Tuesday, March 4, 2008

3-4-08: Obama vs. Clinton

I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff on the radio that has been solely focused on the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It’s all over the news. I was listening to a station out of New York, and the first three words I heard after switching the station during a piece on Clinton and Obama was… “Clinton and Obama.” Unreal.

There are a few issues I have with some of the arguments made by supporters of both candidates. I’d just like to highlight a few for now.

1. “I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because I didn’t like Bill Clinton’s administration.”

How is that even relevant? Since when does the First Lady run the government? I understand that Hillary was far from the typical First Lady, but does that mean she ran the government then? I can see how people are afraid that Bill will return and Hillary will be running as a puppet President, but aren’t there enough safeguards against that as is? Aren’t there people in Congress who would notice that?

The same goes for people who vote for Hillary because they liked Bill Clinton. They are two separate people with different management styles. Hillary is a legislator; Bill was an experienced governor. It won’t be Bill’s administration all over again.

2. “I won’t vote for Barack Obama because I don’t know enough about him.”

Well whose fault is that, really? He may have limited experience on that national level, but surely you can check on his website or read something about him in the paper, right? Besides, how much executive experience does either Democratic candidate really have? They’re both legislators. Look at their voting records. Obama was a state senator in Illinois for seven years. Look at his record. I don’t see how this attitude is anything but a cop out. In this day and age, it’s a cop out.

3. “I’m tired of the way things are going and I want change and I think Obama is the only one that can bring change.”

Not so fast, there. Slow down. You think a candidate with less clout on Capitol Hill is going to effect more change than the other candidate? You can honestly say that a candidate with more extreme ideas is going to effect more change? As polarizing as Hillary Clinton is, and as much as she is a spear-head of party politics, she is more likely to change things in four years than Obama. Just because some one has been shouting “Change! Change! Change!” and speaking almost spiritually about how we need to unite does not make them the country’s savior. These two candidates are too similar on too many levels, policy-wise, to make a clear distinction that one of them will bring change more quickly.

The real issue is electability. Which one will stand up against McCain? Look at the demographics involved. McCain is more popular among independents than Clinton. Obama has many young supporters, who have a history of poor voter turnout. Which demographic votes more often? Old people. As racist and sexist as it sounds, do you really think the elderly voters are going to vote for Obama or Clinton? When it’s you and your friends and you’re having fun at an Obama or Clinton rally, it’s one thing. But when you sit in that voting booth on your own on November 4th, who are you going to choose?

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