I’ve decided to go ahead and make the choice for America’s Democratic voters as they head to the polls today. Given the massive reach of this blog, I expect one campaign to announce they are suspending operations and another to begin work for the general election. Give that importance, let’s get to my choice, and really, America’s choice.
The best choice Democratic voters can make is Barack Obama.
The Democrats have an incredibly positive and potentially negative situation on their hands. We’ve an embarrassment of riches in terms of our candidates for President. Even some who did not make it out of the early states would have been more electable, better Presidents than the Republicans have to offer. Today, when millions of Americans go to vote, the Democratic Party doesn’t have to choose between a serial flip flopper with no political convictions, a unrepentant war hawk who promises hundreds of years more in Iraq, or someone who doesn’t believe in science. Oh, and someone who doesn’t think we should have interstate highways.
Democrats get to choose between two leaders, two historic choices, and two candidates who are, truth be told, much closer on the issues than the campaign has suggested, and that has been the dilemma for many Democratic voters, I believe. The only drawback is that choosing between the two candidates left will be incredibly difficult and prolonged.
Why, today, do I think that Barack Obama is the better choice? Well, that video is pretty catchy. Beyond that, I think Obama offers the best hope for a candidate who can help bridge the partisan divide that has paralyzed this country, not by selling out or making false, weakening compromises, but by leading, and inspiring.
I think he’s more likely to win the election, too. He’s not “electable” in the way that Democrats have chosen their nominees in the past, either; I believe that Obama can lead towards progressive ideas, not back fearfully away from them the way that John Kerry did in 2004. The electorate is ready for a candidate who not only believes in progressive values, but will stand for them. 2008 might well be just another election, hyperbole about the nation’s future aside, but win or lose, the future viability of the democratic wing of the Democratic Party depends on selecting a candidate whose commitment to those values we can count on. I think Barack Obama can be counted on to defend those values without hedging or hiding.
All this being said, I’ll enthusiastically support Senator Clinton if she wins the primary. She’s proven to be a brilliant, tough fighter, and would make an excellent President.
There you have it, America. I’ve finally spoken. 🙂