Vote Obama

Though I arrived shortly after 8am, had a friend in line not spotted me, I may not have made it in. As it was, we got in on the tail end and were rewarded with fabulous seats opposite from the speaker’s podium and high enough above the media throng to take it all in.

Boy, that man can talk. I was impressed.

I’m too cynical to be an Apostle, but have no doubt that he’s been my choice since Edwards dropped out of the race. After hearing him speak, I may have even been swayed to his camp even if Edwards had stayed in. Maybe. He’s not my vision of the perfect candidate, but of the playing field he’s the best candidate hands down. I only hope he can do even a piece of what he promises.

He promised a lot: 100-year storm protection starting in 2011*; restoration of wetlands and barrier islands; no cronyism in Federal Government positions; FEMA director a nonpolitical position (similar to the Director of the Federal Reserve); tax incentives for businesses opening in rebuilding areas; a six month turn-around for Road Home applicants; a new city hospital and new Vets hospital; loan forgiveness for MDs willing to serve here; speeding up $58m approved in Congress to rebuild schools; $250m for teacher programs to give bonuses and incentives for teachers to come here for 3-year positions; college tuition tax credits each year of college; and educational systems that embrace all learning (arts, music, dance, poetry). Phew!

The stump speech was strong; followed with his contract — “we will invest in you, and you will invest in us.” It was stirring, motivational, and exciting. He made me forget how much optimism has been beaten out of me and for a minute, really think that the world he envisions is maybe, possibly… possible?

Some may have thought I’d be on the Clinton bandwagon, since she’s the female in the race. Not so. For one, she’s a Republican. She votes for war, she stood by her husband’s disastrous “reform” of welfare, and she went soft on universal health care. Second, I am constitutionally adverse to supporting the continued control of the Executive Branch of our government by two families into a third decade. Third, black men voted, served in the U.S. Senate, and were elected in the House of Representatives before women, so I figure electing a black man into the White House before a woman just falls in line with our traditions (okay, this is glib, but it’s still sort of an interesting bit of history). If I needed another reason, Ann Coulter may be endorsing Clinton and while I am all for the Kumbuyah mentality, I can not ever see a day when supporting anything Coulter endorses is a good thing. For other reasons to vote Obama and not Clinton, read this.

*I swear I heard him say 2011, following his saying that we “can’t gamble” the protection of New Orleans, but I’m not sure my ears can be trusted. For a minute, I heard the crowd shout “Let’s Pretend” and then “Let’s Begin” before figuring out that the clamor was actually the words “Yes We Can,” the official Obama fan shout.

UPDATE: Read Obama’s speech HERE. Really, read it. It’s worth it.