I too would love to see a woman in the White House – and want my daughter to see that. But far more important than that, in my opinion, is that we elect a President who takes a radically different path than either of the last Bush-Clinton-Bush presidents in the last thirty years. We need a President who radically changes course. I think this election is about the safety of our children in a world that is increasingly dangerous. Here's why I'm voting for Obama:
1. Wins the National Election: The last 7 major polls show only Obama can beat McCain consistently and by a wide margin. The polls show that Clinton cannot do this. Obama attracts independents, Republicans, evangelicals, and conservative voters who don't traditionally vote for Democrats. It is simply stunning that someone like Obama is able to talk about his policies and his vision in a way that includes people on the far left and right.
2. Brings Real Change: While on domestic issues Obama and Clinton hold similar policies, on international issues they are extremely different. We're heading toward a cliff with climate change and the threat of war with Iran and more terrorism in the US. Clinton would only shift course slightly – continuing to refuse to negotiate with Iran. She continues to talk in the "war on terror" paradigm - a war that has failed miserably, producing even more hatred toward the US. Obama's foreign policies shift course much more dramatically toward engaging the global community in radically rethinking how we relate economically and politically. Both Ann Coulter and President Bush have noted they favor Clinton over Obama.
3. Global Citizen: Obama grew up partly in Indonesia – and the US - and has family in Kenya. He's both a US citizen and a global citizen. Electing Obama would send a profound message to the rest of the world that we want to get along and work as part of a team – rather than act like the King of the Hill. I want someone who really understands the cultural differences in Islamic countries. I want my kids to see a President who embodies what it means to be diplomatic.
4. Bipartisanship: Obama has a long history of working with Republicans and people across the political spectrum. The Clinton legacy of partisan fighting, on the other hand, makes many Republicans fired up to work to get McCain elected. Obama can actually change the way politics is done in Washington – many of his colleagues in the Senate say that about him because he's already demonstrated his principled, bipartisan leadership.
5. Experience: Obama has more international and political experience than Presidents Clinton, Reagan and Carter. It's simply not true that he doesn't have experience. We desperately need the kind of experience Obama brings in building bridges across political divides and in addressing the root causes of problems – not just tinkering with minor changes.
6. Breaks the Presidential Family Dynasty: I turned 40 this year – in my entire adult life there has been a Bush or Clinton in the White House. And while the Clinton years were far better than the Bush ones – they didn't solve some of the most urgent questions of survival for our kids. What will it say about our democracy to further family political dynasties? What would it teach our children when they study it in school – that for 30 years a Clinton or Bush was in the White House.
7. Humility and Hope: In Obama's speech last night, I saw the kind of leader that I've only seen in film clips of people like Gandhi or Martin Luther King. Obama talks about humility - recognizing to the global community that the US has made mistakes and that we want, as a nation, to move beyond the past and carve a new path. I so desperately want that new path. And I think my children's safety depends on having a leader that will really change course by working with people on all ends of the political spectrum.