election thoughts 2008

the DNC (democratic national convention) has finished in denver, with the RNC (republican national convention) taking place this week in minneapolis-st. paul.

last weekend Obama picked senator Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate; and last friday McCain announced governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has his VP running mate.

i always find US presidential elections to be interesting. although, this is the first year that i've actually taken interest in the politics of candidates.first a little background on my voting history.  since i was able to first vote in a presidential election i've always voted for the 'winning' candidate. so for those of you playing at home doing the math: that means i voted for Clinton in '96; Bush in '00 and '04.

my dad always used to tell pollsters that called (in a somewhat stern voice), "i vote a democratic ticket". this would seem to make the calls much shorter than normal. if the candidate they were polling for was democrat, they knew they could count on his vote. if not, they knew they couldn't really convince him otherwise.

politics weren't discussed much in my house growing up so i never asked my dad why he always voted "a democratic ticket".  my theory is he really thought about the issues when he was younger (he was in his 20s during the 1950s!) and then just continued to vote the same way no matter who the name was on the ballot.

in recent elections i've been voting a republican ticket. although i don't agree 100% with everything in the republican platform; there are some core issues that i tend to agree with their candidates more frequently. there are even beliefs on issues that i have that i agree with the republican platform, even though personally, having that agenda put into law wouldn't directly benefit my family. but nonetheless, i vote for the way things ought to be anyways.

so here we are in 2008.  earlier in the year i was vocal about my decision to support governor Huckabee.  instead McCain is now the republican nominee and i really haven't gotten too involved in trying to figure out all of his positions and how closely they resemble my own.

scratch that last sentence, i decided to find an online quiz that would match up my own to those of the candidates.  i chose the abcnews.com "match-o-matic II" quiz.  it puts up two quotes that the two candidates have made concerning a certain issue.  it doesn't tell you which candidate said what you just have to click on the one you most closely agree with.  i have to tell you some of the quotes were difficult for me to choose from because i agreed with both of them.  here's a picture of my results:



as you can see there were 13 questions and i agreed Obama 5 of the 13 times.  and as i said there were some questions that i could have gone either way.

for comparison here's deb's results for the same quiz:



although McCain has never been considered one of the most conservative republicans around so i knew that i wouldn't agree with him 100%.

but…Obama is an interesting persona.  he's young, charismatic, articulate.  he inspires and makes people want to follow him.  i haven't been able to listen to all of the acceptance speech he gave last thursday night, but the parts that i have heard were inspiring.  i found myself nodding in agreement more often than i thought i should as a republican leaning voter.  yes, there were also times that i felt like he was making more promises than a high school freshman running for asb president could deliver on.  even though he would be the President of the United States; there are some things that are simply out of their control too.

and i can't help but wonder if he is what our country needs at this time in history?  and if so, would i be willing to put my own personal beliefs and feelings aside to vote for what would benefit our country the most rather than what would benefit me?

and then there's my small ego that would like to go my whole adult life and be able to say, "i've accurately voted for the winning president in every election." (btw, that's not why i voted for Clinton in '96)  i know that seems like a shallow way to vote, but it does pop up in the back of my mind every now and then.

prior to friday, i would have said that despite what my beliefs or hopes or wants were, i thought Obama would win easily come november.  there's simply too much momentum behind him and his message of change to stop it.  coupled with the fact that the core of the republican party (the evangelical right) were not, for the most part, that enthusiastic about voting for McCain.  i simply didn't see how it would be much of a close contest on election night.

but…on friday McCain took one of his gutsy-est moves yet in picking a relatively unknown governor from Alaska (and that for only 2 years), with no national or international experience.  but…she is a woman.  but not just a woman.  she's young and attractive, rose quickly to leadership because of her eloquence and charisma, and she's tough.  this woman hunts, fishes, raises four kids, is a lifetime NRA member, and knocked off the 4 year incumbent governor even though she had less experience.

she's also much more conservative than McCain is.  i've already spoken with one person in church leadership who said before naming her as his VP pick he didn't feel like he had a candidate he could vote for, but does now.

anyways, it's looking up to be an exciting 133 days left until election day.  i'll be focusing a lot more closely in the weeks ahead that the presidential and vice presidential debates.

i know it may be inviting a hail storm of comments, but i'll ask anyways, who will you be voting for?  are you undecided still?  what do you think about putting aside your believes to vote for the good of the country?  do you agree with my ramblings? or are you totally opposed? or do you not even care about politics or this election?

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// today i’m thankful for:
1. that i got a nap on this "day of rest"
2. only 3 days of school left!
3. our house is clean
4. 36 days left till my personal iphone day
5. august is over (and so this little contest i've had with my sisters & deb, that no one was supposed to know about is also over.  the contest was on who could write the most blog posts in the month of august and who could get the most comments)

PS. i'm thankful that i can be a graceful "loser" in this contest, despite my previous emails with them where i talked a lot a smack.

oh, and congrats to my little sis! (sorry not you maggie)