McCain and Obama Speeches

Election night I stayed up to watch the returns…haven’t been as involved and interested in that since the Kennedy election! But I wanted to know how the election was going to turn out–and then I wanted to hear the speeches.

I felt that John McCain returned to his true self in his speech–this was the man that I had respected when the campaign began. If only he had stayed true to himself…and not let the party “handlers” morph him into something else… I appreciated his support for the man who had been his opponent and who now is going to be–as he put it–“my president”. I think this was his last shot at running for the Presidency–and while I felt his legacy was going to be tarnished by the personal sniping and negative attacks, I felt he moved toward redeeming himself in his concession speech.

When Obama came out, I was a little surprised. Most other times, the victor has come bouncing onto the stage–but Obama came out more somber than I had expected. Some of that may have had to do with the recent loss of his grandmother–but I think some of it was an awareness of the gravity of the situation he now faces.

I appreciated the fact that he did not gloat over the extent of his victory–and that he acknowledged that there are many whose support he has yet to win…but asked for their help and called us to unite. Looking at the election maps at CNN and NPR makes it clear that we are still in many ways divided along Civil War lines–that we are still struggling with that legacy.

I believe that we have a new opportunity before us–a chance to change the politics of division and begin to pull together as the United States of America. May we all be willing to give it a chance.

Disappointed…

I am disappointed with John McCain…

I have not always agreed–okay, to be honest, I probably really have rarely agreed with his political stances. But I felt he was a man of integrity, a man who took a stance based on what he believed.

I don’t believe that now.

It began to change for me when he waffled on the flying of the Confederate battle flag a few years ago. I could let that go, because everyone sometimes says or does things they wish they hadn’t later.

But the last few weeks of this campaign have really disappointed me.

Sure, I expected there to be some harsh rhetoric–and some major disagreements between the candidates about their positions/actions/statements. That’s always been a part of the American political process.

But to hire someone to work in his campaign whose tactics he deplored when they were used against him…to begin to play the  race card…to imply that Obama is simply not telling the truth about who he is or what he believes…to get down deep into the mud…all this has truly disappointed me.

I probably would not have voted for McCain anyway. His positions are too different from what I believe. But I am truly disappointed that this campaign seems to indicate that when it came down to a choice between standing with integrity for his beliefs or choosing to do whatever it took to try to become president…he took the lower road.

Don’t Patronize Me

Let me say up front that I am an independent voter who has tended to vote Democrat over the last several years, but this presidential election is going to be history-making no matter who wins.

I listened to Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech because I wanted to hear what she had to say–and how she would say it. And my reaction? Don’t patronize me!

I have no problem with understanding that vice presidential candidates tend to be the “attack dogs” of the party in an election campaign. And I also understand that both parties tend to stretch their interpretations of facts and decisions. I check out what both parties say at sites like FactCheck.org.

But I do not appreciate derision directed toward those who have tried to help individuals who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.

I do not like statements that focus on those things that divide us–that break open cultural divisions–rather than looking for those things that we have in common and ways in which we can work together.

I think it is false “advertising” to imply (for example) that she sold the executive jet on eBay (rather than acknowledging that it had to be sold through an airplane broker)…to imply that her decision was the reason the “bridge to nowhere” was cancelled and that Alaska received no monetary gain (when Congress had already pretty well finished cancelling it–and Alaska kept the millions of dollars)…to claim that the other party has done nothing of substance legislatively (when Obama has reached across the aisle to create some significant legislation–including some major ethics reform).

I am one of those “older white women” who tends to be independent in my voting that McCain would need to reach to win. But if he thinks he can get my vote by nominating Sarah Palin as vice-president…nope.

Would I like to have a woman in one of the highest offices in the land? You bet.

But do I think Sarah Palin is the best choice? Nope. And to claim that she has more experience than Obama…or that the whole experience issue now is a non-issue…that feels like the Republicans are saying that I’ll go ahead and vote for them just because they’ve got a woman on the ticket.

Well…sorry, folks. If you had someone on there who was principled, who could give me specifics, whom I felt I could trust…I might consider it. But as it is, I feel like you’re patronizing me–and all that accomplishes is to get my dander up.

McCain-Palin? Nope.

Sarah Palin…

I think McCain’s choice of a running mate makes absolutely no sense in light of the pounding he was giving Obama regarding Obama’s age and the perceived need for experience. To turn around and pick someone four years younger and with what appears to be very limited experience to be literally a heartbeat away from the Presidency–especially in light of McCain’s own health issues–raises serious questions for me about the Republican ticket (although I was not leaning that direction prior to the pick anyway).

If she was picked in an attempt to reach out to women voters–if that is the primary reason, and that I don’t know–I would find that an insult. Yes, I would love to see the time when gender doesn’t make a difference. But I am not someone who would vote for a candidate merely because she happens to be female.

I am much happier with the fact that Obama seems to recognize that one of his strengths is not necessarily foreign policy experience–and selected a VP candidate to complement that area.

And I think there are serious questions and issues around Sarah Palin that need to be responded to.

However, I am hoping that her children will not become an issue. Yes, because of the GOP’s emphasis on family values, I suppose her daughter’s pregnancy will. But how many of us have struggled with decisions our children have made that we know will bring heartache and challenges to them? Our children all need support in dealing with life decisions they have made so that they can be strong enough to deal with the results.

I do not think Sarah Palin is the best choice for VP…but I do wish their family all the best in dealing with their own family issues.