Why Does a Middle Aged Mother of Three Support Barack Obama?

Posted on February 4, 2008. Filed under: Things to Do | Tags: , , , , , , |

Monday is about Things to Do

This has been the most exciting election in years!

I think our country has had a hard eight years under the current administration. The war, the environment, the 47 million uninsured people living in the US, the lack of a cogent plan for protecting ourselves from terrorism, the economy, our poor international standing as a leading nation. We are in bad shape and in need of change.

For me, this change is likely to come from our Democratic candidates. They all have spoken about a vision for a new America, about a need to do things differently, and to address our problems proactively. For most of this election, I went back and forth between Clinton and Obama, and was hard pressed to see huge differences in their policies that would lead me to support one over the other. Being a New Yorker, I was leaning towards Clinton.

Since there was little in their platforms to differentiate them, one of my major concerns was who was more electable? Would middle America vote for a Black man? How many people still hate Clinton? This was not about a Black man versus a White woman, but was about a Black man (with no baggage) versus Hillary Clinton (with lots of baggage). Then came the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire, and there were several things that convinced me that Obama was more electable:

  1. Obama won Iowa, and he won by a wide margin (nine percentage points ahead of Clinton).
  2. When Obama won Iowa, it was in a state that is 95% white, showing that white Americans would vote for a Black man (Have you ever been to Iowa? It really is very white).
  3. Hillary didn’t just lose in Iowa, she came in third. This showed me that lots of people really don’t like Clinton. I knew that was the case, but it is hard to know exactly how many people or what effect they would have on an election. Iowa showed us how bad it could be.
  4. Obama lost New Hampshire, but he lost by a narrow margin (two percentage points behind Clinton). This was in a state that was supposed to treat her like a homecoming queen, it was supposed to be a given for her (he did end up with the same number of delegates, which doesn’t seem to get mentioned).
  5. Obama’s performance in New Hampshire showed that a lot of people would vote for him, and again this time it was in a state that was 96% white.
  6. After Iowa and New Hampshire, the Clintons went on the offensive and targeted Obama with their attacks. This was when things started to get ugly, and the debates moved away from debating the policies to discussions of race, innuendo, and attacks using sound bites. People were reminded that the Clintons can be tough with their opponents – something that turns a lot of people off. It also showed that Obama was able to take the pressure, and demonstrate poise and leadership while being attacked.
  7. Obama is an inspiring speaker whose message of change and a better America exudes visionary leadership that is supported by a wide range of groups including young people who are coming out to support him in droves, and the Kennedys who are on the road stumping for him.
  8. McCain emerged as the front runner for the Republican party, and I think he will give his Democratic opponent a real run for their money if he gets the nomination. However, when thinking about moderate and/or independent voters who will play a pivotal role in this election, I think many of them include the “Hillary Haters”. If given a choice of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, I think many middle of the road voters would chose McCain over her.

For all of these reasons, I think Obama is the more electable candidate of the two, and would be a good choice for our country. I read in another blog that he purchased some ad time for the Super Bowl, and the ad can be seen here.


“But wait!” You may be saying. This is a blog about family life, not politics. Monday is supposed to be about things to do with your kids. Well this week my activities with my kids included going to a rally for Obama. There they had a chance to see who were our neighbors who were helping to support him (here’s a picture of another mother and her child who were at our local rally). They could hear all of the honking cars that responded to our “honk for Obama” posters. My youngest daughter was particularly impressed with the huge truck that blared its horn as it drove past. As a mother of three, I am thrilled that my children get to see our political process in action, and I am trying to demonstrate the importance of getting invloved. As a mother, I think this election is very important for my childrens’ future, so I feel compelled to be a part of it.
Whoever you support, the activities this week should include something related to the election (especially if you are in one of the Super Tuesday states). Any and all activities, ranging from discussing the primaries over dinner, to voting, to doing telephone or door to door canvassing are all important activities for our children to see. Whatever the outcome of the primaries, this is an exciting race!

Yes, we can!

Barack the Vote!



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2 Responses to “Why Does a Middle Aged Mother of Three Support Barack Obama?”

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Tomorrow is the primary here in Boston. I am leaning toward Obama.

Just like your senators!
You have an important experience to share as someone from Massachusetts. My biggest concern is health care and there isn’t much to distinguish the two senators’ proposals. But then I realized there will be no plan, if we don’t get a Democrat into the White House, so that consideration took priority. However, in thinking about the health proposals, Clinton wants an individual mandate, while Obama only wants it for kids. This is the requirement that all people have some type of health insurance and cannot opt out of getting coverage. Some have argued that the individual mandate does not get wide support, and would be hard to include. It was the reason why the California proposal for universal coverage fell apart – they weren’t willing to accept it, or enforce it. Massachusetts has a mandate, how did that go in your state? What were the discussions or reactions?

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    Musings on how a disorganized woman with a full time job, three kids and a real need to relax is trying to make life simple.

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