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Extraordinary Results in Democratic SuperTuesday, and a Call for a New Kind of Debate

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Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton pretty evenly split the SuperTuesday primary vote last night. Obama won more states. Clinton won more of the bigger states. Obama won the South and Midwest. Clinton won most of the Northeast (with the exception of Connecticut) and California. The all-important delegate count looks to be evenly split.

Hillary Clinton gave a fine and inspiring speech. I found Barack Obama's speech even more inspiring, but that's ok, and takes little away from Hillary.

I voted for Obama in New York today, and would vote for him again. He has the better capacity to generate and lead a new kind of politics in America. But Hillary has something special and important, as well. I hope I have the chance to vote for Obama in the general election, and will do all I can to make that happen, but I would gladly vote for Hillary over the any of the Republicans, and would work hard to elect her President, if it comes to that.

When I cast my vote yesterday, I realized that I had never felt happier, better, voting in a national election. I was too young to vote for JFK in 1960. In 1968, I held my nose and voted for Humphrey. It has sometimes been somewhat better since then, but nothing as good as yesterday.

I had a choice between two extraordinary people. The first African-American and the first woman with a real chance to be our next President. It was an extraordinary feeling. My wife, who also admires both candidates, said it felt to her as if the 21st century had at last begun in politics, and she's right.

I hate to even mention the Republican candidates, because they are not of the 21st century. One of them - Huckabee - doesn't believe in evolution. That's not even the 20th century. Another - the current frontrunner, John McCain - lashed out at one of his rivals today, Mitt Romney, because Romney dared to criticize Bob Dole, who had endorsed McCain. In McCain's world, Bob Dole is beyond political criticism because he is a war hero. Is that the kind of reasoning we want in a war hero who is now running for President?

So the race is on. Two candidates, indisputably of the 21st century, indisputably of hope and a new kind of America, versus three (or two, depending upon what Mitt Romney does) who worship the old false idols and way of doing things.

Hillary Clinton has called for four debates with Obama in the next month.

I have a suggestion for at least one night of another kind of debate: how about the Democratic and Republican contenders sit down together at one table? All four or five of them.

That would be a debate that would really show America the choices we have in this election.


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Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001),The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His science fiction and (more...)
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