My first choice was Kucinich.
My second choice was Edwards.
Hillary or Obama?As far as decent Democrats go, they're pretty equal. I think they would both make fine presidents, and I wouldn't think twice about voting for whoever gets the nomination.
I think Hillary is more electable.
I think a black man running for president is the one thing that would galvanize the evangelical base of the Republican party. Of course, most of them won't admit in public that they're raging racists, so they'll cling to the shameless Republican attack ads that will link Obama with Islam, and Islam with terrorism. I can hear them already finding clever couplets in which to rhyme Obama with Osama.
Okay, so in my opinion Obama and Hillary are pretty equal as candidates, and Hillary is slightly more electable (I think she's also capable of inspiring conservatives to get out and vote).
But as the California primary draws near, the question I've been asking myself is; what if I could bypass the whole Democratic process and ordain one of them president? All other things being equal, who would I choose?
Well there's all this experience Hillary has. In a few of the debates, she spoke about being realistic and practical in the face of Edwards and Obama's comments about hope and change. But is "being practical" really just a matter of being knee deep in the system for so long that you can no longer see beyond it?
But putting aside all practicality, I would choose Obama for everything he represents. What would it mean to have a black president? What would it mean to millions of marginalized minorities in the country?
As a school teacher, I have stared into the eyes of callous inner-city kids who don't see the point in learning how to solve a mathematical inequality. I pace the classroom trying to tell them, "Wake up! Participate! Learn something. This is your future. This is your life."
How inspirational would it be for all of them to see a black man leading our country? They would begin to see that they do have a future. That this is their country too.
Obama as president would bring us that much closer to the day when skin color will be as relevant to a person's life and social status as hair color or eye color.
Is skin color a good reason to vote for someone? Of course not. But it will be a reason for many people in this country to vote against Obama. And for that, as a country, we should be ashamed.
But for whom shall I vote this Tuesday in California?
The more likely Hillary?
The more inspiring Obama?
Six in one hand; a half dozen in the other.
I still don't know.