Saturday, April 26, 2008

"Why are you for Obama rather than for Clinton?"

In my campaigning to be elected as a California Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, one of the people I contacted by email wrote back:

Can you explain why you're for Obama rather than for Clinton?

I will be honest--and I'm embarrassed to admit it--but I know very little about their platforms. I know that Paul Krugman thinks that Clinton's health plan will cover twice as many people as Obama's. That seems very important. Also, heard on the news today that Obama's (military?) adviser thinks that the Iraq pull-out should start in 2010.

If you've campaigned so furiously for Obama, you must think he is the better candidate--and I assume that you think that he will put better policies in place.

What about beating McCain? My feeling is that Clinton would have a better shot at beating McCain.

Since you are so active politically, why not have an email list of like-minded acquaintances who you communicate regularly with? I would like to be on that email list!

Here is how I replied:

The last week (before April 13) has been kind of crazy. I was at the San Joaquin County Democratic Central Committee on Saturday, Alameda County Central Labor Council on Monday, Stockton Democratic Club on Tuesday and the Tracy Democratic Club tonight. The good part is that things are looking really positive for the election in which I am running.

I picked up some voter lists at the San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters office when I was there yesterday. These are for the precincts surrounding Williams Middle School in Tracy. On Saturday we will be walking the neighborhood asking Democrats that live near the school to come on out and vote for Lea (Austin, my “slate-mate”) and me.

Our party is blessed to have had three great candidates, each of whom could have made or will make an excellent president, or even be among the greatest presidents. I have the utmost respect for all three of them, including Senator Clinton. I do not seek to disparage any of our candidates. I would have voted and will proudly vote for any one of them
as our party's nominee.

You raise some good questions, and that led me to dig up some information that compares the healthcare plans of the three people left standing. I will study that information carefully. I think that both of the Democratic plans are far superior to what we have now.

As for troop pullout from Iraq, everything I have heard from Obama's own mouth says it would start in 2009.

Yes, I do think that Obama is the better candidate, in fact the one candidate that would be able to lead our country in the new direction that it desperately needs to go. I think that his policies would be more progressive than those of the Democratic Leadership Council to which Senator Clinton belongs. The DLC is a centrist organization that operates mostly to the detriment of the necessary future direction of the Democratic Party, in my opinion.

A big factor in my support of Obama is his judgment. I have the utmost confidence in his judgment to say and do the best thing in any given situation. I also admire his world-view, largely based on his childhood upbringing, as well as his innate vision of what our country can become and what needs to be done to get us there. I believe he will restore our integrity among the community of nations. I think he will demonstrate bold vision as president and implement bold initiatives, and even accomplish these things with bipartisan support. His can be a transformative presidency, rising above the partisanship that wreaks havoc in Washington, and leading others above it as well. Unfortunately, I think that Senator Clinton suffers from too much negative perception among many Americans, and that would seriously impair her ability to accomplish the same thing.

On the electability question, I feel strongly that Obama will beat McCain and that Clinton would have a much tougher fight against McCain than Obama. I have talked to people, including Republicans, and observed polling results that show that Obama will draw significant support from independents and even Republicans, which would not be the case for Senator Clinton.

By the way, I am not trying to win over Clinton supporters to vote for me instead of attending their own caucus. Each presidential candidate already has a determined number of delegate positions, and I figure that it would be an honor and a privilege for me to fill one of Obama's slots and represent the 11th Congressional District as one of Barrack Obama's pledged delegates.

As for communicating with other like-minded acquaintances on a regular basis, I will most definitely be doing that on Kephalos!

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