Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Tuesday and beyond

We have closed primaries in the state of California. As a registered Republican voting by absentee ballot, I mailed in my vote for John McCain this past Tuesday. I should add that way back in October I'd already decided to cast my vote for McCain in this primary, feeling a trifle foolish since he was barely on the media radar screen at the time. Now with this latest surge of success, I feel a lot less embarrassed about supporting him.

But that's in a closed primary. What about this November? As a moderate Republican, this is where my cold, rational self stands with regard to the November elections at the present moment:

Clinton vs. McCain -- McCain
Obama vs. Romney -- Obama
Clinton vs. Romney -- Clinton (ouch! ouch!)
Obama vs. McCain -- Obama (by a hair)

My reasoning is that what this country needs right now is a Democrat for president. People are sick of the Republicans right now (and I think for good reason). But what we also need is a leader who can begin to move us beyond the culture war, the red state-blue state divide, and this whole divisive mess we've gotten ourselves into. In my opinion, Obama and McCain move us closer to that goal, whereas Clinton and Romney move us farther away.

If it were Obama vs. McCain I'd have to (painfully, because I really like McCain) choose the Democrat because I think that's better for our country. If it were Clinton vs. Romney I'd have to (even more painfully, because I really can't stand Clinton) choose the Democrat once again. But if it were Clinton vs. McCain, McCain gets my vote because he will be much less divisive than Clinton.

If John McCain wins the Republican ticket, I personally think the only Democratic candidate who can beat him is Obama. Obama is the first Democratic candidate who has appealed to me in a long time. I take interest in watching the drama of whether Democrats will take this golden opportunity of voting him in, or whether they will again jeopardize their chance at the presidency by going with the more partisan choice.