Thursday, January 31, 2008

i heart mike gravel, apparently

I am so valuable. So court-able. I am that beloved (yet usually idiotic-sounding) beast that reporters love to interview around election time.

I am an undecided voter.

Recently I took one of those perhaps-less-than-scientific online quizzes to find out which candidate best represented my views. Because historically, I have been an Issues Voter!

It turned out I should be stumping for Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich. But the quiz tracks content, not form, where both candidates and voters are concerned. So it doesn’t take into account, for example, that John McCain is a jerk (not that I’m saying he is—in fact, he probably isn’t) or that I’m a pragmatist and am not going to vote for anyone too Naderific.

So that left me with the big three, which are now the big two, and I agreed with all of them 80-something percent (I’m guessing I liked gay marriage and legalized marijuana a little more than Clinton, Obama, or Edwards). I was going to be forced to do what I usually try to avoid: vote based on personality and strategy.

But hey, that could be fun.

At first I was leaning towards Obama because he just seemed so damn smart, and we all know what kind of presidents America’s anti-smart/pro-drinking-buddy attitude has gotten us.

But then I read this article in The New Yorker about Hillary’s governing style (hardworking, pragmatic, cooperative, incremental, action-focused) versus Obama’s (visionary, sweeping, relaxed) and although I’m not sure it was supposed to make me like her, it did. Yes, she sounded a little Tracy Flick-ish, but I have a very big soft spot for the Tracy Flicks of the world, and I need to believe that quiet, hardworking types get shit done.

But, I don’t know, Obama has a slightly better track record with the gays and is maybe a slightly less dirty campaigner, although I’m not all hung up on the Sins Of The ‘90s the way a lot of Clinton-haters seem to be. Also, Obama probably stands a better chance of beating McCain.

Should I flip a coin? Vote for who’s prettier? Invite blog commenters to buy my vote?


Kathy said...

I'm with you, Cheryl. Deeply...undecided.

Jesi said...

check this out:

it may help or it may not.

Cheryl said...

I didn't catch the whole debate last night, but I liked what Obama said about not scapegoating immigrants.

When I thought Obama would win the nomination, I thought, Maybe I'll vote for Hillary just to show my support. Now that Hillary is (I think?) in the lead, I find myself thinking, Maybe I'll vote for Obama. So I guess I'm a pro-underdog contrarian above all else.

caroline said...

As someone who lives in New York State, I can confirm that Hillary is hardworking. She studies her facts. I once heard her on local radio for about 5 minutes about violence against women. I thought I was listening to someone in social services (underpaid, overworked but passionate); she was *that* knowledgeable about the facts. When I learned that I had been listening to my senator, I was shocked.

Cheryl said...

Caroline: I do hear she's wonky. I like my politicians wonky so I don't have to be.

tucki said...

I’m convinced that Obama is good on gay issues and that the Clintons have a propensity to sell out their supporters or take a less vigorous approach then promised in the campaign. I also like the fact that Obama is considered a transformational leader. I think the Clintons’ baggage prevent Hill from rising to this level. Plus the idealist in me wants a leader who can actually bring people together And we need a little color in that white house!

Jamie said...

I'm deeply undecided as well. I want them both on the ticket. Do you think that's possible? I like Hillary's pragmatism and Obama's idealism. I also like what he said about not using immigrants as scapegoats. He's in touch. But so is Hillary. And I think Hillary is a tough cookie. Obama is a soft cookie with lots of melty chocolate chips.

Cheryl said...

As someone deeply fond of all types of cookies, it's tough. Obama has a lot of sparkle--of a pretty genuine variety, I think--but I'm world-weary enough to think we need more than sparkle.

I think he would go for VP because he's younger and greener, but I doubt she would. Nevertheless, as of this second, I'm leaning more towards him.

Thanks for weighing in, Tucki and Jamie.

Claire said...

I've been having trouble deciding too, but I've come around to Obama. I think Hillary's stuck with too much baggage to win in Nov.

I agree with you in that I don't think she'll VP if Obama gets the nomination but he would. And I think that's probably a good thing strategy wise.