voting

Canadians and other non-U.S. residents, feel free to ignore this post. I’m sure you must be beyond tired of reading about our presidential primaries.

I’ve had my absentee ballot sitting on my desk for a week now. (I have to vote absentee even in the primary, due to work. I was hoping that I would only have to do it in the general election this year.) And luckily, unlike my friend Comfort Addict, I live in a state where the primary may actually matter.

I’m really struggling with the decision about who to vote for.  There’s a part of me that believes that my disinterest in voting for Hillary is the result of some deeply ingrained sexism on my part. To be honest, for most of my adult life I’ve believed that the first viable woman candidate for president would be much more odious than she is. Someone along the lines of Condi Rice, for example. And you can say what you want about Hillary, but she wasn’t shopping for shoes while people drowned in New Orleans.

For this entire election cycle (and yes, it’s hard to fathom that it’s lasted this long, and there are still 9+ months to go), I’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that my favorite candidate, in this year of all years, is the white guy. The white guy who doesn’t have a prayer of winning my state’s primary, but who is close to my heart on many issues that are important to me.

It’s also surprising (to me) that I’m not more interested in Obama. On an intellectual level, I don’t really buy all that “he’s not experienced enough” crap, but I’m not sure how I really feel about that on an emotional level. It thrills me no end that an African American has a real shot at winning the primary (although that’s been tempered by my co-worker who keeps reminding me, “Jesse won South Carolina in 1984, that didn’t make him the president.”

So do I vote for Obama, because he’s got the best shot at keeping Hillary off the top of the ticket? Do I vote for Edwards, even though he can’t win? Do I vote for Hillary, because she’s got all her skeletons out of the closet already, and there’s likely no swiftboating possible?

It’s a tough one.

One thing I am sure about in this election. If Hillary is the nominee, I’m going to let the Bee make the ‘X’ on that ballot in November. Because I want her to be able to vote for the first woman to win the White House.

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January 26, 2008. politically motivated.

17 Comments

  1. CamiKaos replied:

    your last paragraph made me cry. I am not a big fan of Hillary… I really do like Obama… but if Hillary is the nominee I feel the same way about letting K fill in my bubble.

  2. guerson replied:

    I swear that one day I will finally understand the whole American electoral process from beginning to end… On any event, keep the thoughts about the election coming; I think most of us outside the US are watching with high hopes. At this point, I just hope the democrats get back in power…

  3. elise replied:

    I’ve been told that its wrong to vote for someone based on their gender or race but this year that will be one of my big reasons. I think as a country we need to get over this hump of only having a white male as president. Maybe if the democrats do it the republicans will follow…maybe. As things are right now, only a small portion of the adults eligible to become president are actually “eligible”. Maybe what we really need is an African American woman as president! I am just glad that the candidate that I will vote for is someone I can feel pretty good about. I’m biased towards having a woman as president.

  4. Narya replied:

    I’m voting for Edwards. I still like him better than either of the other two. And of those two? Despite my reservations about Hil, I have very strong reservations about Obama; Paul Krugman’s analyses have really done it for me, but I also think he’s much farther right that anyone else on that ballot, which makes me nervous. This is the first chance we’ve had to put together a seriously populist movement, and Obama will not foster that. the fact that he’s black is irrelevant; it doesn’t automatically make someone progressive.

  5. jackieregales replied:

    It truly makes me sad that Edwards may no longer be on the ballot by the time I vote, and I feel the same way you do about Hillary and Barack Obama. I still think Obama is much more of a centrist than he would like us to believe, and I KNOW Hillary is more of a centrist than I am comfortable with too. And yeah, my husband and I will both be letting our girls mark those ballots if Hillary does win– they already recognize her photo when they see her!

  6. Dana replied:

    It’s definitely a tough call when it comes to the Dem Candidates. I’m a disgruntled conservative, Republican, so I can’t decide on ANY candidates this year.

  7. Paige replied:

    I have struggled with the Hillary question too. Some days I feel like I could vote for Obama. Some days I just don’t know.

    But that’s a great idea to let your little one vote for H if she’s the eventual nominee.

  8. PunditMom replied:

    I hear you! Especially as a fellow Edwards supporter. In the end, I hope we’ll all vote for the person we feel the best about. (Sorry, I know that’s no help!)

  9. jen replied:

    I guess I’ve come to believe that Senator Clinton’s candidacy is filling the role that Jesse Jackson’s candidacy did in 1984. It’s making us think and talk, it’s shaking up the process. It’s definitely exposing some serious sexism on the part of the media. I’m waiting for Chris Matthews’ career to be negatively impacted by all this. (Fingers crossed that he pays for his sins.)

    But it may just be too early for a woman candidate. How sad that it’s so! Yet how can you look at all that’s occurred and not feel that way? I hope it doesn’t discourage other women from entering the field.

  10. Library Lady replied:

    Edwards has gotten stomped on because he’s not one of the “first” candidates, but I like what he has to say far better than the other two. I think Obama is insubstantial though he talks a good game, and I haven’t liked Hillary since she got into office on her own. That is, if you can call getting into office the way she did on her own…

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t give a damn about voting for the “first” anything. What matters to me is voting for the BEST candidate. I’m not thrilled with Edwards either, but he’s run on his record and his views, not on the basis of being the “first” anything.

    As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, she’d vote for a stuffed derma to get a Democrat into the White House. So whichever of them gets it, I’ll vote for in the general election.

    But I’m going to vote for Edwards in the Virginia primary.

  11. Anjali replied:

    I have almost identical conflicts about the candidates! I’m still quite undecided! And there’s not much time left for us Georgians to decide!

  12. Jeff replied:

    I’m an Obama fan, although I understand your hesitation. After 8 years of a bumbling fool, anyone who can clearly articulate and work his (or her) way through a sentence without screwing up a single word is going to look very attractive. I believe Obama can bring people together and be less decisive than the other dems. I am unclear on his exact positions as he is speaking at such a high conceptional level thus far. I remember a NY Times article on him last year, discussing his Harvard days and how no one there could ever pin him down and learn his real opinion on any issue – that is a bit scary, but again, I’m insipired by his oratory skills so I think he and the team he will put together (which is the most important part anyway) will be successful in healing the wounds the last 8 years have caused domestically and internationally.

  13. alala replied:

    Pretty much what you said, except don’t forget that the swiftboaters lied, and there is no limit to how much more of that the right can do. I like what Edwards says, but as an expat, I don’t have a lot of say in who the Democratic candidate will ultimately be. Whoever it is, though, I’ll be voting for him-or-her.

  14. chichimama replied:

    I think that I’m going with Hilary, after much inner turmoil. Of course, there is still a week to go…

  15. Catalina replied:

    Thanks so much for all of you sharing how thoughtful you are about making this really big decision. And I would have to say that dear mom of the butterfly and sweet tater, if John Edwards is the candidate that speaks to your heart and talks to your mind, go ahead and vote for him. It’s not his fault that he’s a straight white guy – and maybe he gives us hope for the rest of ’em. And my sense is, that, if he’s still in it when they get to you but he doesn’t get the nomination, that he’ll release his delegates to go with Obama. And what’s wrong with that?

    And for Jen – can you talk more about Chris Matthews? I mean, I have strong reactions when he, say, talks to Elizabeth Edwards and he’s so sh*tty to her, but I never hear of others having the idea that he doesn’t really like woman. And to be fair, as much as I see him like that on his weekly show – his persona is totally different on the Sunday show and he’s much more palatable.

  16. Library Lady replied:

    Now that Edwards is out, there are writers in the NY Times noting how he set the issues for the campaign and pointing out how little space he got in their paper compared to the other two.
    And though I know it’s a waste of my vote, I’m still going to vote for him in the Virginia primary, even as a write in candidate, as a sign of my disgust for how this campaign is being conducted.

  17. Clover replied:

    I live in a state that’s irrelevant (our primary is in April, for heaven’s sake!), but if I could vote on Tuesday, I’d vote for Obama. I’ve only recently been converted within the last week or so, but I find him inspiring and it has been so, so long since I’ve felt anything at all even sort of inspiring when it comes to politics.

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