Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What A Vote For Clinton or Obama Says About You

From New York Magazine, an article on the differences in campaigning and philosophy between the Clinton and Obama campaigns. This link goes to the last page of the article, but be sure to click back to page one and read the whole thing. If you can't find the time to click, here's the excerpt:

...The battle between Hillary and Barack has produced plenty of heat, with more to come, no doubt. But it has also generated
considerable light, clarifying for many of us that the choice we'll be
making on February 5 isn't mainly between two sets of policies or even
two individuals. It's between two different ways of looking at the

If you find yourself drawn to the Clinton candidacy, you likely believe that politics is politics, that partisanship isn’t transmutable, that Republicans are for the most part irredeemable. You suspect that talk of transcendence amounts to humming “Kumbaya” past the graveyard. You believe that progress comes only with a fight, and that Clinton is better equipped than Obama (or maybe anyone) to succeed in the poisonous, fractious environment that Washington is now and ever shall be. You ponder the image of Bill as First Laddie and find yourself smiling, not sighing or shrieking.

If you find yourself swept up in Obamamania, on the other hand, you regard this assessment as sad, defeatist, as a kind of capitulation. You’re perfectly aware that politics is often a dirty business. But you believe it could be a bit cleaner, a bit nobler, a bit more sustaining. You think that paradigm shifts can happen, that the system can be rebooted. Most of all, an attraction to Obama indicates you are, on some level, a romantic. You never had your JFK, your MLK, and you desperately crave one: What you want is to fall in love.

A vote for Clinton, in other words, is a wager rooted in hard-eyed realism. Her upside may be limited, but so is her downside, because although the ceiling on her putative presidency might be low, the floor beneath it is fairly high. A vote for Obama, as the Big Dog said, is indeed a role of the dice. The risks of his hypothetical presidency are higher, but the potential payoff is greater: He could be the next Jack Kennedy—or the next Jimmy Carter. The gamble here entails both the thrill and the terror of letting yourself dream again.

1 comment:

Vigilante said...

To be very honest with you, E., I feel a vote for HRC is more dicey than a vote for BHO.

The way I look at it, if I vote for Hillary, I'm voting for vengeance and vindictiveness and revenge for the last eight years because there's no one the Busholics hate more than the Clintons. Payback would be so satisfying.

If, OTOH, I want to move forward, to something more positive, creative and adventursome, like a nouveau frontiere, I'll vote for Barack. Payback has its limits.

And to be perfectly honest, everyday I flip flop on these two impulses.