One of the oddities of this campaign cycle is that it’s beginning so early, nearly two years out from the actual election day. People are warning about Democratic Candidate overload, speculating that by the time the actual Primaries come around voters will be so fed up they’ll pick anybody who isn’t either Hillary or Barak. I, on the other hand, am happy to see this all hit the fan now; it gives us time to settle some of the more basic issues before the race begins. And of course, the big question at this juncture seems to be: “Is America Ready For A Black Or A Woman President?” To my mind, framing the question in this way is completely backward.
For my part, I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton…I supported Bill almost from the beginning of his Presidency (actually, I got caught up in the moment and voted for Ross Perot, but as soon as I saw what Clinton was doing, I fell in line behind him). I live in New York and am quite happy with what the Junior Senator from my state has done in the last six years. Her 67% vote total shows that most of my fellow New Yorkers feel the same way. People don’t realize just how Republican a state New York is; outside of NYC and some university towns, people are pretty conservative, so 67% represents a lot of GOP voters. Yes, Hillary is divisive and absolutely hated by a huge portion of our society, and yes there is a lot of baggage between her and Bill, but I believe those things aren’t as terrible as people make them out to be. And while Barak Obama is still a mostly unknown quantity to me, all indications are that he’s a thoughtful, intelligent man.
On the other side, I still remember Giuliani trying to extend his term as mayor after the 9/11 attacks, suggesting that a change in leadership at such a crucial time would be a bad thing to do. Quite frankly, that’s a pretty frightening position to take. And while John McCain seems to be honest at least half the time, I still can’t figure out which half it is. Mitt Romney is so all over the place in his beliefs that I can’t even devote any energy yet into trying to figure out what he believes other than that he really believes he should be President. But back to the question: are we ready for a Black or Woman to run the country?
We can’t forget that George Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and the rest of that crew (with the exception of Condi Rice of course) are all white men and look what they’ve done to our country. So the question should actually be, not are we ready for a Black or Woman, but: Are We Ready For Another White Man To Lead Us? Given the list of possibilities before us in the 2008 cycle, I’d have to say no.