The link at the end of this will take you to an excellent set of four profiles of the four candidates that appeared in the Times Week in Review on Sunday. Unlike much of what your are reading and hearing, these profiles are candid and written to be free of partisanship, if that is possible these days. None of the candidates has their wrinkles and bumps glossed over. Well worth reading.
But we need to remember that we are voting for an organization which these people hope to lead, not just their individual personalities. Even if you have already made your decision, now is the time to re-check your perception of the organization your choice leads.
Today's Democratic party is far from unified behind the principles that Obama has articulated. There are many old-line politicians that will seek to use the dominance of the Democrats to advance their own agendas. The GOP will have their agenda too. Obama will have his hands full. But he has something going for him that has never before existed in American politics: direct access to a large and active base of grass-roots support that has been galvanized by the campaign and put their time and money into backing Obama. It should be the ultimate bully pulpit from which to lead. It should also keep an Obama administration focused on what the nation most needs: visible, hopeful, positive leadership on the economy, the environment and energy independence, and basic wellbeing for the elderly, the poor, and the middle class.
Today's GOP is a crazy-quilt of special interests. Fundamentalists, Right-to-life, Gun enthusiasts, Hawks, the Military-Industrial Complex, the very rich, right wing-nuts""too many single issue voters to fully enumerate. These groups join with a loyal orthodox conservative base to aggregate their voting power. Each one subordinates all other issues to their particular narrow focus. When I was a Republican the GOP stood for small government, fiscal responsibility, and tax relief. This is manifestly not so today. John McCain's reform promises have a hard uphill battle. His maverick stance (maverick means wild-horse) and Palin's pit bull won't have the power to do much more than resist and stymie. Neither has a track record of unifying and leading, and neither has the broad popular base to use the bully pulpit effectively.
Our best chance of progress on the challenges we face is with Obama-Biden. I invite you to test my premise against what your read in these profiles and what you already know.