There will be many blogs today about Barack Obama… this is not one of them. Rather, this blog is about those who would have been president.
As I walked in to work this morning, I thought back over the Democratic primary and the general election. We could be celebrating the inauguration of the first female president today. I doubt the hype would be as grand as this current situation, but certainly historic. Even so, I think few people believed that four more years of a Clinton in the White House would change much. It is doubtful that things would have changed for women in general as much as African Americans hope Mr Obama’s presidency will change things for them.
On to Mr McCain. In my short history of voting, I think this is maybe the third time I voted for the losing candidate (I voted against Clinton both times). At the time I cast my vote, I felt it was in vain, but I stood my ground. It was interesting to hear the election-line chatter about Obama. Those around me who expressed any view at all were for Obama. I was a double minority that day—not only African American, but also one of the few African Americans voting for McCain. I could not have felt more out of place that day than if I was front-row-live at a Dixie Chicks concert!!! (OK, I admit, I kinda like their music…)
To the point: Neither Hillary Clinton nor John McCain were viable candidates in light of the newness, freshness, and change atmosphere generated by Obama. Given the two alone, I think John could have won, but I’m not certain of that. McCain presented himself as a half-hearted candidate, out of touch with the day-to-day lives of average Americans, and while self-labeled a maverick, was too closely identified as a third Bush. If you look back with a level perspective, I think you will find that he just did not have a message that resonated with voters and that once he couldn’t remember how many homes he owned, it was all but over for him.
On the morning of the inauguration of the new president, we can look back and say that Mr Obama was the lesser of the three evils, but also that he presented a choice that no matter what your politics may be, was the only reasonable choice to be made.