Well, today is "Super Duper Tuesday", and I'm still having trouble deciding who to vote for. On the one hand, we have an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated adminstrator cursed with her husband's baggage and her own polarizing reputation. On the other hand we have a charismatic visionary with the ability to unify progressives behind a mantle of "hope and change." But with no executive experience, his success at unification could be matched only by his potential to fail as a President.
But adminstrative skills can be learned, and the success of any President depends largely upon the people to whom responsibilites are delgated, and both candidates inspire a fierce loyalty among their staffers (yes, even Mrs. Clinton).
Both candidates are intelligent, ambitious, educated, goal-oriented lawyers with identical platforms that differ only in the details. As a simple American, I am less interested in the details and more interested in getting things done. Will the man who can make everyone his friend be more effective that the woman who can work against opposition? Can things get done when the opposing party has a strong sense of their own destiny in the symbol of Ronald Regan, while our own party lacks such a symbol of progressive vision and conviction? Do we need a flag to rally behind before charging out to fight? Could Hillary Clinton be that flag? Due to her polarizing nature, I fear not. But could her strength of will overcome that lack and prove effective despite all the attacks against her that are bound to come? Are her strengths enough to overcome her weaknesses? Can Barack Obama's strengths overcome his own lack of experience and clout? Can his idealism withstand and hold true to the onslaught of political machinations and betrayal?
I have no freaking clue. I want a candidate who can defeat a Republican. I want a candidate who can spearhead a new Democratic movement to counter the disastrous wreck the Neocons have made of our government. I want a candidate who holds the same values I hold, who has the ability to neutralize opposition, the intelligence to develop ideas that will solve problems, and the strength of character to stick to the agenda despite complications and inevitable concessions.
If only we could combine the best of both Clinton and Obama into one candidate! If only Obama had less ambition and more experience. If only Clinton could inspire unification and excitement rather than fear and loathing.
I suspect I won't know who I will vote for today until I have made my choice in the voting booth.