* 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.