10.11.2008

I'D BE FINE WITH OBAMA

I've been meaning to post more thoroughly on the presidential election, but this article has kick-started me into action: "McCain Booed After Trying to Calm Anti-Obama Crowd." I'm not feeling any guilt by association, but it is disheartened to see such misguided venom from my side of the aisle.

Two months ago, I would've told you I was also deeply uncomfortable with an Obama presidency, not for racial or ethnic reasons but because of his stances on the economy and foreign policy and because of the general evasiveness of his campaign approach. When he first announced his candidacy way back when, I wondered when we would get some substance, and up until a couple of months ago, I was still wondering.

But circa today, I'd be fine with an Obama presidency. Unless things change (and they may, given how crazy this election run-up has been), he won't get my vote, but if he wins, he'll get my support, for these reasons:

* He's given us some meat. With a few notable exceptions, he's been the more decisive and detailed candidate, in terms of plans. Not that I necessarily agree with those plans, but again, a chief concern of mine previously was his unwillingness to take a position. Not any more.

* He's run a good campaign. Between Hillary, Obama, and McCain, none had ever run anything big until their respective campaigns. And most people would agree Obama's has been the best executed. Although some of that is a pat on his back, and some of that is disappointing execution by Hillary and McCain.

* McCain's been erratic lately. On that note, I've been disappointed in the McCain campaign team of late. He's dithered on the economy at the worst possible time, I'm still not convinced the Palin pick is a good move, and he hasn't kept to earlier standards of campaign civility or of political independence.

* Global perception is global reality. He offers a promising possibility for a more favorable standing in the global community. I'm nervous about where he stands on foreign policy issues, but sometimes a clean slate is more important.

* He has good economic advisors. Even right-leaning pundits are calling the Obama team more sensible than the McCain team, Douglas Holtz-Eakin's impressive performance to date notwithstanding.

* He'll be more moderate than the right wing media gives him credit for. I've softened on my nervousness about Obama's liberal track record. The fact of the matter is he'll inherit a massive national debt and an ailing economy, his economic advisors are sensible, and moving to the center is in his political interest.

The Economist ran a nice summary of where the candidates stand on key issues. I'm still more in the McCain camp than the Obama camp on most issues: if you're scoring at home, I'd go with McCain on everything but energy and the environment, but have gone from "absolutely not" to "I'd live with it" with Obama on most of the other nine categories. But if Obama wins on November 4, I'd be fine.
Post a Comment