Thursday, February 14, 2008

Texas - Make or Break for Clinton

OK, Texas Democrats (or independents who are going to vote in the primaries), I need to chat with you, if you're reading my blog. Everybody else can listen in, but I'm really talking to the Texas folks here.

Our votes don't usually count. We all know that we're in a red state, and our vote in the election will almost certainly go to the Republican candidate. We're late in the primaries, where the decision has usually been made.

This year, we're not just affecting the decision, we're crucial to it. The Clinton camp is *counting* on Texas to stop the momentum Obama has gained by sweeping the last batch of primaries.

And I am counting on you to help me finally make my vote resonate with the actual results of voting. Just this once. If Texas can actually go for Obama, I will do a gleeful dance of joy.

So... if any of you are on the fence, or supporting Hilary but interested in hearing why I support Obama and think you should too, if I can sway you to vote for Obama in the Texas primaries... please, post in the comments or feel free to come and talk to me at my shop. This is supremely important to me, and I'm happy to talk about why.

15 comments:

GrayPumpkin said...

I'll be voting Obama, Edwards was my first choice but since he's out of the picture it's Obama all the way for me. I am no Clinton fan.
I think I'll vote McCain before I would Hillery.

Nate Southard said...
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Randy said...
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Nate Southard said...
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Randy said...

On the abstentions... you got some examples? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'd just like to hear some examples.

As for being a hollow candidate, all due respect, but that's bullshit. It's a Republican (and Hilary) talking point. Obama has explained his policies in detail, on his website, in his book, and it's clear that he's thinking about these things and has ideas how to do it. They may not all be workable, but to say that he's all speech and no policy is absolute bullshit. His speeches tend to be of a more general, inspirational nature, I'll agree with that, but I don't think that there's anything wrong with that if you have policy ideas to back it up. And all evidence I've seen points to him having just that.

In particular, the economic notions he has in Audacity of Hope seem well-thought out and an imaginative way to tackle some of the most important issues of the next four years.

Nate Southard said...
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Randy said...
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Nate Southard said...
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Nate Southard said...

Randy, I just want to apologize for thread-killing. Certainly wasn't my intent. I'll go ahead and delete my other posts.

Again, sorry.

Randy said...

Not really my intent, but fair enough. I deleted the ones that were specifically to you as well, although the "he doesn't have any policies" is a general enough complaint that I wanted to leave up my response to that.

I really wasn't trying to bully you into giving up the argument... I just sincerely believe that Obama, while still a politician, is different from any candidate we've had since I've been voting. Maybe that makes me naive, but I'm willing to take that chance and have a little hope for once.

Nate Southard said...

Hey, a little hope goes a long way, and I'm not gonna begrudge anybody for it.

Manton said...

Wow, I'm obviously behind reading your blog because I missed all the (deleted) excitement. :-)

I'm glad you feel passionately about your candidate and post it on your blog. Some people hold back talking about politics publicly or with friends for fear of making enemies, because it can be such a divisive subject, but I feel as long as it is done respectfully, everyone wins. I've had some great debates with my Obama-supporting friends lately. Of course there are other times when I keep a more low-profile, because you can go in circles debating policies sometimes and not really get anywhere.

Having said that, know that some of us feel just as strongly about Hillary. I've contributed money to her campaign 3 times in the last 2 weeks and I called Wisconsin voters (obviously that didn't end up helping). I think she has a real shot at winning Texas, although it will be a tough fight for sure.

As for the hollow comment (which I'm missing part of because of the deletions), I think the argument is simply that Hillary has the experience to match her policies (for example, fighting for universal healthcare in 1993, and when that didn't work, getting the State Children's Health Insurance program going). Even most Obama supporters admit that she knows this stuff cold.

That's not to say Obama wouldn't make a great president. He's just not my first choice.

Randy said...

I'm glad you feel passionately about your candidate and post it on your blog. Some people hold back talking about politics publicly or with friends for fear of making enemies, because it can be such a divisive subject, but I feel as long as it is done respectfully, everyone wins.

I agree. I actually tend to be quiet with my politics (Ok, *relatively* quiet) and adopt a live and let live approach, but some things, like the sheer wall of incompetence and corruption of the Bush administration or the inspiration I've been getting from Obama, have led me to open up on a dicey topic a bit more.

Not just on the blog... I'll pretty much say what I think here, I tend to be more diplomatic in person, but I'm invested enough in Obama to bring up an uncomfortable topic in the name of maybe convincing a few others of what I've come to believe, that he's the best candidate we have for president in '08.

Having said that, know that some of us feel just as strongly about Hillary.

I know it, I just don't understand it. :)

Here's my thing about Hilary... she does have experience, and I think she's good at policy, but she doesn't inspire me. I see in her a politician first and foremost, someone who will compromise her personal principles in order to accomplish a political goal. Yet ironically, this willingness to compromise comes with a party loyalty streak and history that is divisive at a time when the country really needs someone more middle-ground to unite an increasingly fractious voter base, and increasingly rancorous two-party legislative branch.

She has also done and said several things that rankle me throughout the campaign, from her softer stance on taking money from lobbyists than Obama to her trying to change the rules of the game by re-seating the Michigan/Florida delegates.

I believe that her experience could be a double-edged sword, bringing with it old loyalties and compromises that are in the best interests of the established system rather than the people it was created to serve.

That said, I do believe she'd be a better President than McCain, if only because then at least the Democratic party would be in control, and the Republican party desperately needs a shake-up like that. And whatever her faults and our disagreements on issues, Clinton is smart and politically savvy, and that's a *huge* step up from where we've been the last 8 years.

I have quite a few problems with the Democrats these days, including their striking ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory time and time again (seriously, how do you lose to Bush in '04?) and their inability to make much change in the corrupted Bush era Washington even when they have a massive turnover in Congress and a pretty clear mandate from the voters. But at least I don't feel like they're as painfully corrupted by corporations and special interests that are anathema to my personal views, for the most part, as the Republicans.

I wish I could be as even-minded as you in saying that if Obama is not the nominee, I'll be happy to make Clinton my second choice. Truthfully, I'll be sorely disappointed and give her my vote as reluctantly as I did when I voted for Kerry. (For all the good that did. ;)

Manton said...

Here's my thing about Hilary... she does have experience, and I think she's good at policy, but she doesn't inspire me.

Yeah, that's valid. I think it's a different kind of inspiration. When you hear Obama speak, you're moved to believe in something pretty great. For Hillary, it's more subtle; you have to read between the lines and be your own inspiration, based on what she could accomplish. She's a very solid speaker, but she doesn't have the gift of words.

Another thing is that I think everything changes in the general election, when the whole country is re-introduced to the candidates and the VP choice. People who didn't like Hillary will warm up to her. (You probably won't, but a lot will.) I also think if Obama is the nominee he will see a good surge after the convention because people will know his story.

With Kerry, my biggest gripe is that he just didn't have what it takes. He gave up. He was weak under Republican attacks. You are probably annoyed that Hillary isn't dropping out of the race right now, but that's what people like about her: she's a fighter, she's not going to quit. Sometimes we need that.

In 2004 Kerry was actually up something like 10-15 points over Bush in polling after the convention, but he still lost on election day.

... divisive at a time when the country really needs someone more middle-ground to unite an increasingly fractious voter base, and increasingly rancorous two-party legislative branch.

I really want to believe that Obama can do this. But after Bush "I'm a uniter not a divider", I'm just more skeptical, I guess. There have been a few bipartisan solutions lately though, so who knows.

Randy said...

With Kerry, my biggest gripe is that he just didn't have what it takes. He gave up. He was weak under Republican attacks. You are probably annoyed that Hillary isn't dropping out of the race right now, but that's what people like about her: she's a fighter, she's not going to quit. Sometimes we need that.

I'm annoyed as an Obama supporter, but you're right, I respect that she's a fighter. And you're definitely right about Kerry, it felt like he was too placid at a time when his voter base was angry and looking for someone who offered something a little more fiery and inspiring.

I really want to believe that Obama can do this. But after Bush "I'm a uniter not a divider", I'm just more skeptical, I guess. There have been a few bipartisan solutions lately though, so who knows.

Here's the key difference, though. When Bush said he was a "uniter, not a divider" it was 100% clear that he was just saying the words. He didn't mean it, his actions certainly didn't indicate it.

Obama has worked on various bi-partisan bills (including co-sponsoring a successful bill with Republican Dick Lugar!) and offers a take on many issues that is closer to center than right or left. Bush has been a Neocon puppet from the start, offering doublespeak like "compassionate conservatism" and "No Child Left Behind" even as he did the exact opposite of what his language said.

I know you're not making this accusation, but I have to say I am getting tired of seeing people dismiss Obama by saying "Well, Bush was likable but inexperienced, and we all see where that got us."

Bush is an awful public speaker, his charisma seems to come on a one-on-one basis, and he accomplished little as Governor. Obama has accomplished many things, most notably a number of campaign finance reform bills, in his relatively short tenure as a U.S. senator.

I don't see the comparisons to Bush as anything but a convenient smear tactic (and again, I know you are not specifically using it this way) to link two candidates who really have very little to do with one another in terms of politics or personal political style.

But then, some over-eager Obama supporters have compared Clinton to Bush in terms of her secretive nature about her role in the earlier Clinton presidency, and I don't think that's particularly fair or germane to the discussion either.