Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday - Not A Game

"I will fight against the division politics of revenge and retribution. If you put me to work for you, I will work to lift people up, not put them down." Hillary Clinton

Almost eight years ago, millions of Americans heard a clarion call from a new candidate with a strong voice, a different message, fresh perspective. They believed he would provide a clean departure from "politics as usual." That he would change their world for the better.

Those voters were Republicans, evangelical Christians and Right Wing radicals who sincerely thought George W. Bush was their next best hope.

Democrats and Independents must not make that same mistake about Barack Obama.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush are light years apart politically. But the downside risk of their leadership is the same.

Mr. Bush had a vision for change, but he didn't have a plan. His political inexperience seemed a plus, but he didn't have a clue. Yes he overcame a bad-boy past, but he continues to display a rash streak of immaturity. He's thin-skinned, bad tempered and lacking in objectivity, taking far too many global issues personally.

Mr. Obama raises expectations with his charismatic message, his near evangelical zeal. He can raise the roof with his oratory. But style does not equal substance. Barack Obama has bold ideas but no realistic plans. He has a stirring message but no real clue. He is brash, prickly, unsteady, unsure, untested.

Eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush. Which worries me a lot.

Unlike Bush, Obama is genuinely smart, even gifted, he just needs time. He has vast potential, will likely become a great leader one day. He seems destined to be, but not yet, not now.

Barack Obama's greatest gift to the 2008 Presidential Campaign, and to the country, is his passionate call to young people to get involved in the process. It's a critical message and will make our country and our future stronger.

But let's remember that while youthful excitement is easily created, commitment is less easily maintained. Anyone who has or knows kids between 18 and 25 can attest to how ephemeral their judgement is, how the very idea of dissent can be appealing for its own sake.

America's college students and 20-somethings work hard, play hard, think and reason, make good choices and bad. There's nothing wrong with that, it's how they amass experience, achieve growth and maturity.

What's bothers me is the so-called high-minded Obama campaign's cynical manipulation of celebrities and youthful supporters to generate media boost and momentum. Oprah, okay, I get that.

But the Kennedys! They're no better than the Bush possee. Self-serving, self-aggrandising, selfish. Senator Ted lost his chance to become president and hates Bill Clinton -- what a great reason to choose Obama as his surrogate

Obama-worship has gotten out of hand, it's affecting those of my generation who think they can regain their own youth and enthusiasm by joining the parade.

We adults can't let jingoism, a sudden sense of the seductive group dynamic and infatuation with a youthful, cool standard-bearer deflect us from the goal of electing the right grown up for the right grown up reasons. Not to mention a Democrat.

America needs a solid, mature adult in the White House. We need to be certain that the President/Commander in Chief/Leader of the Free World knows what to do and how to do it under any situation. We need to be sure our president can handle pressure, evaluate, prioritize and get the job done.

Hillary Clinton is the smartest, surest, most able, definitely the most tested person in the room. She's hard working, self-confident, tough and seasoned by time, circumstance, experience and humility.

We need her strength, her resilience, her intelligence, her world view, her contacts, her credentials, her decisive capability to listen, review, negotiate, determine a course of action and lead.

And we need her ability to defeat the Republican nominee. Unless we want President McCain in the White House.

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