Monday, January 21, 2008

Considering second choices

I'm afraid that unless there is a dramatic change on Super Tuesday, my favored presidential candidate will be out of the running, and I'll be forced to pick between Obama and Clinton. I was afraid Edwards wouldn't be able to compete with the self-fulfilling prophecy of the media that seems to be enamored with the idea of a horse race between the two current front runners. I really thought Edwards would look stronger in South Carolina and Nevada, but it seems that it's not to be.

He's still getting my primary vote, but it appears I may have to pick someone else in November. I am not wildly thrilled with either option, but they're worthy of consideration. I still need to be won over by someone. I do find both of them to be likable, intelligent, and generally on the right side of most issues, and I will most likely vote for whichever one of them makes it to the dance in November.

I know what I'd be getting with Clinton. Her presidency would bring wiser heads to Washington again, after eight very long years of slowly sinking in the sands of ignorance and belligerence. Obama, I don't know as well, but he would also bring a large measure of sanity back to DC too. I've got to give both of them that.

As I've been thinking about the presidential race, I waver back and forth in weighing the Clinton and Obama options. For now, it's a toss-up.

Last week, a short video clip sprang up on the web of Obama in an interview with the editorial board of the Reno Gazette Journal, that had some of the blogosphere is a tizzy, and at first glance, I was a bit tizzified myself.

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times. I do think that for example the 1980 was different. I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

At first glance, I was really bothered by his comments, but I refrained from commenting out of a sense of unease with the video. Something was off about it, and the comments seemed to be taken out of context. After taking some time to look at the original video the clip was taken from, I think I was right. The clip shows one minute out of a forty minute interview, and it is taken out of context....just enough that it sounds like he's praising Reagan and dissing Clinton when he was really talking about the American people's unease with the status quo, and how some times are ripe for change. He was talking about when the American people are in the mood to embrace change, out of a sense or perception of dissatisfaction with the way things are in the nation or in Washington. He was talking about the zeitgeist of the nation, not the policies of Ronald Reagan. The clip leaves out his comment that JFK's election was another of those times in modern American presidential history.

He does say the Republican party has been the party of ideas, but he never says they were good ideas. In fact he infers that they were not.

He's talking about the ability to reach people with a promise of change. No matter what you think of Ronald Reagan, and I am most assuredly not a Reagan worshiper, you have to admit that his persona and his promise of a new day played a large part in him winning the White House. He never says Reagan delivered on his promises; only that he promised "morning in America". He's talking about the campaign, and not about Reagan's presidency. He's saying something more nuanced that isn't captured in the excerpt. Unfortunately, nuance is NOT the word of the day.

I suspect either the Clinton campaign, some one associated with the campaign, or a Clinton supporter made that clip, put it on YouTube and promoted it just enough in the right places to make it go viral.

Not that I'm cynical or anything....

It's just another moment in what will probably be an ongoing process of considering my second choices.

And pardon me for being about four days out of the news cycle on this, but I wanted to look at the original video. Sometimes it just takes a little time to tease out the whole story.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home