Think Like A Jillian's Official Presidential Endorsement
This is a long way in coming--I've not had an easy time of it. Clearly I am not alone in this; many of the current candidates are neck-and-neck. But this year I feel that, rather than choosing between the lesser of several evils, we are getting to choose between the greater of several goods, and that is definitely a good thing. For me, it comes down to Hillary and Obama (Why one is referred to by first name and the other by last name is beyond me; it just feels right). I definitely classify myself as a Liberal, but even I can see that this year's Republican candidates are useless. It's a lot of conservatism run amok over there (and haven't we had enough of that lately?) and even if you're into that, no candidate on that team is the least bit inspiring. So, back to Hillary and Obama.
I have always liked Hillary Clinton. I believe that she has what it takes to lead this country, fix some of our problems, and be a great influence for good. She would represent us well internationally and I feel that her priorities (education, poverty, etc) are right in line with my own. Furthermore, she comes across as rational and clear-headed, two attributes I prize very highly and that I strive for in my own life. She's highly experienced and has a great network of support to back her up. That said (uh-oh, here comes the 'but'), I know that she turns a lot of people off. I've heard co-workers say that they would never vote for a woman who stuck with her cheating husband. I've heard my own mother--who never says anything bad about anyone--say horrible things about Hillary, a woman she's never met and knows almost nothing about. There is something about her that is divisive. I believe most of this stems from latent sexism, though I am sure none of you Hillary-haters out there will admit it. It bugs you that she is decisive and un-emotional. You would be so much more comfortable if she would put on a dress, smile, wave, and keep her mouth shut. Nevertheless, we can't get anywhere with a leader that half of the country loves and the other half absolutely despises.
Which brings us around to Obama. I love Obama's spiritedness and energy. He is young, and I mean that in a good way : ). Even conservatives have a hard time finding things to hate about him--he is just very appealing. Obama is well-educated and it shows in his speeches and his ideas. He has spent time overseas and has experience with cultural variety--a trait that may be more important for leadership in this country than we have previously assumed (See Fareed Zakaria's interesting essay on this subject here http://www.newsweek.com/id/78157). Obama's priorities are also not far from my own, and I feel he would be particularly good at repairing relations with alienated allies overseas. Most importantly, I feel that Obama has a better chance of beating out the Republican candidate (regardless of who it is) come November. Because he lacks that divisive edge, he will be hard to beat. He is a unifier that can move this country forward. I don't expect that he'll get through his first year without any rookie mistakes, but he will represent us to the best of his ability and over time, I think he'll come into his own and become a great president.
Think Like A Jillian officially endorses Barack Obama for President.