Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I voted today

The weather was surprisingly beautiful yesterday. It was already almost 50° out when I woke up, and the sky was a cloudless blue. My snowman had slumped over and died during the night as the temperature rose. The backyard was a swamp as the saturated ground tried to absorb the rapidly melting snow. The sun continued to shine all day, and I opened as many windows as I could as the temperature outside reached into the mid-60s. It smelled like spring.

Today, however, is a different story. The temperature hovers around 30°, which means that the precipitation fluctuates between snow pellets and rain - yes, freezing rain is falling from a gray sky. This is all to be expected because today is primary election day in Ohio. I have just returned from casting my vote in the presidential primary election. I didn't plan it this way, but I ended up only voting for a presidential candidate. The fact is, I hadn't studied up on any of the other races, which, for the most part had candidates running unopposed, since I vote as a Democrat.

The turn-out was sparse but steady at my precinct, and I didn't have long to wait before I stepped up to vote at one of the touch-screen voting machines. I don't trust the voting machines, frankly, even though my late Uncle Virgil was a vice president at Diebold's. I mean, as much as I loved him, he was a staunch Republican, after all. I believe that I had the option of requesting a paper ballot, but I am not sure the well-meaning elderly women working at my precinct would have even known how to handle that.

I have had a difficult time deciding who to vote for in this important primary election. Although I vote in every election, I am not accustomed to feeling that my vote really matters on a national level. Today I feel that it does. I have discussed this with Ben, with Tom, and with Julie, but ultimately, I stand alone in the voting booth. (I used to love those voting booths with the curtains you closed and that opened when you threw the lever to cast your vote, but that is off-topic, I know.) I have gone back and forth - Hillary or Obama? Obama or Hillary? - a dozen times since my candidate, John Edwards, dropped out of the race. I watched most of the televised debate at Cleveland State, but turned it off when I realized it wasn't helping me make a decision.

The bottom line is that I want to help nominate the candidate who will be most likely to defeat that truly creepy little man, John McCain, in the election in November. I am cautiously optimistic that Hillary and Obama have an equally good chance of doing that, so that didn't help me decide. I have read some articles written by women who are thrilled to be voting for a woman for president, but I have already done that. Remember Shirley Chisholm? Barack Obama is an exciting, charismatic man, but really, he is just so young and inexperienced. I wish he could have waited until the next presidential election.

I am just procrastinating, really, for the fact of the matter is that I voted for Hillary Clinton. The deciding factor? Her appearance on Saturday Night Live, oddly enough. I think Hillary is in a lose-lose situation, really. She is either considered a weak sister or a shrill bitch, but on SNL she was funny and gracious and able to poke fun at herself. She won my vote.

I am not trying to talk anyone else into supporting Hillary. I am just sharing my thoughts, which I will continue to do throughout this election year. It is too important a topic to be ignored. Now, go out and vote, if you haven't already. It is your right and your privilege to do so.


Kristy said...

I was torn too. I really wanted Edwards to get the nomination but he bagged out right before the primary And, let's face it, I live in Illinois, it's not like my vote would've counted for much. In the end, I cast my vote for Barak Obama (zomg we disagree - and on the Internet even!).

What swayed my decision was the realization that Hillary was just not liberal enough for me. Between her involvement with health insurance companies, her voting for the war, her voting for the bankruptcy bill and her involvement in promoting NAFTA (even though she says she didn't - she totally did. this I remember from following politics in classes) during her husband's presidency, Hillary just didn't live up to my ideal of the left and only further convinced me that the center would move more towards the right with her as president. Hell, even Obama isn't liberal enough for me, but I think he'll have a better chance at cutting through the vast right-wing conspiracy than Clinton will.

I remember seeing Bob Dole and Rudy Guiliani on SNL - also both very funny - neither of whom I would want as president :)

tom said...

I'm very pro-voting, pro-Democrat, and pro-opinion-expressing, but I have to say that I agree with Kristy about this. I had more typed than just this, but I'm not sure how much it added. I think her comment nails it.

anne mancine said...

"I remember seeing Bob Dole and Rudy Guiliani on SNL - also both very funny - neither of whom I would want as president."

True, that, Kristy.

Another part of my decision-making process was that I am fairly certain that Obama will win the nomination, at which time I will wholeheartedly support him.

Kristy said...

Regardless of political affiliation, I think everyone can agree that SNL needs to bring back Janet Reno's Dance Party.

"I'll be laughing my ass off when you kids eat it RENO-STYLE! NOW DANCE!"