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Clinton or Obama? Convince Me - Mo's Journal
January 28th, 2008
10:34 am

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Clinton or Obama? Convince Me
Okay, with Kucinich out of the race, I'm now faced with the prospect of voting for someone in the primary who could actually win. As of this writing I'm undecided.

I think they are both smart and competent with good, relevant experience. They are both a little too centrist for my tastes. I see Clinton as being somewhat more experienced and knowledgeable on how Washington works; I find Obama more inspiring and charismatic. I see her as a little too prone to pandering; I see him as not having yet been tested enough to find out where he stands on the Pandermeter. I am excited beyond coherent expression at the idea of having either an African American or female POTUS - truly, the thought of either one winning brings tears of joy to my eyes.

So, there have to be supporters of each on my flist. Tell me why I should vote for your candidate.

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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
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I like Hillary, myself, but I know how much she'd detested by the Republicans, and with her experience also comes a lot of baggage

That's a point. OTOH, they've already thrown everything at her they've got, I feel. And with that, she's still very popular, generally. With Obama, who knows what the Republicans will come up with?

I keep going back and forth. I would love a Clinton/Obama ticket, but since that means you *add* up the people who won't vote for a woman and those who won't vote for a black man, I guess that's out of the question. Plus the primary fight has become acrimonious enough that it would be difficult to recover from.
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From:violent_rabbit
Date:January 28th, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)

Clinton!

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If Hilliary wins it would require a consitutional change for Bill to be called anything but the first lady. ANd I think thats just perfect.


Mind you, I heard that on the internets some where and it may not be accurate whatsoever.
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From:penknife
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Clinton!

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It's not -- "First Lady" is a courtesy title, not any kind of official position. It's just a matter of custom. (He probably should be First Gentleman, but I suspect "First Husband" is likely.)
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From:tarchannon
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
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My major concern with Obama is his inexperience (in government, let alone with foreign policy). He's a freshman senator, which means he's very, very wet behind the ears. He's not handled the bumbs in the road in his campaign very well, IMHO (as in, he stubbornly kept the virulent homophobe advisor he had, even after the guy was called on it). Leaving a second tier advisor in a very visible place when there is a great liability in doing so is not astute (hey, people are entitled to their opinions, but leaving him in a *public* position of influence is just stupid). OTOH, Hillary has balls. He's a vetran of the scene, and she can get the job done. I have no reservations about her militaty fortitude or her foreign policy savvy. Despite her other negaitives, she vastly outclasses Obama (IMHO).
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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
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She does have a few more years in the Senate than he does. She doesn't have more legislative experience, but she has more federal legislative experience. Not that much, though, unless you count the First Lady experience. That counts for *something* but I don't know how much.
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From:penknife
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
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I prefer Clinton's experience to Obama's enthusiasm. I think she has a better sense of how to play politics and how to handle complicated foreign policy issues, and God knows we've got some right now. And I'm concerned by Obama's unwillingness to firmly distance himself from homophobic supporters. I don't think Clinton cares passionately about LGBT issues, but I think she'll sign whatever progressive legislation Congress can pass without, frankly, paying it too much attention. I'm a little more concerned about whether Obama's going to push for "compromise" with the most conservative Democrats on LGBT issues.

I don't hate either candidate -- I think they'd both be such an incredible improvement over Bush that I will vote happily for whoever gets the nomination. I don't adore either candidate (though I agree having this choice is exciting!) -- Clinton is too hawkish on Iraq for me, for one thing. But I'm probably going to vote for Clinton.
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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
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don't hate either candidate -- I think they'd both be such an incredible improvement over Bush that I will vote happily for whoever gets the nomination.

Oh me too!

I don't think either of them is very good on GLBT issues. I'm glad to see she finally denounced DOMA after defending it all these years, but she still only broke with *half* of it. I do feel I can't make the decision concerning GLBT issues, since they seem both about the same to me there...
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From:were_lemur
Date:January 28th, 2008 05:39 pm (UTC)
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For the first time in years, I've changed my registration back to Democrat (I flounced off and joined the Libertarian party nearly a decade ago) so that I can vote for Obama in the primary. Why? Because he's not a part of the machine. Because, even if he's not quite "my" generation, he's still a lot closer than the sixties leftovers that the party's been fielding of late. Even if I don't agree with him on every position (which I've never done with any politician anyway) I think that the possibility of change that he represents is absolutely vital.

I read an opinion piece somewhere (no citation, sorry) about how all of the past few administrations have come from one side or the other of the Vietnam War debate, but how Obama is post-that time period. About how he's part of the new generation. And I -- sick of the same old politics and irritated with the Democratic party as only a former true believer can be -- think both the nation and the party need that. It's like Groundhog Day; will we see our shadow and retreat back into the past, or will we finally be able to move on.

A couple weeks ago, someone on my flist was talking about Goonies. I don't remember if it was in reference to Obama or to something totally different, but the line "it's our time down here" resonates. That generation has made its mark; they've done a lot of good but by holding on, they've caused both the party and the nation to get bogged down. Now, it's time for a new generation to take over. It's our time.
From:psychdyke
Date:January 28th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
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I voted for Clinton for a number of reasons, but one was that Obama DID act like someone who was too much in the machine. I'm in Michigan, where he and Edwards both removed their names from our ballot because the Democratic Party said to, to punish us for having moved up our primary date. Clinton did say she wouldn't campaign, but she kept her name on the ballot. That mattered to me - I think that Obama's and Edwards' caving in to the Democratic Party like that was just dumb (I think what the DP did was super dumb too, but that's not the point here). I considered voting for Kucinich for a number of reasons, and one thing that changed my mind on that was that he said he wanted to remove his name from the ballot, but was told he couldn't because he asked too late or something like that, which just seems like the worst of all choices in a way.

So while many people voted "uncommitted" to vote for O/E, I didn't want to in any way reward people who basically told me that party allegiance was more important than my vote (although of course that's exactly what I'll do in November...). Also, the more we go on, the more Obama bugs me. And I think he's handling criticism particularly poorly, and that the level of that is only going to get worse.
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From:vanessa_musing
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
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I will be voting for Obama. Clinton is too divisive, and she changes her stances depending on the way the wind is blowing. Obama shows the ability to build consensus and listen to experts when he needs more info on issues. I am also swayed by the fact that he is not taking money from anyone but individuals in the Country. He will not be beholden to nearly as many favors as HRC will if she is elected. Another respondent mentioned the ability to beat the Republican candidate, Obama is a clear choice on that issue. Especially here in Florida, people vehemently dislike HRC.
Hope some of this helps you with your decision making.
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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
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I definitely worry about how HRC's positions have changed on a number of subjects and how they might in the future. I was getting at that a little bit with the pandering issue. But am I too cynical in thinking that we know how she's changed her positions *because* of her experience, and that Obama might be just as changeable and just as subject to persuasion as she has been?
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From:executrix
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Basically, I think that *anybody* gets to be a powerful politician by being perfectly willing to put their grandmother on eBay and sell her for a nickel if ze thinks it'll help ze in any way (AND they get poor ratings from their previous customers).

As the old saying goes, when a poor Jew gets to eat a whole chicken, one of them is sick. Consider the mess that a black or female President is going to step into the middle of. I don't think either Obama or Clinton (or anybody else) is going to be able to make much headway cleaning it up. And when he or she fails, there'll be a lot more cries of "We had a woman (or African-American) president once and it didn't work out!" NOBODY says "Bush dug a hole that we are probably never going to dig our way out of...let's not have any more white guys!"
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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for that cheery contribution!

Who's in the icon?

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From:xtricks
Date:January 28th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)

My opinion is long ...

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So I've provided a link - it's looooong - and I've spesifically addressed some of the concerns regarding Obama's homophobic assistant issue.

http://xtricks.insanejournal.com/2582.html
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From:mofic
Date:January 28th, 2008 07:07 pm (UTC)

Re: My opinion is long ...

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That's a good essay. I don't see you addressing the homophobic assistant issue, though, except to say that it's him we're voting for, not the assistant. Did you expand on that more elsewhere?
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From:hitchhiker
Date:January 28th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
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I find Randall Munroe's observation an extremely big plus for Obama
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From:sabra_n
Date:January 28th, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
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I'm extremely pissed at Hillary Clinton right now because she said she'd try to get Michigan and Florida's delegates seated at the Democratic convention, which is blatantly undemocratic given that in Michigan she was the only Democrat on the ballot.

*incoherent rage* That's cheating, no matter how you spin it, and I get that politics aren't clean but that's so freaking blatant it lowered my estimation of her immensely. None of the top three candidates are terribly experienced- what Clinton has in White House exposure Obama has in more years actually governing. So right now I'm for Obama.

-blue
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From:st_crispins
Date:January 28th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
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They were *always* going to get the delegates seated ---it's just a matter of how long they wait.
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From:st_crispins
Date:January 28th, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
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Oh, and I think the Republicans will eat Obama alive.

At least Hillary has Bill to watch her back (even if he sometimes comes out blazing too soon.)
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From:xtricks
Date:January 29th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
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I think you need to look at his media advisor (and a senior advisor in general) before you belive that one

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070219/hayes
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From:melannen
Date:January 28th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
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Mike Gravel has no chance in hell of winning either, and has the closest policy positions to Kucinich's, including strong support for gay rights! Plus if we elect a crotchety old white guy to clean up Bush's mess, Clinton and Obama have a chance to come in in four years when they could actually accomplish real good. And he's "taken a break" from campaigning so he probably won't bother to withdraw anytime soon. I'm going Gravel!

Since my state votes after Super Tuesday, of course, my vote's almost certainly irrelevant.
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From:mofic
Date:January 29th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
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All I know about Gravel is that he has a gun, a fact that does not endear him to me. Seriously, I think a vote for Kucinich would have said "There's a progressive wing to the Democratic Party. Don't forget us." A vote for Gravel just says "Who is that guy?"
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From:titti
Date:January 28th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
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I'm registered independent, so I can't vote, I'd vote for Hillary for several reason.

1. Rhetoric v. Substance. Obama sounds damn good, but so would I if my speeches were written by Kennedy's speech writer. Words are nice and well, but mean very little.

In his first year in the Senate, Obama was skipped an enormous number of session (I don't have a link for this, but it was in the NY Times). Hillary has one of the highest percentage of presence.

2. Experience. Hillary was always involved in the Clinton administration. One of the biggest accusations thrown at Bill in 1994 was that she ran the administration. While I don't believe that, I'm sure she was involved.

3. Change. I've seen the candidates throw this around so much, and somehow the media connect it to Obama. However he has proven to work the lobby machine better than Hillary if his campaign funds are anything to go by, and played the party game in Michigan where he took his name off the ballot.

4. Connections. Hillary has them, Obama doesn't. It's as simple as that. I doubt that Obama would get anything done unless he gets a very favorable Democratic congress.

5. Political viability. Race is not a factor, but I'm sure the Republican South will come running to the polls if there is a black candidate. In addition, the fact that the Republicans are so against Hillary is enough for me to a) like her and b) conclude that they fear her a lot more than they fear Obama.

Wow, that was long considering I can't even vote in the primary.
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From:undomielregina
Date:January 28th, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
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I'm an Obama supporter for both practical and ideological reasons. I think he's more likely to win that Hillary not because people hate her but because he has more charisma. I think that one of the main mistakes we Democrats made in the last election was undervaluing the importance of charisma and I don't want to do so twice. I'm also won by his charisma and rhetoric to a degree that's embarrassing to my cynical soul. I really liked his Martin Luthor King Day speech (it was actually the day before, but whatever). I'm happy that he's open about his past drug use both because I hate candidates being wishy-washy in their answers and because he admitted to it long enough ago that it'll be really hard to turn that into a story.

Also, I'm kinda creeped out by the idea that the entire first 30 years of my life might be spent under a Bush or a Clinton. I actually think that kind of dynastic struggle is bad for the country. I've been irritated by Bill's attitude lately even though I remember his presidency fondly, and I sort of worry that he won't be able to stay out of the spotlight. If Hillary's president, I want the focus on her, not him and I'm not positive that will happen.

Partly, it's just that I dislike Hillary's attitudes right now. I'm particularly irritated by some of the sleazy stuff she's done lately. I don't like that she kept her name on the ballot in Michigan and Florida and that she's now lobbying for the return of the state's delegates. Mostly, this irritates me because the states in question don't exactly need more attention from either party, and yet they had to shove forward in the primary season anyway (seriously, it's not like Florida is exactly ignored in election season.)
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From:tarchannon
Date:January 29th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
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To reiterate an above post, just how shitty was it for Obama and the others to withdraw their names from my priomary ballot? I hiked a long way through terrible weather on foot (on my boirthday no less) to do my duty and they *denied me* my proper primary vote... for no actual reason! That's not 'sleazy' on Clinton's part, that's RESPECT for her public.

And yes, it did make a difference. If I had known that I was not voting for Clinton vs Obama on the Democratic ticket, I could have chosen the Republican ticket and voted for the man least likely to cause damage (McCain). Instead, the world class liar/hyprocit Mitt Romney won. Grrr.
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From:st_crispins
Date:January 29th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
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Reading through the comments, I find it amusing that some folks like Hillary because she kept her name on the ballots and some folks don't like her for that.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

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From:rachel_martin64
Date:January 29th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
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I will vote for whoever is not the Republican candidate, frankly. I have no heartburn voting for either Clinton or Obama.

I think Clinton is the better candidate, but I also think she can't win because woman-hatred is too prevalent in this mostly conservative Christian nation. (Or rather, women who "know their place" are loved, women who climb out of the box are hated.) For this reason, I hope Obama gets the Democratic nomination.

I was reading blog comments at MSN and elsewhere and was astounded and saddened at the virulent comments made about Clinton's wrinkles, weight, breast size, and thigh size. It is incredible to me that conservatives are really stooping so low.
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From:mofic
Date:January 29th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
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Do you think the "won't vote for a woman" crowd is larger than the "won't vote for a black man" crowd?
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From:mofic
Date:January 29th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
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I absolutely get the passion. He's inspiring, charismatic, persuasive. I read Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of him, comparing him to her father, and I was moved by it. OTOH, I'm cynical enough to at least partly discount charisma.

It certainly bothers me that Clinton voted for the war, both for the vote itself and just the kind of going-with-the-flow of it. I worry that she's too much go-along-to-get-along. OTOH, that tendency may be what it takes to get things done, to work with Congress, if it doesn't go too far.

I think/hope either of them can win in November.

I'm finding the comments here really persuasive - in two directions. I've got a smart, engaged, interested and interesting friendslist and you're just about equally divided. And all that kind of describes my brain, too!
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From:mofic
Date:February 5th, 2008 02:12 pm (UTC)
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I am going to delete your comments, but want to make clear why I'm doing so. Up until you entered this, there was respectful, albeit strong, disagreement. I do not permit flaming on my journal. I might make an exception, due to the nature of the subject, if you limited yourself to calling Clinton names, but when your name-calling extends to those who support her, I can't permit that. There are many forums for political discussion that do not insist on civility. I recommend you either amend your method of expressing yourself or go elsewhere.

Please note, if you wish to express your support of Obama in a way that is respectful of others, I'd be glad to hear your views. OTOH, if you post another flame you will be banned from this journal.
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