Among friends this weekend, I asked about the primaries and if folks were comfortable telling the group how they voted. I opened the discussion with the statement that I believed every one of us in the room was wholly invested in "Planet Bay Area," meaning largely democratic. I was correct, though I did find one inspiring Green Party supporter (I'm a registered Independent myself).
I wanted to know whether they'd picked Hillary or Barack, why, and whether the choice was about personal preference or in the interest of "looking after what our country needs." What started it for me was a Hillary sign in the yard of one of our friends. Prior to the primaries, they told me the sign got stolen twice from the yard.
Sure enough, I found the group divided largely on age lines (a lot less on gender if you were voting for the same sex). Under 45 typically went for Barack, with a surprising exception from a dear friend of mine who I've known for 11 years. A slightly larger majority of the room preferred Obama, but most of the reasoning given indicated that people were able to make the choice on what they thought was best both for the country and for themselves. I don't feel like I have that option-certainly I'm not alone.
We are in a very interesting time in history and the choices we all make every day need to be far more active in doing for the "greater good" than for the "invidual good." We do need a president who can lead the forces so we may all agree on what those right choices should be.
In truth, I have a short, personal history with the Clintons. I've seen Bill twice; met him once when he was governor of Arkansas and happened to be in town attending church- a community he shared with my grandparents. I have no doubt that if I walked up to Bill and mentioned my grandfather's name, he'd instantly remember and welcome me with open arms. However, he would only be the supporting player if Hillary won--the "bedroom backstop" so to speak.
As a voter, I believe I'm being forced into a position of having to "game" the (two party) system to support a candidate I feel is most electable versus who I personally prefer. I haven't really made up my mind which candidate is better. Some resent Barack for taking away the clear path to our first woman president, others think because she's a more seasoned and compelling orator that Hillary is the choice.
I just hope whatever happens, that there is a chance to come together at the end. It will make a HUGE difference who McCain chooses as a running mate- he'd be one of, if not the oldest president. Not Fuck-A-Bee, please John!