Over five years ago I married Julie. With Julie came National Public Radio. NPR is pretty big in her family. We sit around at family dinners swapping stories we all heard on NPR and then mock one another for doing so. I love it.
I don’t know when I started turning on the radio for myself, instead of just listening whenever Julie had it on, but in the past year I’ve become a bit of a news junkie. I realized this when I practically read the Philadelphia Inquirer cover to cover at my Mom’s house over the Christmas holidays. That was a first.
Somehow I got addicted to NPR and to the articles on my Google home page from the BBC, New York Times, Time Magazine, Google News, and of course Reuter’s Oddly Enough. It’s so bad that I need to unplug the internet router just to make sure I get my work done on the computer.
And then January 3rd was the worst. With the Iowa Caucus in full swing, I kept refreshing several web sites to compare the rankings of each candidate. And in the aftermath I’ve been reading every article I can find about the New Hampshire primary. I have searched high and low for recent polls that will show just how bad Hillary is tanking–oh please, oh please, let Clinton fatigue set in.
When friends from New Hampshire visited us a few weeks ago, I listened to their assessments of Obama, Clinton, and Edwards very closely, often interjecting little bits I’ve gleaned from who knows where. After hearing all three speak at events in New Hampshire, they rallied strongly behind Obama. Edwards was too negative and Clinton didn’t impress them at all.
When did this interest in news come about? I used to be a pretty two-dimensional guy who liked sports and Christian theology. Now news and politics are creeping into my spheres of interest…
After all I’ve read in the news lately, I have a few announcements to make:
- Despite all of the speeches and policy statements, I think we base our vote on whether or not we like a candidate. We need to have a good “feel” about our candidates of choice. Kerry gave off bad vibes, and that, probably more than anything, contributed to his loss in 2004.
- I don’t see how anyone other than John McCain can stand as a respectable Republican candidate. Sure I disagree with some of his policies, but he has experience in the Senate, knows how to work across party lines, has disagreed with his own party at times, served as a soldier and suffered as a POW, and seems to be less corrupt than the other candidates in the field. The more I read the opinion folks in Arkansas have of Huckabee, the more I realize that he would be a catastrophic president, especially on the heels of Bush.
- Obama is campaigning with his character and his message of hope, while rallying grass roots support (as opposed to Clinton’s big political machine with special interests rallying to her cause). Sticking to a positive message, highlighting his sound judgment in the precious few experiences of his Senate career, and hitting on his bold plans for America may be enough to push his way past Clinton. Also, keep in mind that Obama is just as smart as Clinton, pulled himself up out of difficult circumstances like Edwards, has religion like Romney and Huckabee, can play up the nice guy bit like Huckabee, but unlike all of them, he comes across with a warmth, and genuineness (sorry, lousy word choice) that none of them can equal. Obama is smart enough and has the character to be president, even if he’s lacking in experience, but the good vibes he creates may be what puts him over the top.
- And so, who am I rooting for at this point… Well, I’ve actually had my sights set on one candidate for quite some time now, so I’ve had a chance to read through his policies and to check up on his back ground. In fact, I’ve been posting links concerning him sometimes here on this blog. And so, my pick for president: I think the current state of America calls for a guy like Obama. He’ll probably have a lousy first year or two, but after that I believe he’ll catch on to the job. At a time when we need to repair the damage of the Bush administration to America’s reputation, the environment, and our society’s inequity, Obama will provide a change of course, while not necessarily leaving Republicans out of the process. He may be the only one who can undo the damage done by Karl Rove’s divide-and-conquer strategy. This is a time to heal and repair, and I think a guy like Obama, who leads from the bottom up, is the best person for the job.