Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Reflections on Super Tuesday

I watched the Super Tuesday returns come in last night with the same feeling I've had for weeks -- internal conflict resulting from my likely choice of candidate in the upcoming Democratic primary. Since that blog entry, every other member of my family that has voted in the Democratic primary in their respective states has voted for Hillary Clinton.* And I totally understand why. (I'd probably only find it really puzzling if one of them suddenly voted for Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, or this guy.)

Today, via email, I had a conversation about the candidates with a friend, someone who seems to reach similar decisions to me but approaches pretty much everything in a very different way. She asked me if it was an easy decision.

On the one hand, it's sort-of funny because I'm not 100% decided -- and I probably won't be until I actually get in the box and touch the screen. But that's academic, since I've been saying that I'm leaning towards Obama for several weeks now. So my response was more serious/less pithy:

It hasn't been easy at all. On day one, I've was about 51-49 in favor of Obama. (Actually it was about 35-33-32 Obama-Edwards-Clinton, until I figured that Edwards wasn't really a viable candidate.) Then [Rabid Hillary supporter's] emails pushed me further into Obama territory. But [Obama Fans'] constant [commenting] about him has pushed me slightly in the other direction, not to mention Hillary's impressive performance on Letterman the other night.

Ignoring for a second the whole feminism/post-feminism aspect of the debate, ultimately, I've sort-of concluded that I like Obama's optimism and the fact that he symbolizes a complete change from the status quo, which is enough to overcome the fact that she actually seems to represent a slightly more left-of-center liberalism. But I will happily support either one of them in the general election, and I get very annoyed whenever other Democrats go around bashing either one of them.

I mean that. I get frustrated whenever I see supporters of either Democratic candidate bashing the other one. It's silly and unproductive -- and in the general election, will be turned around and used against whichever candidate ultimately prevails.

*An aside: My dad joked that he voted for John McCain -- but no one in my family has voted Republican in years, and my dad wouldn't be the first to cross the party line. (Although I am sure that if he was voting for a Republican in Florida, it would have been McCain or Giuliani -- and not Romney or Huckabee.) So then he admitted that he voted for Hillary because he and my mom don't think that a black candidate can win in this country, not yet. Of course, I then pointed out that if some people can't bring themselves to vote for a black man, what makes him think those same people would vote for a woman. So then he said that the Democrats would undoubtedly lose either way in November. Not very optimistic, right?

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