Coming Out for Obama

I'm supporting Senator Obama for many reasons, but what put me over the top is his stand against and continued leadership in the US Senate regarding the Iraq War. I believe that the Iraq War is the greatest atrocity of a generation, in terms of what it has done to our military and their families, and, just as importantly, to the Iraqi people. I believe that George Bush and Dick Cheney fit the textbook definition of "war criminal," and many Democrats, fearing for their political lives four years ago, signed on as enablers of this awful, shambolic misadventure in American foreign policy. Among these enablers, unfortunately, were Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.

It's easy to dismiss Senator Clinton, because she's the consummate "finger-to-the-wind" politician, even more so than her husband, and she just joined the anti-war movement a few months ago. She expects us to forget what she has done---she didn't just vote for the resolution late in 2002, she was one of the staunchest hawks in a Congress that enabled Republicans to lay waste to our military and cause the deaths and maimings of over 30,000 American soldiers and tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of Iraqis.

Edwards is a little more difficult, but I must ultimately put him gently to the side as well. While he's still my "#2," assuming Gore doesn't take the plunge, saying you're sorry isn't enough. Edwards and Clinton are running all over the country saying things like "I'm accountable for my vote," or "I take responsibility for my vote." This is code language for "thanks for bringing that up, but let me dismiss that issue in one sentence."

True responsibility and true accountability often means that you face the rewards or consequences for your actions. And the consequence, for Sens Edwards and Clinton, is that they won't get my vote for President of the United States. When you see the carnage and waste (what EVIL profiteering we are seeing while Iraq burns and our own soldiers don't even have the boots and toiletries they need, much less body armor!), you have to remember that when these folks had their time in the hotseat, they wilted, either due to political calculation (Clinton) or just plain getting it wrong (Edwards, as he admits). While I admit that we can't know for sure how Obama would have voted as a US Senator had he been one at the time, we do know how Clinton and Edwards cast their respective lots.

So, while all the Dems would be a million times better than Bush, my choice is simple. While they all have great plans and records on the environment, healthcare, and helping the disenfranchised, not to mention women's reproductive rights and civil rights in general one, and only one, has an unblemished record of leadership on the number one issue in the realm of war and peace in our time---Barack Obama.

Even still, I love Edwards (and I really love the details of his plans for America), and I'll forgive him and give him my support if Obama fails in his run (and if he does, you guys forgive me and take me back, too!). But for now, I can forgive him and support somebody who's gotten this one right from the start. As angry as I've become about the war (see Anglico's blog about how Republicans treat the troops), I just can't support anybody in the primary who's got blood on his or her hands, even if it's just a small amount (Edwards) or covered with it (Clinton). I'm not trying to be vindictive---I love Edwards and can even bring myself to like Sen Clinton quite a bit sometimes, it's just how I'm making my choice.

Now, we'll have that diversity of support some of you have been lamenting on BlueNC. I know even the most steadfast Edwards-heads among you don't want BlueNC to be BlueEdwards08. Happy to oblige.


Good post.

I've been off and on that fence myself and came down on the Edwards side. My rationale is mostly practical. I think the next president is going to have to be a master of negotiating in stress-filled situations. I have more confidence in Edwards than Obama on that front. That said, I'd be thrilled with either.

I'm really glad you posted this.

We all have our calculus, A

And I'm not saying mine is the wisest or smartest---it's just mine. I just love that I can express myself on this site, and show how a married guy with a few dogs and cats makes his political decisions.

Thanks for your support!

Prediction---Edwards takes Iowa, Obama takes NH---and it's on!

War is over if you want it.

Right now, I'm firmly in the Edwards Camp

I haven't heard enough from Obama about specifics on the things i care about besides the war. Yes, the war is important - and will probably be the deciding issue for most people in the upcoming election. I want to see actual plans from a candidate about domestic issues, and actual solutions for actual problems.I've read Obama's program proposals on his website, and they seem thin to me. I like him, and will support him if he is the nominee, but so far his ideas - particularly on education - are not substantive or innovative enough to win my support in the primary.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

I agree with you in some ways

I'm waiting anxiously for more from Obama. I think he's been doing more branding---getting people to know him, which was more necessary for him than the former first lady and the veep candidate from 2004. Everybody knew who they were already. To many across the country, before these last few months, he was just that black guy with the funny name or the guy who made a big speech a few years ago.

The stuff out there now on him is quite thin compared to Edwards, who seems to be releasing a new set of details to his plans almost by the week. He's running a great campaign, especially in that aspect of it.

Obama is running a great campaign, too, in other ways----people definitely know who this guy is and what kind of values he stands for, and, more than anything else, he's re-written the script for this campaign in the biggest way possible---he has utterly destroyed the "Hillary is inevitible, so let's just all get behind her" concept. And the person benefiting from Obama's work the most, besides Obama himself, is NC's finest, John Edwards.

You have to admit, there's something special about a political candidate who can draw THOUSANDS of people to rallies in an off year. He could fill football stadiums next year if he wins the nomination.

All that said, I still love Edwards, too.

War is over if you want it.

That could be said of Edwards as well

the drawing of crowds, I mean.

There's no doubt that there's a lot of genuine excitement surrounding Obama. I know he doesn't like to hear it, but he's the rockstar of this campaign. He is extremely charismatic and admittedly a good campaigner. I don't think he's been as clear as he could be about what he thinks.

If I went with purely my own philosphy, I'd be supporting good old Denny "Impeach them all and let God sort them out" Kucinich", lefty that he is. However, like most of people, I don't think he has a chance. Edwards has the charisma, the philosophy, and the substantive plans to win and be effective in the Office. The only problem I have with him is that he has not recognized that his position on gay marriage is not in sync with the rest of his political philosophy. (Neither is Obama's.) I don't have problems with his vote on the Iraq war because he was going on the best information he had at the time - which as we all know now was a lie. I put that vote squarely at the feet of GWB, where it belongs.

All of that said, Obama, Edwards, or Clinton, for that matter - we could do a lot worse. I'm looking forward to tonight's debate. I hope that we will hear more substance from each of the candidates. (And I hope it's not just sound bytes, either.) Probably a vain hope.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Amen on the gay marriage position

I will be holding the candidates accountable for their positions on this, terms of calling them out on it. We should be the party of civil rights for all, not most.

War is over if you want it.

One's war stance (or previous stance) is not a factor for me

The only real candidate on either side that I don't yet have something against is Obama. Therefore, he's the leader for my vote. Of course, the elections and even the primaries are WAY off, so I'm not going to waste much time on sorting them out until it is much closer to decision time.

That said, Hillary has zero chance of getting my primary vote. In fact, I'd vote in the primary if only to vote against her.

It's not just that it was a stance on the war. . .

Almost everybody back then was trying to figure out how much in favor of it they could be. Only folks like Obama, Kucinich, and Dean were speaking out. As much as I love them, folks like Kerry and Edwards were voting for the war.

I know the Bush Admin lied about everything running up to the war, but some people saw through it, and others saw through it AND stood up to be counted.

Again, just my way of sifting through a pretty strong field of folks on the blue side this time around.

War is over if you want it.

Well, that's one way to make a decision, I suppose.

There have been plenty of years that I've voted in the general election to vote "against" someone. I start now looking into candidates so that I know who I want to put any efforts/money into during primary season.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi


A lot of Moore County Democrats I have spoken with want nothing to do with Edwards. Same goes for Clinton, but that's not a surprise. Obama is kind of the default right now for many.

Yes, I know that a lot of Moore Co. Dems

want nothing to do with Edwards. They tend to be a conservative bunch - so it surprises me that Obama is their choice; I would think they'd be happier with Biden, or Dodd - they're more patriarchal and established. Still others want to turn the MCDP headquarters into Edwards Central. There are 17000 of us (dems) in Moore Co, so there's bound to be a lot of opinions out there. I'll be happy as long as those Dems are out supporting someone, and helping us build our local party. There are a lot of other offices coming up in 2008 besides President, and we need to focus on them as well.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Yes, some are completely

Yes, some are completely lost. I heard one very prominent MC Dem wondering aloud about Romney.

Well, now I feel less alone

I was beginning to think we should change the address of this site to


I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I agree, Sam

You must deal. But now, at least, you have a brother in arms.

War is over if you want it.


while I can be rabid on Daily Kos when required, as far as NC goes I plan on being fairly polite. When the primary is over, we'll all need to work harder than ever - together!

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

I disagree, of course, but I've never laid out why.

I feel Edwards is the best candidate, but everyone always comes back to Iraq, so here is my rebuttal to that. I don't hold Iraq against Edwards because I feel he was in a different situation than Obama, which is the only reason he is a major choice for most people online (go read the diaries, it is always the reason). Edwards was receiving tainted intelligence information, he had the entire Clinton administration telling him that it was right. Obama, on the other hand, was representing one district of this city (the sliver of purple on the right I believe)

in one state.

Senator Edwards was receiving the intelligence and responsible for the decisions effecting these people.

They had different priorities and different levels of information. If you go to the Chicago newspaper sites, you will only find ONE story about Obama from all of 2002 and 2003, before he began to prep for his Senate run. He was a very minor Senator from a very minor district. Edwards has come out and said his decision was a mistake, which is more than can be said about many others.

So, that is why the Iraq was doesn't bother me - but it isn't why I am NOT supporting Obama. That has to do with his seeming pandering to the middle. He was against Iraq firmly when he represented Chicago, yet since running for President he has voted FOR every spending bill, and has spoken out AGAINST standing up to the President. His rhetoric on moving to the middle also leaves me cold, and it is nothing new. When Obama was in the Illinois legislature, he voted PRESENT on a series of defining issues - including:

  1. Partial birth abortion.
  2. Parental notification.
  3. Prohibition for carrying concealed firearms.

Where is Barack Obama's apology for failing to stand up for these basic Democratic principles? Especially in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. Especially in the wake of VT. You might not agree with John Edwards, but he's standing up and saying what he stands for, true universal health care, PUBLIC-funded elections, a clean environment, and an END TO POVERTY in 35 years.
That is how I have made my choice.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

One more thing,

Great graphics, by the way. Compelling stuff. I could provide a graphic of Edwards' Chapel Hill mansion so that people can gain a perspective on his area of legislative influence right now, but I won't do that, because I know he's never there. He's never there because he's out busting his ass, criss-crossing the US to make our country a better place. And while I'm not supporting his bid (yet), I have mad respect!

War is over if you want it.

Great, great, great rebuttal, Robert

I would expect nothing less from a man who wears a JRE superhero outfit under his business suit :)

A couple of points---
1---It's one thing to blame the intelligence, what the Clintons were telling him, etc. If that's the case, then why is Edwards saying, "I fucked up." He's saying he fucked up because he knows he fucked up. He also knows that others, even others in the Senate (as I recall, the resolution vote wasn't 100-0) at the time, did not fuck up. And while I totally agree with the perspective you put on Obama's responsibilities at the time, let me ask you this question----what did you think about the war at the time? As a person with zero political responsibility at the time, I saw right through their bullshit. It was very clear we were being marketed to at the time, in a very tense political climate.
2---Now, all of a sudden, the shoe is on the other foot. Edwards isn't even a minor senator. He's lobbing grenades at everybody from his home in Chapel Hill or from his campaign stops. I'm not quibbling with what he's saying---I quite agree with it. But Senator Obama is the one in the game here who actually has a job right now. And he has to deal with whatever legislation he proposes and what others propose. And what you have is a president who will leave the troops in the field no matter what. So all Obama can do is either make sure the troops have what they need (and they aren't even getting that because of Bush Admin waste and corporate Halliburton welfare), and work in the meantime to legislate withrawal against the president's wishes. And I don't think you can equate Obama's performance in the Senate now with those who were actually ENABLERS of the current policy, a group that unfortunately includes Edwards.

But you bring up some good points, nonetheless. This is a hard choice.

War is over if you want it.