First let me state that I will vote for for the Democratic nominee in November. I’ve always been quite clear on that point. I am a lifelong Democrat, and while I have occasionally voted for Republicans in state and local elections, I vote the party ticket in national elections. Starting with the 1972 mock election in elementary school through to my first presidential election as a voter in 1980 and every election since then.
This year will be no different. I will cast my vote for presumptive nominee Barack Obama.
But I am very disappointed. I wanted to cast my vote, as I did in the Massachusetts primary, for Hillary Clinton.
I’m disillusioned with my political party and the Democratic leaders in my state.
And like my friend PunditMom, I am disheartened that we still do not believe a woman presidential candidate is electable.
Because no matter how you spin it, that’s what happened.
It’s why Senator Obama took the chance and ran. Even though he didn’t have the depth or breadth of experience that typically we expect from presidential candidates.
It’s why the party and the Democratic leadership rallied behind him, even as voters were saying otherwise. The leadership in my state all came out for Obama, yet Hillary Clinton still won our primary.
Obama is an eloquent public speaker. He ran for president based on his ability to stir hearts, not engage minds.
If the roles were reversed, if the woman candidate was the younger, mesmerizing speaker promoting change, and the black man was the policy wonk talking about competence and specific plans, what would the result have been?
I’m both saddened and certain that it would have been the same. The Democratic nation would still be celebrating our first black male presidential candidate.
I wanted it to be different. I wanted my country and my party to stand up for a highly qualified, experienced woman candidate with clear ideas for how to make our country better.
We didn’t. We took the safe choice: the man with the podium instead of the woman with the plan.
But disappointed, disillusioned and disheartened though I may be that it wasn’t different, I am still and always a Democrat.
So I will follow the lead of Senator Clinton and support Barack Obama in the general election.
Sadly but certainly.