I voted for McCain. In 2000. When I believed he was actually the best choice for this country.
As a registered Independent, I voted for him on February 1, 2000 in the first in the nation primary in New Hampshire. I was even at his victory party that night as a member of the local press.
I stole this from his wikipedia page: “McCain focused on the New Hampshire primary, where his message appealed to independents. He traveled on a campaign bus called the Straight Talk Express. He held many town hall meetings, answering every question voters asked, in a successful example of “retail politics”, and he used free media to compensate for his lack of funds. One reporter later recounted that, “McCain talked all day long with reporters on his Straight Talk Express bus; he talked so much that sometimes he said things that he shouldn’t have, and that’s why the media loved him.” On February 1, 2000, he won New Hampshire’s primary with 49 percent of the vote to Bush’s 30 percent. The Bush campaign and the Republican establishment feared that a McCain victory in the crucial South Carolina primary might give his campaign unstoppable momentum.”
I rarely talk about politics here on my blog. In fact, I’m pretty sure I never have written publicly about my politic views due to the fact that I haven’t ruled journalism out as a career I’ll take up again at some point.
But today, November 5, 2008, it’s important for me to record a few things for my friends, family and future children. Last night, I voted for Barack Obama. I did something else I’ve never done before and voted a straight Democratic ticket. Not only did I go from purple to blue, every state I have lived in (Massachusetts, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Illinois and New York) went for Obama, too.
I did not vote for John McCain, and it’s not because I believe McCain is an evil or bad person. I do not believe McCain is incompetent. Eight years ago, I thought he was inspirational, honest and experienced enough to navigate us through whatever might come.
I did not vote for McCain because I do not believe he is the best person to lead and transform our country, our troops, our financial future, our international relationships or our internal divides in 2008 and for the foreseeable future.
Even had I believed him to be the best choice, that belief would have been called into question after he announced Sarah Palin as his running mate. That was stupid.
I did not vote for McCain, and a part of me feels bad because at some point he could have been a fantastic president. And I’m pretty sure at his age he can’t have another chance. For all the mistakes he made during his most recent campaign, his affiliation with his political party did him and this country much more damage than any one candidate could ever recover from.
His speech last night was the first time I’ve heard him sound like the man I heard speak on stage on Feb. 1 at the Center of New Hampshire, surrounded by cheering and supportive people.
But the energy I felt for him that day in 2000 – all that energy finally returned for me when it looked as though Obama had one this round. This day. In 2008.
I can’t adequately express the joy and jubilation I feel that a candidate I believe in is soon to be in the highest office in this nation. On top of that, it’s not small detail to mention that this man, Barack Obama is someone like me. A biracial American, raised in sometimes strange circumstances by White grandparents who supported him in all he did. Who has been at times fatherless and motherless but never unloved.
This man is someone I can believe in, and who I believe can lead our country, bring home our troops at the right time and safely, begin to repair this economy for the middle and lower classes and restore our nations relationships with the other nations we depend on, and with nations whose help we’ll need in future years as we navigate through environmental and energy sustainability challenges.
I believe in Barack Obama and the support and guidance he’ll receive from Joe Biden. I believe these men are the right team to lead this country right now, though we’ll need McCain and his Republican colleagues’ help, too.
But for just one second, let’s stop and recognize that this country breathed nearly collectively and exhaled together, saying, “Yes we can.”
Below are the photos I took with my iPhone and camera last night from my polling place, through my Brooklyn neighborhood and ending at the bar where I watched election results come in with my friends.
“A change is gonna come.” ~ Sam Cooke