Okay, I made up my mind: I’m voting for Hillary

photo.jpgWhew, what a day! We just got back from seeing Barack’s whistle-stop tour at the Downingtown train station. My impressions, in no particular order:

* At the Hilary visit, we saw maybe two black voters. This was an actually mixed crowd, both ethnically and in age (a lot of younger people, too.) I liked Barack’s crowd.

* Unlike Hillary’s visit to a prosperous suburb, this was an actual working-class spot. Of course, Barack had just come from Wynnewood and Paoli further down the line. Unlike Wynnewood, Paoli, and West Chester, there’s no Starbucks in Downingtown (that I know of.)

* The crowd was, frankly, kind of tepid. There were moments of enthusiasm, but we weren’t seeing magic being made. I don’t normally EXPECT magic, but the lack of magic is relevant here because…

* Barack is running on an outsider platform; that he represents real change. Okay, awesome: tell me more. I’m all for change, but then the burden of proof is on you to convince me that you have a plan (besides “I am so awesome”) to accomplish the change. And if your platform is “I am so awesome”, you must BRING HUGE AMOUNTS OF AWESOME to back it up. I was ready to listen, but I really didn’t hear anything EXCEPT the no-money-from-lobbyists point. That is a big, good point, but it wasn’t sufficient for me. The amount of awesome wasn’t sufficient to bridge the remainder of the “no clearly defined plan” gap.

So I started the day tentatively voting for Obama, because on the limited amount of information I had to go on, I thought his organization was better run and had more momentum. And I like his supporters. However, after seeing Hillary, I have to come down on her side: I saw her as a seasoned, experienced, practical, and effective politician. I’d hire her to lead a big company, I’d hire her to be chief executive. If Obama were a shining magic man that I really BELIEVED could pull off a populist revolution, I’d be all for it. I mean, hey, who doesn’t like the idea of a total second-coming-of-Kennedy badass? However, I saw a competent speaker who, frankly, I thought was saying pretty stock “let’s change Washington” phrases without following them up sufficiently. And who didn’t really extract a big reaction from folks ready to listen to him.

So, on balance: two very smart, very committed people who are working VERY hard. I’d vote for either of them comfortably in the general election in November. But based on a day of direct contact with both and listening to their messages, I’m going to be voting for Hillary in the primary.

2 responses to “Okay, I made up my mind: I’m voting for Hillary”

  1. Although one might think that only a ’74 Bryn Mawr grad would find Sen. Clinton more inspiring than Sen Obama, it appears the novelty of voting in a primary that actually means something is clouding your judgement.
    A good Democrat would recognize that the bloodletting must stop and that keeping McCain from achieving a 3rd Bush term is paramount.
    It is almost comically disillusioning to think that your thought process is not unique and that thoughtful, educated people actually choose to prolong this campaign and give Sen Clinton hope to continue to destroy Obama…


  2. Ugh! Looks like I’m feeding the trolls.
    I’ll set aside your patronizing tone and address two points that you made. First, yeah, nobody was more surprised than me that I found Hillary more inspiring than Obama. Ironicaly, I found her to be the one sticking to the issues (and articulating them well, mentioning good, actionable plans.) It was that articulation and that substantive content that I found inspiring.
    Second, I’m not persuaded that it’s a foregone conclusion that Obama will win. Or that this close Democratic primary is “destroying” Obama. Here in West Chester, I’ve seen a Hillary crowd applaud at hearing Obama’s name mentioned, and I’ve sen an Obama crowd boo when Hillary’s name is mentioned. My point is that I don’t think the story is as simple as told on the evening news, and so it’s not time to just “shut up and form ranks against McCain.” That time may indeed come LATER, but right NOW it’s time to pick a candidate based on their merits.


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