Until this last week IÕve been undecided for whom to vote in the Democratic Primary election on February 5th. I admire all the Democratic candidates except Mr. Gravel, who I think has seen better days. But for this Democrat, it was an impressive array of candidates, any of whom would make a darn good president of this country.
Since the candidates have been narrowed to three, IÕve vacillated between voting for each of them. ThereÕs no doubt New York Senator Hillary Clinton is brilliant and an effective officeholder and campaigner. And honestly, I would like to finally see a woman president. But as of the last few weeks, her biggest liability is the very man IÕve voted for twice for president – the usually intelligent, charismatic Bill Clinton. He angered me beyond belief when he was stupid enough to engage in sexual activity in the Oval office (hasnÕt he ever heard of the NoTell Motel?) Now he is annoying me every hour of the day with his thoughtless remarks about presidential candidate and Illinois Senator Barack Obama. For supposedly being the first ŌblackĶ president, (a dumb idea anyway), Clinton certainly has changed his colors, if youÕll pardon the pun. It becomes clearer every day the White House might collapse under the weight of the baggage of the Clinton team. Mind you, if Senator Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee, I will vote for her. The Republican candidates are a scary bunch, and I think many Republicans agree.
Which leads us to the candidacies of Barack Obama and John Edwards. I was a John Edwards fan four years ago, but of course, by the time the Primary Election rolled around to Illinois, Edwards was long gone. I like his populist message and he brings sincerity and passion to the campaign. His humble beginnings are an integral part of his personality and drive. One can only admire Elizabeth Edwards for her intelligence, warm personality and good sense. Of course, her ever-increasing cancer is a tragedy. I find myself wishing Edwards would withdraw, go home and let his wife rest. The campaign makes me tired just to watch, let alone participate. By the way, Republican Senator John McCain is a year older than I and IÕm VERY impressed with his energy, and the lucidity and spunk of his 96-year-old mother.
And then thereÕs Barack Obama. HeÕs the candidate who raises goose bumps on my skin and brings tears to my eyes. His voice and demeanor, his background, his successes, his wife, all add up to one major and exciting candidate for president who seems to have wisdom beyond his years. He is, after all, about the age of my children. ThatÕs a first for me, and a sobering thought.
TodayÕs endorsement of Obama by Senator Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy and Congressman Patrick Kennedy was one of the most exciting events IÕve seen in a long time. President John Kennedy was the first president I voted for in 1960, and he was the same kind of candidate – young, exciting, bringing promise of change. It was he who proposed the civil rights legislation that was accepted by President Lyndon Johnson and overwhelmingly adopted by Congress. The legislation was passed in honor of the memory of President Kennedy. His assassination was the catalyst that propelled Congress to act.
And as I sit here finishing this column, President George Bush is giving his last State of the Union speech. I never listen to his speeches. I have enough gastric problems. This year, however, I can imagine next January and that tall, articulate young man with the booming voice telling Congress and the world his goals for America.
I pray this comes to pass, and for his safety.
Caroline Porter is a freelance writer from Galesburg who can be reached at email@example.com.