Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Race Continues

I have begun to have feelings of hope about the Presidential election.

The most important thing that will happen in November is that a Democrat will be elected President and that Congress will retain a Democratic majority.

I am no fan of Barack Obama, but I will vote for whomever is nominated as the Democratic candidate. And this is the last election in which the Democrats will get a freebie from me. From 2008 forward, the Democrats have to prove they are something more than GOP-lite, pro-business, pretend-civil libertarians. I want to see some change, and not some of Obama's rhetoric -- I want to see communications and banking regulated, transportation solutions put forth, education and health care discussed outside fora sponsored by industry market-makers and corporate apologists.

I hold out little hope that anything will change, but I will continue to wish for it.

The most encouraging thing I've witnessed recently is Hillary Clinton making peace with Obama, traveling with him, stumping with him. I believe that the only way Obama can win is if Clinton convinces her base: over-40, white, working-class and middle-class mothers, para-professional, and professional women to support him.

I know people who will not vote for Obama because he is black. They say it's because he has no plan, but I know them well enough to know they will not vote for him because he is black. These are people who generally support Democrats, lean towards the liberal end of the spectrum, and care about things like schools and jobs and health care. Clinton has to reach-out to these people, these people who heard her campaign's not-so-subtle messages about Obama's race, and she has to tell them: race does not matter. Putting a Democrat in the White House is what matters.

Clinton can do this. Clinton can make the next president.

Here's to hoping she takes the high road, that she takes the ball and runs with it.

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