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Another Sucker for Obama


This afternoon, I voted. I cast a ballot that was about 80% Republican, including votes for my Republican Senator and Republican Representative.

But for president, I voted for Barack Obama.

I’m not going to fill this post with convoluted justifications. Anyone who has read my numerous criticisms of Obama knows that I did not vote for the man without reservation. I have serious reservations. If John McCain and Obama were running to represent me in the House or Senate, I would have voted McCain with little hesitation.

But they’re not running for Congress. They’re running for president. And that requires me to take more than their policy papers into consideration. Being president isn’t just about political ideology and legislative agendas. It’s about intangibles. Temperament. Leadership. Wisdom. Judgment. Sincerity. Potential for greatness.

Obama by no means excels in all the intangibles. But he’s proven to me that he is superior to McCain in enough ways to make him better suited for our highest office.

I could be horribly wrong. I could be a fool. A year from now, my taxes might be higher, Iraq might be in crisis, Iran might be closer to the bomb and our daily lives might be more and more strangled by government bureaucrats who are “just trying to help.” In a year, I will certainly be an Obama critic. I may even be a Republican.

But today, I am an Obama supporter. Our nation needs to move forward. We need a President who can see the world for what it has become and not what it once was. We need a President not tied to the mistakes and corruption of the Republican party. We need a chance to overcome our most recent mistakes. Obama gives us the better chance.

As for McCain, I still respect him greatly and I reject the arguments of those who claim he’s lost his integrity or his honor. Liberals who used to hold McCain up as the paragon of virtue in the Republican party wasted no time turning their daggers on him the second he stopped being the lovable loser to George Bush and started being the face of his party. McCain hasn’t deserved the demonization.

Yes, he has run a disorganized campaign. At times, it’s been an unserious campaign. But McCain’s blunders in this election in no way diminish his record or his service to this nation. Unfortunately, the right time for McCain was in 2000. His party screwed him over back then and I so wish he’d screwed them right back and had chosen a running mate that didn’t appeal to the party’s worst characteristics – anti-intellectualism and conservative Christian supremacy. But by choosing Sarah Palin, McCain revealed that he was willing to put the demands of his party over his own instincts and philosophies. If he’d bring Palin into the campaign, we have to assume he’d bring the worst elements of his party into the White House.

I do want to be clear about Governor Palin. While I don’t think she has the breadth of knowledge or the depth of substance to qualify her for the position of Vice President, I still do not know her well enough to dislike her. I only dislike what she represents – what the party has tried to turn her into and what the party would demand McCain show allegiance to. I can’t abide by that. McCain will always be my hero. But he can’t be my candidate.

I went into this election excited for the opportunity to vote for someone, rather than against. As it turns out, my vote isn’t so pure. I voted for Obama’s best characteristics and against McCain’s worst. I could have gone the other way, but when I put everything on the scale, it tipped just enough to Obama. So toss a formerly undecided into Obama’s column. Shouldn’t I feel more excited?