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Posted by on Jan 29, 2008 in At TMV | 1 comment

Watching Clinton & Obama Watch Bush as I Prepare to Cast My Vote


As far as I’m concerned, the two Democratic candidates really did steal the President’s show, even though neither said a word.

Truly, it was a treat to see both of them react to the President’s speech, especially during his comments on health care.  Hillary responded with averted eyes and slow clapping, while Obama just scratched his chin thoughtfully.  Neither exactly rolled his or her eyes, but the sidewise averted gaze of each was the nearest thing to.  Bless them both. I wish they’d mend their fences.

Obama and Clinton seemed to see eye to eye on Bush’s domestic agenda, sitting firmly on their hands through most of the first half of his speech.

“I think there is some consensus in the Democratic Party,” Obama said in an interview with CNN immediately after the State of the Union when asked about the lack of difference between him and Clinton on economic policy (The Hill).

Here’s where Obama and I differed sharply from Clinton. 

Clinton and Obama’s divergent views on the troop surge in Iraq, however, were plainly visible.

When Bush proclaimed, “Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among terrorists there is no doubt,” Clinton sprang to her feet in applause but Obama remained firmly seated (The Hill).

Oh, Hillary. Why are you and Bill making it so hard for me to vote for you?  Why is that, hmmm?  I never dreamed I’d be wavering so much, assuming Edwards dropped out of contention (as sadly seems to be the case).  I’m considering  throwing my vote to one of the others.  Examining their platforms closely convinces me that Hillary’s would be the better deal for me.  (And don’t even bother talking to me about all the things you think are wrong with her and her campaign—I’m going for the candidate who (1) supports policies that would be in my best interests; and (2) has the right view on my personal "hot button" issues. What if each of us did that for a change instead of worrying about the secret motivations, the "likability factor," or comparative (and ultimately, non-verifiable) moral qualities of the candidates?  What if we all did that? Who would win then, I wonder?)

As for me, I’m not wealthy; I have a disability that’s likely to last the rest of my days and therefore ongoing health care expenses; and if it worsens, I’ll have to work till I die to afford even my co-payments.  I need a candidate whose policies help people circumstanced as I am.  Edwards would have been best for me, no question.   But as between Obama and Hillary, which?

When Bush warned the Iranian government that “America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf” Obama jumped up to applaud. Clinton leaned across Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.), seated to her left, to look in Obama’s direction before slowly standing. (The Hill)

Oh, Obama.  Oh, Hillary as well.   Not that I don’t agree with the literal words Bush said; I just take everything he says about Iran these days as code for "Given the slightest excuse, we’ll be invading Iran next."  I don’t trust the subtext and I don’t want Dems endorsing it.  John Edwards would have stayed in his seat.  

But what about this then?

The Illinois senator strongly criticized the former first lady last year when she supported a resolution calling for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to be designated a terrorist organization. Obama supporters and other Democrats charged the vote would give Bush political cover to begin military operations against Iran. (The Hill)

This, at least, seemed an appropriate response:

There also appeared to be some division among Democrats Monday over whether to continue to pump money into the Iraq war effort. When Bush said he would “ask Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops,” Obama and Clinton remained seated while Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) stood up behind them to applaud. (The Hill)

So they both sat that one out and I think it was the right response. It’s not about the troops; it’s about pouring more tax dollars into Iraq.

Anyway, today’s the day, and even though my state’s been stripped of its delegates, we’re told that the rest of the country will be watching Florida.  I’m mad as hell over the delegate thing, but naturally I’m going to vote.  But for which?  For which?  I have a feeling I’m not going to know until I actually hand in my ballot.