Obama time

Posted By on February 23, 2008

I’ve watched a good dozen of the Democratic Party debates and I’m a fan of Bill Clinton’s. But on March 4, if not before, I’ll cast my vote for Barack Obama in the Ohio Democratic primary. The decision has gotten easier.

I know Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, an obviously intelligent and sensitive guy, backs Hillary Clinton, suggesting her grasp of specifics and her detailed plans outweigh Obama’s hope-fueled bid. Hillary would make a good president, too. But Obama’s inclusiveness and his willingness to engage with the world without preconditions appeal to my deeper, less strategic nature.

A colleague at work tells me he plays poker with a gang of East Side Cleveland-area Jews, like both of us, and they won’t vote for Obama because he’s black. It would be naïve to assume racism is dying because of Obama’s campaign, but I hope it is, and his drive would seem to signal its imminent death. I remember picketing Woolworth’s in the early ‘60s in Cambridge, Mass. because it wouldn’t serve blacks. We’ve come a long way since then, for sure. But there’s a long way to go. Electing a man who looks like the rest of the world is the right step.

I’ve always been a politics junkie, and 1992 was the first year I ever volunteered for a presidential campaign: Bill Clnton’s. I’m going to work for Obama this year and do everything I can to put him into the White House. He’s clearly a brilliant politician, he has ambitious, populist plans and he’s calm. He’s also a genetic hybrid, like this country was always meant to be.

Too bad 2008 also is the first year a woman is within striking distance of the White House. Among my most fervent hopes is that Hillary drops out of the race gracefully so she can wield a powerful influence in the Obama administration.

It’s Obama time.


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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff