Yes. I have chosen two. One of each.
I have selected Barack Obama as my top choice for President. After observing closely for the last year, I strongly want Obama to be the Democratic nominee over Hillary Clinton. While the two top Democrats have similar platform positions, I believe that their actual results would be quite different.
- Hillary's unfavorable ratings are so strong that she has a very good chance of losing in November to the Republican candidate. In contrast, Obama's negatives are very low. He appeals to moderates and independents (like me), and that is a winning formula for the general election.
- The right wing noise machine is already well rehearsed at attacking the Clintons. I do not want to go back to the animosity of the late 90s. If Hillary is the nominee, the tone of the debate will be stuck in the mud. Obama is fresh and inspiring. Limbaugh and O'Reilly will have to come up with new material if he is the candidate.
- Obama has shown a strong ability to inspire and unify the people. Watching Barack Obama speak after his commanding victory in South Carolina inspired me.
- John McCain listens to reason. It is clear to me after watching McCain twice on Meet the Press (last Sunday and a few months ago, both available on MSNBC.com) that he will chose the well-reasoned position over towing the party line.
- John McCain stands up for cutting spending to back up tax cuts. Any conservative who funds tax cuts with deficit spending is not a conservative.
- Last week I was chatting with a coworker and she posited "what if Gore had won in 2000?" While that is an interesting hypothetical, I realized a more intriguing one later that night: "What if McCain had won in 2000?" Seriously. I believe we would have executed the War on Terror and maintained our high stature as a nation in the world community.
So why two candidates and why now?
I feel very strongly that each of these two candidates is the best choice for America among the contenders within their own party. In strong contrast to other parings, an election between Barack Obama and John McCain would be an elevated and civilized debate, focused on real issues that are actually affect America. I believe of both of these candidates will bring reason and vision to the Presidency and restore the stature of the United States back to the level of respect and envy we held for most of our nation's history.
There are basically three things I can do to help my candidates win (ordered by direct-to-indirect, and in reverse order of when the choice becomes available).
- Vote for them. In your local caucus or primary and in the general election. In my case, living in Washington state, our party caucuses fall on February 9. "Super Tuesday" is on February 5th, so by the time I get to caucus, the nominee may already be crowned. This makes it all the more important that I use my other options well.
- Give them money. This helps the candidate get their message out to other people, particularly those who get to vote before I do. On Sunday I came to the conclusions I wrote above, and decided it was time to act. To back my chosen candidates, and help them secure victory within their own parties, I went online and contributed to each campaign. If you feel like I do, you can [Donate to Barack Obama for President] or [Donate to John McCain for President]. While I do not plan to share the amount I gave, I will say that $J = $B/2.
- Spread the message to other people. I do this every day when talking to friends who like to talk politics. And I'm doing it right now.
#2 became even more relevant when in his "Greatest Hits"-style State of the Union address, President Bush mispronounced "nuclear" again.
Bonus Trivia Challenge: What is the significance of the song that Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra play as the outro of the clip?
I'd like to know what you think, blog readers. Leave me some comments and try and guess the trivia challenge.
Hint: You would need to know the name of the song.