Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clinton V Obama from my perspective...

Having had the opportunity to hear both Democratic presidential candidates speak this weekend, my immediate impression after hearing Hillary Clinton on Friday and then Barack Obama today was..."Omg...there is very little difference in their platforms." Not to pick on Mark but to use Mark's question the other day on a Clinton issue related to: "We’re going to end each and every tax break to any company that ships a single job out of Ohio.” He asked if this was possible or out of the scope of what a Presidential candidate can promise. Barack Obama made a very similar statement tonight, making it very clear his goal is to end all of those very same tax cuts. On education, both want to eliminate No Child Left Behind and comment about how it's left children behind. Both want to make it easier for our children to go to college, Clinton by making sure federal loan dollars are accessible and at a very low interest rate, Obama by providing $4,000 if a child works in some type of volunteer program. Granted, $4,000 will not get you far under today's tuition costs so on that one, my personal opinion on this one is the Clinton program is a better one.

Health care they both have a plan, and they both disagree as to who's plan is better though Obama claims he can have his in place before the end of the first year if he were president, which I think is a bit more of an impossible goal than the tax break issue. Two interesting articles I want to point out, The Case for Clinton and The Case for Obama, both written by intelligent members of our community who also happen to be black. While I don't agree with Fletcher Word as to who he supports, I do agree with this:
There is virtually no difference between the two candidates on the issues and neither, quite frankly, has the amount of experience we would ideally like to see in our next president – not even close for either person.

The venues that the two rallies were held in were different. The Clinton one was held in a high school with over 5,000 people, the Obama one was more of an arena type venue with probably 10,000 people. Both crowds were clearly supportive of their candidate but the Hillary one felt more energized and the crowd was much more in support of her which was surprising given the late hour of the rally and the fact that people did have to wait longer to see her than happened today. Then again it's easier to get that type of a "closer to the candidate" feeling when an event is held at that type of a venue where you can easily get from one side of the room to the other, it creates a different environment.

Those who attended the Clinton rally were in a majority white, middle class and around my age. It was harder to gauge the Obama event with the way contact to other areas was limited but it appeared to be at least half and half from a race standpoint between black and white with most of the white people younger. There were more black families at the Obama event than there were white families at the Clinton event, this again could be related to the differences in the venue and the time of the rallies, but it's an observation that I made in comparing the two. I saw more Asian and Hispanics at the Clinton event compared to today. I did not see any women wearing a hijab or similar head covering at the Clinton event, there were a noticeable number at the Obama event. My intent here is to factually report the make up of those in attendance from what I personally observed, this could be argued as a point towards more diversity for Obama and a point towards the support base of the moderate middle class voter for Clinton. Which that is one thing that bothered me about the Obama rally today, it kept being said that Obama has more support of Republicans and Independents, yet the reality is in the majority of Democratic Primaries the only way you are supposed to vote is if you are a Democrat. I don't dispute the importance of non-Democrats in an election, but the primary process is to determine the Democratic National Convention winner and there are republicans and independents out there who have expressed support for both Democratic candidates if John McCain is the candidate on the Republican side.

Obama is known for his orating abilities, yet Hillary had the crowd at her rally responding to her more because she uses a different style of speaking and the difference in the choice of venue. She was hitting key points, Obama does mention campaign points, but the easiest way to describe it while it's not religious is he uses more of a "preacher" speaking style with extra information to show those there he identifies with them, and she uses more of a "presentation" style. Some material to demonstrate crowd identification but mainly concentrating on the key points. Tom Troy of the Blade stated Clinton gave the crowd "red meat", perhaps in comparing the two, he was more correct than I reacted to upon reading that.

No one in my family that is voting age changed their mind after today, but what did happen was an expression that should Hillary Clinton not end up being the person who wins the party nomination that Barack Obama would be a more preferable president than John McCain. Even my husband who most of you know is a Huckabee fan stated that he felt "better" about Obama after attending the rally today.

After John Edwards dropped out of the race, I focused on electability, I realized Clinton and Obama were not that different despite not realizing exactly how much they were alike until today. The belief that Hillary Clinton would be better able to deal with what will come when it is the Democrat versus the Republican is one that many people, including myself believe is true. No matter what type of "real experience" you feel she got from being First Lady, the reality is she knows what it takes to be President, she watched it happen, she lived it. This does give her the ability to "hit the ground running" as this is real life experience.

Geneva J. Chapman is not alone in what she has expressed as the "she is a woman" argument, which is one that I understand but that's not the primary basis of my decision, a part of which she states in her "A Case for Clinton" linked above:
A President Hillary Clinton will encompass all of the strength and power of these mighty rulers because she will rule the most powerful nation that ever existed in human history. She would have the diplomacy of Meir, the fearlessness of Bhutto, the tenacity of Thatcher, the intellect of Arroyo, and the steadfastness of Nzingha. Clinton’s election would finally validate Rosie the Riveter, all those pioneer women, the working class women of the last two centuries and every woman who has been both a mother and a worker and those who chose to be just mothers, the most difficult and thankless job of all. She would not be an Amazon, shunning men, but a liaison welcoming men to the table, as long as she sat at the head of it. She would find no need to say, “I am woman” or to be “every woman,” because she is woman.

Just like Obama said today, I'm not going to tell you who you should vote for, I understand some of you will not be voting for the same person I am, and that's okay. The important thing is to vote...

I am not going to divert from my policy of not endorsing a candidate here on the blog, and I will still continue to cover/provide information on all of the candidates that share information for readers here. My bottom line policy of no matter who I support, making sure that I'm doing all I can to provide information will not change no matter who runs or wins in November. I realize there are a greater number of bloggers in the Ohio Obama camp, I'm fine with my decision and I won't disrespect theirs nor am I egoistical enough to believe that my personal opinion or the power of my readership numbers will sway any of you who are decided. That said, I think it's important to point out that not every Democrat Ohio blogger is for Obama, and while I know I'm not alone on that? Even if I was, I'd still be fine with my decision.

Cross posted at Glass City Jungle


Roland Hansen said...

I'm with you, LR.

libhom said...

An important thing to keep in mind is that the Clintons always govern far to the right of their rhetoric. So, if Clinton's platform is similar to Obama's for now, you can bet her real plans are much more conservative than Obama's.

Having been frustrated by calling Clinton's office on issue after issue and generally getting no representation from my New York Senator, I know better than to trust her.

Lisa Renee said...

That's interesting, the one time I did have dealings with her New York office way before she ever decided to run for president, I was surprised at how great her staff was. This was even knowing I did not live in NY.

I've heard from friends who live in NY that she has always been responsive to them.