Tuesday, January 08, 2008

California Dreaming in the New Hampshire Primary

Not knowing (but suspecting) what may happen in the New Hampshire primary today, here are my musings on the way things are shaping up:

Despite my support for Edwards, it is hard not to get swept up in Obama fever. I suspect that if this is true for someone like me who has followed the elections closely, and educates herself about the candidates, it is doubly true of the average voter.

Watching Obama's victory speech last Thursday in Iowa (Obama, not I, was in Iowa--I try to keep as far away from Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport, Marshalltown, Mason City, Keokuk, Ames, and Clearlake as possible), I had this strange feeling: pride and a lump in my throat. If I had ever known, I had forgotten what it was like to be truly inspired by a presidential candidate (I was born while JFK was in office and was 7 when Bobby was shot).

That feeling of remembering a forgotten dream is very powerful. I want to be part of history. I want to stand on my feet and vote for change. I want to forget that Obama's sweeping rhetoric seems to mask a haziness about policy details. I want to forget that he has repeatedly voted to fund a war he says he doesn't support. I want to forget that I really know almost nothing about him. That part of his growing appeal is that corporate America is comfortable with him. That he wants the health insurance industry to play a role in ending the health care crisis....whaaaaa?

So I suspect that the people of New Hampshire will do the same. I suspect that Obama fever will/has spread to California. And I wonder what the dream of a new America will bring?

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