Democracy Soup

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Democrats who despise Obama will have a tough choice in November — More from Indiana

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Originally published on on Tue, 05/06/2008 – 8:53am

“If Obama gets in, it will be the demise of America.”

I met Michelle after the Hillary Clinton rally in South Bend, Indiana on Sunday. She was carrying a yard sign for Hillary, and I decided to strike up a conversation.

I asked the typical question I was asking supporters of either Obama or Clinton: What was the number one reason for supporting your candidate? Michelle talked about health care and how that was important.

I then asked her whether it was because Clinton had a better plan or would do a better job of implementing the plan. She nodded to both.

Now I had spent the weekend talking to a lot of people about why they support their candidate, but also asking about what they thought about the other Democratic Party candidate. By and large, supporters of both candidates spoke well about the other candidate.

But Michelle was different. She went on about Obama’s middle name, about the horrors of having a “Muslim president,” even referring to the school Obama’s stepfather has placed him in.

I asked her about the Rev. Wright issue, and didn’t that at least prove that Obama was a Christian. She said something about “you got to do what you got to do,” as if Obama had been planning for the last 20 years to run for president, and how having a “Christian background” would help his run.

So I asked the next logical question: “If Obama gets the nomination, who will you vote for in November?” She said John McCain. I even followed up by whether she would vote for a third party or independent. She said McCain.

Michelle’s mother Jan was alongside her and noted that she had voted for a Republican. “Who was the last Republican you voted for?” She said, “Eisenhower.”

To give you an idea of Michelle’s background, she is about 46 years old, unmarried, and Caucasian. She said she was about 2-3 years old when Kennedy was shot. Interestingly, she has a sister, also unmarried, who lives in North Carolina.

Toward the end of our chat, she said, “If Obama gets in, it will be the demise of America.”

Today, May 6, Michelle will go the polls and will definitely vote for Hillary Clinton for president. But the better question is who will she vote for in November, if Obama is the nominee?

Michelle has two basic choices:

— She can vote for John McCain. She won’t get the health care problems addressed during the next four years. She won’t get Supreme Court justices who might find justice in people rather than corporations.

— She can vote for Barack Obama. She will get the health care problems addressed during the next four years. She will get Supreme Court justices who might find justice in people rather than corporations. But she will have to vote for someone that she feels will be detrimental to America.

It’s extremely difficult to imagine Al Gore or Bill Bradley supporters feeling this way in 2000 or Howard Dean, John Edwards, or John Kerry supporters feeling this way in 2004. The goal was clear: get a Democrat in the White House.

But 2008 is going to be one of those years. I spoke with a young, white fast-food worker in Chesterton. She supports the war so much that she is going to go off and fight in it. She told me she didn’t like any of the candidates in either party. She won’t vote for Clinton because of what she says Bill Clinton ignored in the 1990s from Iraq. She said she might vote for Obama, but not for McCain.

I followed up by saying, “You realize that McCain is the only one for the war and Clinton and Obama are against the war.” She did know that. She thought it was a little funny. Who knows if she will even vote today, but for her, it wasn’t as clear cut, even though the only candidate she might vote for didn’t support her main issue.

As for Michelle, the Democrats may have to write off voters like her in November. And it might mean losing a state or two or having to work harder in those states. She was a Democrat, who in May, was seriously considering the Republican candidate because she really didn’t like the other Democratic Party candidate. And this after eight horrible years under George W. Bush. Michelle’s choice today is clear; in 6 months, well, she has a long time to think about that.


Written by democracysoup

May 6, 2008 at 8:53 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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