Hillary, I'm sorry.

Dear Z,

I am sitting at the desk staring at the remnants of my vote-by-mail ballot for Super Tuesday's primary election.

This feels like a big election. But they all have felt big.

I imagine that one day you might ask me if I voted for Hillary Clinton, the first (viable) female candidate for President. You will know me as the feminist liberal I am and possibly assume that I voted for her.

And I will vote for her, if she winds up being our Democratic nominee. But in this primary, I voted for Barack Obama. And that makes me more than a little sad.

I love Hillary. I think she is smart, capable, articulate, and politically savvy. I respect her immensely; I think she can handle the stress, pressure and circus-ness of the Presidency with aplomb and grace. I find the prospect of a female President, of HILLARY for President, extremely exciting.

She is also incredibly polarizing. There are many, many people who hate her; some because she is a woman, some because of her husband, some because of who she is. I have always loved her for those very same reasons but the fact that she is so hated makes me think she would not fare well in the general election. Her very existence could mobilize forces against her very, very fast.

I have decided to vote for Obama simply because I think these two candidates' policy differences are insubstantial. What ARE very different are their personalities and how people respond to them. Clinton is a work horse, an executive, a nose-to-the-grindstone policy wonk (which I LOVE. But I also loved Al Gore and John Kerry for the very same reasons and look what happened to them). Obama is a visionary, a truly gifted orator, a young, passionate trail blazing candidate. He is green and inexperienced but he really, really excites people. He seems like a fun, positive, self-assured guy who would put you at ease.

For some annoying reason, people tend to vote for fun guys more than policy wonks. And now I am one of those people.

Maybe I'm just tired of the policy wonks losing.

So if Hillary wins the nomination, I will get behind her. I will possibly campaign for her, send her money and definitely vote for her in November. The potential of another ruinous Republican Presidency has me in cold sweat. Part of me hopes that she does win. Win it all.

But the rest of me (you know, the part with the PEN) is voting for Barack. This was a tortured decision and I hope you understand.


Your Clueless But Hopeful Mama


Marie Green said...

I'm voting for Barak too, for the same reasons you stated- too many people hate Hilary.

I have such a nervous tummy about this WHOLE election!

grammalouie said...

I could have written a similar essay titled, "Barack, I am sorry". I voted for Hillary. I voted for Hillary because I love her for all the reasons you listed. In addition I think she can govern, she can lead, she knows how to make policy and how Washington works. I find her genuinely likable - I find her even funny and warm. I want her to win!
But... Barack is amazing and the charisma is hard to ignore. If he wins, I will back him and send him moolah and work for him. My heart is in my throat.
G*d, I hate politics.G*d, I love politics.

desperate housewife said...

I love this post! And for what it's worth, I'm a Republican (a wishy-washy one at best, but there it is) and I don't hate Hilary. I hate how people criticize her for doing things because she so politically ambitious and power hungry, supposedly. Oh Well! No one would criticize a MAN for being politically ambitious or power hungry!

Dad said...

Hi Jen:
Your feminist father voted for Hillary so don't feel too bad. I like them both. I think her health care plan is better than his and beside his stand on the war some of his other positions are very cloudy. Hers aren't. Hillary is someone a recalcitrant old poopface like me would be proud to call my president.Love Dad

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