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And The Winner Is…

Barak Obama. Clearly. There is little room for doubt that Barak Obama will win the Democratic nomination for this years American general election. And it sucks.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Barak Obama. I LOVE Barak Obama. I have since I heard him make the keynote address at the Democratic national convention two years ago. He’s a rock star. He’s sincere. And as much as this is becoming a cliche, I really do believe that he is looking to bring about real change in the political, economic and social landscapes of his country. I have no doubt that in many ways, he would be an amazing leader, and a much needed breath of fresh air in the White House.

But with Barak Obama as President (or as the Democratic nominee, but let’s not even get into what will happen if John McCain manages to pull a rabbit out of a hat on this one), it means that Hillary Clinton won’t be. And that’s what sucks. Because despite the whole “I-got-shot-at-but-maybe-I-didn’t-quite-get-shot-at-in-Bosnia” incident, she’s amazing. She is smart, sharp and cultured. She has been groomed for this role since Billy Boy was playing I’ll Touch Yours If You’ll Touch Mine in the Oval Office. She is the only woman I can think of in my lifetime so far, who could really be the President of the United States. For her to lose at this stage is really upsetting for me. Because, yes, it is important to me that a woman be President of the United States. I really do believe that her gender (along with her politics and her spirit) would make a huge impact, not just for the country, but for women everywhere. Again, so cliche. But true.

I said over a year ago that the next Democratic ticket should have been Hillary Clinton – President, Barak Obama – Vice President. If Hillary had won the nomination it is pretty much a certainty that she would have asked Barak Obama to be her VP. And he would have said yes. That was a done deal. I also said a year ago that if Barak Obama were to win nomination, he would ask John Edwards to be his running mate. And with Edwards’ endorsement of Obama a couple of weeks ago, I think that one’s pretty much in the bag. I can’t say for sure that I think Obama won’t ask Clinton to run with him, but I wouldn’t bet on it. He doesn’t need her the way she would need him. I’m sure he would look at her not just as a distraction, but as a competitor. Billy Boy tagging along everywhere certainly wouldn’t help.

But here’s the thing – can Barak Obama really win? Are we overestimating the multiculturlism and inclusiveness that we believe the United States to be? Or are we overlooking historical, deep-rooted racism that is sure to rear its ugly head as soon as a black, son of a Muslim man, steps up to the plate? How many more times are the Republican pundits going to slip their tongues and call him Barak Osama? How many more times are they going to flash that picture of him with his head wrapped and tell us that, despite all factual evidence to the contrary, he really is a Muslim? And we know what that means – Muslim=Al Quaeda=Osama Bin Laden=shit getting blown up all over the place. So, I’ll ask again – as much as we want him to, and as much as we want change, as much as we want to believe we’re better than that – would we really vote this black man into the office of the President?

I’m not so sure. I wish I could say YES YES YES, but I’m not sure.


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