down-- it was just mindnumbing watching 9 people trying to get their comments in.
I thought the Democratic debate between Hillary and Barak was amazingly well-done. I liked the way they focused not so much on their differences with each other, but their differences with George Bush and the Republican candidates. I first saw Barak Obama when he spoke at the Democrat Convention, and I was enthralled. He was one of the most powerful speakers I had ever heard. And I think he still is.
However, vague, general, uplifting rhetoric doesn't tell me much. I have yet to hear any specifics about how he would get us to the point he keeps telling us we'll reach. I thought he had a very rough start at the debate, and was very unsure of himself... and, hey, I DEFINITELY understand how intimidating such a situation can be, especially when there are now only two-- the focus cannot be deflected. And I thought he found his footing, and became more sure of himself as the debate went on. I STILL didn't hear any specifics from him, however.
I thought Hillary was strong right out of the box. She was prepared, she detailed her past experience with clarity and thought towards the relevance of it. Much of which I had never heard about before. Unfortunately, when the word 'experience' comes up, most people tend to ask, "How does being First Lady give her experience?" I think they totally neglect her experience and success as an attorney, the fact that she is on two of the most powerful committees in the Senate, including the Armed Services Committee, the almost universal praise for her work in the Senate from colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and her other work over the last 35 years. Now, as for her time in the White House, no, she wasn't in charge, but it DID give her an opportunity to see first-hand what the job entails, how things work, what's necessary, and to develop rapport and relationships with foreign leaders. I think it has greatly informed her foreign policy, an area in which Barak seems to be lacking.
She was calm, confident, professional, and clear. She explained things about some of her votes that most people outside of Congress wouldn't likely know... and Barak continued to claim he'd been against the war from the beginning. Something which has demonstrably been proven not to be true. He focuses on the fact that she voted for the resolution, without including the fact that ALL of us, INCLUDING members of Congress, were LIED to and manipulated to GET that resolution passed. Barak's response was, "I think it's more important to be RIGHT from Day 1." Yet, he himself said that he didn't know how he would have voted. I have a problem with that.
Considering the options, I will most likely vote for whomever is the Democrat nominee; frankly, I don't know if it will happen, but I'd love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket. I would love to see him in the VP debates, and see what he can do 8 years from now, after he's really been involved. I think he could be an EXCELLENT president with a little 'seasoning,' but not right now.
And, frankly, I've had enough of people complaining that Bill would be 'involved,' and 'making phone calls.' Firstly, I don't believe that will be necessary. But if it is? Why NOT????? Anybody really think that GWB, who surrounded himself with his father's advisers (who proved failures the FIRST time around, but that's another issue) hasn't asked Daddy for help? There aren't a whole lot of people who HAVE the experience of being president, and the connections that provides-- what is wrong with using their expertise? Why is that a bad thing?
And, I"m frankly tired of her being called 'cold, heartless and ruthless' when she has done nothing that any male candidate hasn't done. Have ANY of the men been called such things? Of course not. And it happens ALL THE TIME. A man is 'ambitious' and 'aggressive.' A woman is 'cold' and 'a bitch.' And those SAME PEOPLE, when she dared to show a little emotion, suddenly called her 'weak' and 'manipulative,' and blew it WAY out of proportion. To the point that when I actually SAW the video, I wondered if I was missing something. I heard it called a 'sobfect,' a 'breakdown,' and other such ridiculous things-- she most CERTAINLY didn't have a breakdown, nor did she go on a crying jag. She didn't even actually CRY, she simply choked up and teared up a bit when talking about our country's future, which is obviously very important to her. I have to admit, I've done the same thing, on more than one occasion, thinking about what has happened to our country over the last 7 years.
Then we have 'decolletege-gate.' AGAIN, when I heard about it and then saw the video, I thought I MUST have missed something. What she was wearing was an attractive, professional suit, which didn't even really SHOW any cleavage; maybe, perhaps, the hint of it.... would any man have DAYS spent on his attire like that? With the REASON she was on the Senate floor (which was an important one), being ignored? I seriously doubt it. Does anyone even remember what she was talking about? Probably not (the cost of higher education). Does this happen to men? Of course not. Yet THIS was compared to a man coming on the floor with his FLY UNZIPPED. As if it was somehow indecent. Women wear more 'revealing' outfits in offices all over this country, and as someone else pointed out, IN CHURCH. And, up until this point, she had been criticized for her 'man suits.'
Meanwhile, with regard to Barak, I STILL hear people spreading the gossip that he was raised Muslim, that he IS Muslim, that he swore in as a Senator on the Q'uran (NONE of which is true), and that it would be an insult to our military to elect someone with the name Obama. HUH????????? And people such as that Shari person on The View (who has to be the dumbest adult woman I've ever heard of), spread this further on national television, and when called on it, simply said she had 'heard people say it.' OMG! I'm beginning to wonder if there shouldn't be a basic intelligence test in order to be able to vote! (No, not really, but sometimes I wonder if we REALLY want people who make their decisions/judgements this way deciding who our leaders are? Look what we got when we had people basing their decision on 'He MUST be perfect. He's a Christian.').
We need change-- change from the last 7 years. IMO, either of the Democrat candidates will provide that, none of the Republicans (except Ron Paul) will. My decision between the two of them has nothing to do with the 'race' card or the 'woman' card. It has to do with their records, their plans and their qualifications to be a leader.