And then there were two…

Obama and HillaryIt’s been quite a day in politics. Less than a week before “Super Tuesday,” John Edwards announced he is dropping out of contention for the Democratic Presidential candidacy.  In less than two months, the field of candidates has gone from five to two, and the primary season has only just begun.   And on the Republican side, Rudy Guliani has quit his campaign for his party’s nomination, leaving that slate to three front-runners: McCain, Romney and Huckabee, with Huckabee barely hanging on by a thread.

I’m disappointed that Edwards dropped out so early. I’ve always liked him, even when he ran with John Kerry in 2004. I felt as some others did that the ticket in that election should have been reversed. Kerry’s cardboard appearance was no match for Bush’s “Good ol’ boy” representation; and although Edwards came off as young and maybe a bit too “pretty,” I think he would have been a much better counter-balance to Bush’s tired act. But the argument at the time was that Edwards was “too young.” “too inexperienced.” “too new.”  This is his second failed attempt at the White House and although I would love to see him as a vice-presidential candidate; I fear his chance has now passed.

I don’t want to bash Edwards, but his reluctance to continue shows me he wasn’t cut out for the campaign from the start. I just never felt like his heart was in it like it should have been. His performance in the South Carolina debate was strong and I thought he would somehow rally and stay strong through Super Tuesday. But now as it approaches quickly, I, and the rest of us voting on February 5, are forced to make a decision.

Obama or Clinton?

I choose Barack Obama.

Obama is the best choice for a number of reasons. I believe in his ability to lead our nation. I believe he can restore the image of the USA to that of a good neighbor instead of a bully. I believe he can affect policy decisions to best support the wishes of the population. I also believe he can assemble the strongest group of administrators to support his vision to bring about these changes, improvements and directives.

Obama’s greatest weaknesses, in the eyes of some media and many of his opponents are that he is “young, inexperienced and new,” but I view these things as strengths as well. He doesn’t have years of experience in US office, but he has many years in state office. How many governors were elected to president after serving for years in their states, never having served in the US Senate? Experience is experience. It’s all about having the ability to serve the nation and do it with clarity and dignity.

And those are the things I like best about Obama. He is articulate, poised, and impressive. He is educated and astute. He represents to me the true face of America. The face of America that I want represented to the rest of the world.

As for Obama’s ability to address issues of the GLBT community, I believe that whatever he isn’t clear about now he will grow to understand in the future. He has historically been highly supportive of GLBT issues, and while he hasn’t been clear about gay marriage, I believe he will listen to his constitutents and make the right decision when it matters most. This is a huge difference in so many ways from what we’ve experienced in the last eight years. Instead of a president who listens only to his advisors, we would have a president who will listen to us. He is open to change because he believes in change. It’s that kind of open-minded thinking that belongs in the White House.

As to his electability, I really believe in my heart that this nation will stand behind him. The color of his skin is invisible to me. It always has been and always will be. I’m beginning to sense that this is becoming true for most of the rest of the nation as well. Of course there will be some staunch bigots that can never be changed, and that’s unfortunate– but it’s always been my belief that one has to look beyond the outside and see what’s inside. That’s what matters in the end.

Truth be told, I like both Obama and Hillary Clinton. I think they both represent an amazing sense of change in what the office of President represents for the country. The fact that two of the strongest candidates are a woman and a black man is downright thrilling considering this country’s history.

But I belive Barack Obama represents the President of the future, while Hillary Clinton represents a step backward. I can’t help but believe that by electing Hillary we are also re-electing Bill. And while I liked Bill Clinton, it just seems to me like it’s another George Bush all over again. Granted, of course, I much prefer another Clinton over another Bush; but all the same, enough is enough. Had she been anyone else, she might have had my vote; but it’s time for the dynasty-style stranglehold of the presidency to end. No more Bushes. No more Clintons. It’s time for something new. Obama is that something new we need.

I welcome your comments and opinions on this. It’s the most important election in our nation’s history, so no matter who we elect, we have to make sure we elect the right person.

I believe Barack Obama is the right person for the job. I’m proud to endorse him as my choice for President in 2008.