Friday, January 04, 2008

Obama! Our Time Is Now

If I may indulge in some "l33t speak", in reax to Obama's clear victory and Hillary's third place finish in Iowa tonight, let me just say: w00t! Obama pwned her. (I had never heard of "w00t" until the other week when it was named the "word of the year" by Merriam-Webster. Since then, my 14-year-old godson has been filling me in.) But back to plain English… I am thrilled that Americans in the heartland seem to be as tired of the old politics as I am. Between Obama's 38% and Edwards' 30% (plus a few scraps for Richards and Biden), Iowa Dems rejected the "foregone conclusion" by over 70%. And over on the "red" side, though Huckabee triumphed, independent-minded GOP'ers accounted for 23% (McCain 13% and Ron Paul 10%). Note that that's 23% of GOP voters who would be quite likely to go for Obama over Huckabee if it came to that in November. Aside from the puerile and baseless Muslim smears, Republicans really have little to say against Obama. His negatives are the lowest of any in the blue field. But more importantly, Obama stands for a way forward, or upward, as the name of my blog suggests is the way beyond the stale left vs. right false dichotomy. I don't necessarily agree with every policy proposal of his, but I absolutely believe in what he stands for. Here is a man who will tell us straight what we need to hear, not what he thinks we want to hear. Here is a man who's not afraid to say that Social Security is broken, and who can face the teacher's union and talk about merit pay. Here is a man who is not afraid to work "across the aisle" to get things done that he believes in. Here is a man who just might be able to restore America's damaged credibility in the eyes of the world. Here is a man with a healthy measure both of idealism and pragmatism, who can inspire and who just might get some things done. This may be the first time in my life that I vote for a presidential candidate out of affirmation, rather than picking the lesser of two evils. That click you just heard was the sound of me sending a donation to the Obama campaign (also a first for me). Here is the face of hope:

(Obama's speech in Des Moines, December 27. Text here.)

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