Hillary vs. Barack

A Slate piece makes sense of it all.

I’ll start this piece right now by declaring that I cannot, in good faith, vote to put another Republican in office. But rather than go into a laundry list of why I feel that way, I’ll get on with what I really want to discuss: which Democrat should I vote for?

(And if you feed a desperate need to use this post’s comments to bash all Democrats in favor of Republicans, please don’t waste your time — I will delete such comments. I’ll give you an opportunity soon, in another post, to civilly state your case.)

I’ve been watching the race for president — both sides — pretty closely. And even though it’s down to just two Democrats, I really can’t decide which one I think would make a better president.

And yes, that’s what it all comes down to. It’s not which one I like better. This isn’t supposed to be a popularity contest. It’s more like there are multiple applicants for a job and the American people need to decide which one would do the job better. Sure, you might prefer one of them as a beer drinking buddy, but since drinking beer is not one of the duties of the president, who cares?

I didn’t really do my homework other than to visit GlassBooth.org, which I recommend to anyone interested in seeing how their opinions stack up against the candidates’. I figured I’d wait until some candidates dropped out. After all, in the beginning, we had 10 candidates on each side! My most recent visit to GlassBooth.org tells me that Hillary is slightly ahead of Barack in matching my views (75% vs. 74%) — still too close to call.

But the other day, while flying, I listened to a handful of Slate podcasts. One of them, titled “American Idols: International Edition: Foreign Press Fails to Make Fun of U.S. Election System Shocker!” included a quote that really hit home:

At Germany’s Spiegel, Gabor Steingart lays it out: “Barack Obama is the man of hope. Hillary Clinton is the woman of secret fears. He inspires. She reassures. He is inventive. She is reliable. He seems soft. She’s hard as nails. He’ll win if the sun’s shining. She’ll win if there’s a storm brewing.”

I realized that this is exactly how I feel about the two candidates.

I believe that Hillary has the experience needed to do a good job as President. (White House time as First Lady does count!) I also think that having Bill Clinton around to help is a good thing. And I think it would be a great thing to have a female president. But, at the same time, I worry about her motivations and her ability to get things done facing the rabid (and unearned) hate that Republicans seem to feel for her.

Barack seems to have plenty of charisma, which is certainly a nice thing. And I think it would be great to have a black president. But I worry about his experience and what seems to be softness. Is he too idealistic to handle the reality of getting this country back on its feet? I think the Republicans and their media outlet, Fox News, will make short work of him, forcing him to struggle constantly to maintain his image and get anything done.

Because I’m registered as independent, I couldn’t vote in the Arizona primary. So I allowed my fellow liberals to make the decision for me. That was okay. And whoever turns out to be the final Democratic candidate will also be fine with me. I think either of them would be a good leader.

But it’s interesting that it took the quote of a German journalist to clear my mind about this.

Between Hillary and Barack, which do you think would make a better president and why? Use the Comments link or form to share your thoughts. Just remember to keep it civil.

2 thoughts on “Hillary vs. Barack

  1. I did what you did, only I reregistered as a D to vote for Obama after I saw him. Janet Napolitano swayed me at a small coffee I went to for women that was hosted by her. She quoted from an article in the New Yorker that referred to incremental vs. transformative leadership. I don’t think incremental leadership, which Hillary represents, is enough for the state our country is in now.

    francine hardaway’s last blog post..Josh Beaten Up

  2. My only concern is that Obama won’t have the strength to pull off the changes we need. He seems too wimpy! Hillary seems to have bigger cojones, if you know what I mean.

    It doesn’t really matter at this point to me. No matter which one gets the nomination, that’s the one I’ll vote for. I can’t see another 4 years of conservatives trying to put religion in our schools while spending all our tax dollars on war.

    But more on that argument — which I expect to get quite heated — in another post.

What do you think?