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Why I did what I did

February 21, 2008

In the “circle” of people I’m friends with, work with, and see regularly, “Who are you supoorting for President?” is as common a question as “How are you?” It took me a long time to decide on my answer. But I few weeks ago I made my decision, and last week I got to vote for my candidate in the VA Democratic primary. I voted for Barack Obama because I think he can change this country for the better. I think we can bring a new attitude to the people who are here, and to the people around the world–many of whom don’t like the United States so much right now.

I also just believe that he’s more likely to win the general election, especially against John McCain, than HRC is. There are enough people in the “middle,” the moderates and swing voters we hear so much about, who really hate HRC. They’ll see McCain as middle of the road, moderate war hero and vote for him. But given the choice between McCain and Obama, more of those people will select Obama. He’s energetic, youthful, full of new ideas and hope. All the direct opposites of McCain’s characteristics.

And frankly, the Clintons have just pissed me off. I’ve always had a lot of respect for both of them. And I will vote for her if she’s the nominee. But I think that she and Bill believed that she would be the nominee, and that noone else should question that. They tried to just ram a HRC candidacy down our throats. And Bill can’t step back and not be a “co-President.” It’s not in his personality. It’s got to be all about Bill.

I was glad I had made my decision before primary day. Last Tuesday (The Potomac Primary), I made it to my polling place just 30 minutes before the polls closed. I usually go in the morning, but that particular AM was crazy and I didn’t have time. I had Bug with me, but she had just had a snack so I figured she’d be okay. It’s never taken me more than 5 minutes to go in, tell the workers my name, cast my ballot and leave. I walked in there and got at the end of what I thought was one of two long lines. The woman in front of me informed me that there was indeed only one line, snaking through the high school gym. It was long. I waited for a half hour, finally cast my ballot at 7 pm (the time the polls close). Those people who were in the building when it turned 7 pm, however, were able to vote. Everyone was talking about how unusual the wait was. And it seemed like the worker was giving out a lot of  Democratic ballot cards (they weren’t being very “secretive” about this part of the secret balloting). My precinct always goes solidly Republican. Are there a lot of closet Dems in my area who don’t usually vote? Or are they crossing the aisle just this once? I would guess it’s a combination of the two.

Once I voted, Bug and I drove home. We live about 3 minutes from the polling place. When I walked in the door, MSNBC was calling Virginia for Obama. Great. Did I stand in line for 30 minutes for nothing? No. The raw vote count matters for the delegate count, so I’m glad I did it. Plus, now when Bug hears “Obama” on the news, she says, “Is that who we voted for?” Start ’em young!

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