Posts Tagged ‘John McCain’

President-Elect Obama

President-Elect Obama

I am completely overwhelmed and still reeling in disbelief. Yes, we can, America. Time after time in my lifetime we have had opportunities squandered and greatness shelved in favor of greed and power. Civil rights icon John Lewis said the election was a ‘non-violent revolution.’ Amen. I cannot be more proud of my country than I am this morning. The election of Barack Obama brings a close to a long and difficult chapter in America’s history, but even larger than that it is a seismic shift in the political and cultural landscape.

We did truly witness a “new kind of politics.” Obama ran a 50 state strategy combining grass roots organizing with the power of the Internet raising an unprecedented amount of money from small donors passionate about his campaign. The strategy paid off, even in states he lost. He brought millions of new voters to the polls and enlarged the demographic. There was no one single group that put him over the top. He energized young voters as much as African-Americans. The Latino community put him over the top in critical western battleground states. Many Republicans like me gave him our support and will become Independents and Democrats. Even older voters, especially in Florida, concerned over the economy threw their support behind a Democrat. Women, who made history supporting Hillary Clinton, broke overwhelmingly to support Obama rather than Sarah Palin. Even though Obama did not win all of those historically red states, it forced McCain to play defense on home turf spending precious time and resources he didn’t have to waste.

David Axlerod, chief Obama campaign strategist, is the new ‘architect.’ He blew Karl Rove’s tactics, surrogates, and legacy out of the water. McCain ran a general election campaign based largely on fear and bet his presidency on the ability to scare voters about Obama. The Obama campaign laid out a clear vision of where he wanted to take the country and refused to get in the mud many times when given the opportunity, leaving most of that work to ads and surrogates and leaving him with cleaner hands than his opponent.

Truthfully, most all pundits agree that had the Republican nominee been anyone other than John McCain the election would have never even seemed close during the campaign. The Bush legacy and damaged Republican brand were enough of a hurdle to overcome without an economic meltdown. There’s just so much anyone can do to, and it didn’t help that McCain’s campaign and its players ran a terrible campaign, plagued with infighting, missteps, and instability. We haven’t seen the last of Sarah Palin. She’ll be back, but unfortunately for her, she appeals to the conservative base of the Republican party which is even smaller than it was before. Bush ran to the center, as a “uniter not a divider,” as did Obama. Palin specializes in carving up America into little pieces of “real” and “patriotic” versus the rest of us. That will not be forgotten. Once America has had four years of dreaming bigger and reaching higher that kind of partisanship will be too sour a pill to stomach.

I am even more excited to see President-Elect Obama begin to assemble his team and lay out plans for the transition. There is much work to be done. His supporters, a vast viral grass roots network, are empowered and energized, ready to work. Gov. Bobby Jindal amassed a similar grass roots Internet network of supporters in Louisiana that he kept in constant contact with between his failed bid and victory. He still communicates with them regularly and utilizes town hall meetings and strategic press ops to motivate them to make their voices heard on critical issues. I suspect this Obama network will remain alive and well as President Obama’s most powerful tool to drive his agenda through difficult obstacles to come.

President-Elect Obama’s acceptance speech in Grant Park was beyond moving and inspirational. It brought many of us to tears. He acknowledged the work will not be easy or quick. It will take all of us working together to fix the mess we’re in. He said that the election night victory was not the change we’ve been seeking. It was only the opportunity to make that change happen. I’m ready, America. Let’s get to work. Yes, we can!

I don’t preach politics to anyone and respect other people’s opinions even if I disagree with them. I’ve been a news junkie since 1991 and voted Republican in every election sinceĀ I graduated. No one has bought the line and supported the GOP agenda more than me, and it has gotten us in the ditch. We’ve been hearing about trickle down economics since Reagan and for 28 years it’s not trickling down. The gap between the top 2% and the rest of us is growing every year.

For the record I gave money to McCain in 2000 and voted for him over Bush in the primary, but this is not the same McCain he once was. He’s not supporting the same policies he did then. He’s pandering to the far right to get their vote. Sarah Palin may be a nice person but has no qualifications to be a 72 year old heartbeat away from the presidency.

I don’t like abortion. I don’t know anyone who does, but I’ve seen too much in the church, in the school system, and in life. It’s none of my business what someone else does with their body. There are some circumstances where it must at least be an option. Banning all abortion is not a fix to the problem. The problem is a lack of education, no parental involvement, and a disregard for the sacredness of sexuality. Obama has talked about addressing those problems and working to reduce the number of abortions overall, including banning partial birth abortion. A ban on all abortion only drives it underground and puts more women at risk. Abortion should be safe but rare, in my opinion.

I’m supporting Obama for the same reason I supported Bobby Jindal who was also young and different. They’re both very smart. They have a natural gift for leadership and the ability to inspire people. I believe both of them can bring people together and bring common sense to solving problems. They have some very different views on policies, but I believe Jindal was the right man for this time in our state government. I believe Obama is the right man for this time as well.

If for one minute, I had seen, read, or heard anything from Obama, his campaign, or his staff that raised one red flag about taking away our freedom, our guns, or our money, I promise you I would not be supporting him. Aside from taking assault rifles and automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals I have not heard even a hint of any policy or vote that he’s cast that would take anyone’s guns away.

This has been the worst financial year of my life. Things are not good. The bottom line is that McCain wants to give tax breaks to the wealthy. If you make less than $250,000, you’d get about $340 a year in tax cuts from McCain. You would get over $1,200 a year from Obama’s plan. Obama is not socialist. He’s only asking that the top 2.5% of tax payers fall back to the tax rates they were paying during the Clinton years. Exxon Mobil posted the highest quarterly profit in world history. McCain should explain to 97.5% of Americans why they need another tax break.

That’s my answer in a nutshell. I respect anyone who votes for McCain for any reason, but I have no respect for anyone who slanders Obama’s Christian faith by calling him a Muslim or questions his patriotism by saying he is a terrorist or a socialist. Those kinds of attacks are insulting to the entire country and make those who say them seem very desperate and very ignorant.

No hard feelings if McCain wins. Anyone would be better than Bush šŸ™‚

John Kerry photo opI’ve got to give two big thumbs up for Hillary on this one, and that’s a hard thing to do for this lifelong Republican voting for Obama.

After a weekend spent making direct appeals to gun owners and church goers, Hillary Clinton said Sunday a query about the last time she fired a gun or attended church services “is not a relevant question in this debateā€ over Barack Obamaā€™s recent comments on small town Americans. (CNNpolitics.com)

I could care less about how often our political leaders go to church or where they go, as long as it’s not the FLDSĀ compound in Texas. All these made-for-TV photo ops at the gun range are just as ridiculous. What matters is what you say you believe and do your actions bear that out. It’s been a long hard fought campaign, and as much as I hate to confess it, my admiration and respect for Hillary has gone up significantly, although I am still pulling for Obama.Ā 

My fear of another Bush-like Republican in the White House has gone up as well. If you remember, W. did not run as a hard right wing conservative. He ran as “a uniter not a divider” on the promise of “a new day in Washington,” where Democrats and Republicans could work together. He had such a track record in Texas. All of that sounds very McCain-ish to me, and aside from the “Bush tax cuts” and the Cheney/Rumsfeld warmongering, he’s been a very moderate Republican president. I’ve had more than enough of the hawks in the hen house. The days of saber-rattling must come to an end. It’s the 21st century by the way. At least Hillary has had the courage to realize it, at least for today.