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Clinton or Obama? Contrasts and Musings

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Obama or Clinton? Here are a few contrasting perceptions I have:

1 He comes from a new generation and brings fresh vision. She's from the old school and brings experience.

2 He's new enough that maybe he isn't totally obliged to corporate influence. She is definitely tied to corporate interests.

3 He opposed the war from the outset (smart). She supported the war (dumb).

4 He is most likely to extract our troops from Iraq. She most likely won't inspite of what she says.

5 He is inexperienced on the national level. She has great depth of experience on the national level.

6 He would be building his administration from scratch. She would have the advantage of pulling in experienced people from the Clinton era.

Summary thoughts:

Hillary Clinton is probably the most qualified candidate for President since Gore. She would make an excellent executive and provide the smoothest transition from the current administration to a new one. Her centrists positions and political savvy would enable her to accomplish much legislatively with a Democratic Congress. Her apparent lack of strong ideological drive puts her in a position to compromise and get things done. However, I don't foresee her dramatically changing anything from the current status quo because she is aligned with many of the same corporate interests as Bush and seems to share much of his hawkish tendencies.

Barack Obama is probably the most charismatic candidate to emerge in decades. This image has helped to overcome the primary criticism leveled against him regarding his inexperience. Whatever he lacks in hands on experience he balances out with vision and the ability to inspire. His seemingly strong ideological drive could hinder him legislatively as he probably would not be as willing to compromise to get things done. He is the candidate most likely to genuinely advocate for dramatic change.

George W. Bush and the GOP has taken our nation far off the track and into the ditch on the right. I don't expect anyone to be able to quickly and dramatically repair the functioning of our government or the horribly tainted image we currently project to the rest of the nations on the planet. I think Hillary would bring the greater executive skills to the Presidency and Barack would bring the most inspiration.

I recognize strong attributes in both, but I will support Obama because I believe America needs a fresh face with a strong voice that can inspire our nation to begin the pursuit of higher ideals than what Bill Clinton, George Bush or Hillary Clinton possess.

I think a ticket with both candidates and either one on the top or bottom would be a winning ticket. John Edwards would also round out a strong ticket with either Clinton or Obama. I believe this is the strongest pool of candidates on the Democratic side in my recollection.

I don't see any strong viable combinations on the Republican side. McCain is too gung ho for the war in Iraq and makes politically damaging statements about staying there for a hundred years. I don't think the majority of Americans want to elect a 72 year old guy who intends to continue down the same fruitless path in foreign policy as Bush. Then there's Hominy and Huckleberry...or whoever the heck they are?

It doesn't look too good for the GOP in 2008 and yet I can't rejoice. Sadly, I don't have high hopes for the Democrats breaking the corporate stranglehold on public policy any more than the Republicans. We'll see....
It is an exciting season!

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Gary Vance is an evangelical pastor/writer living in rural Tennessee. He is the author of "Wasn't Jesus a Liberal?" and other published essays.
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