The Mashup Video That Swayed My Vote

As the Ohio primary draws near and now that John Edwards has dropped out of the race, I’ve been trying to pay a little more attention to the political process going on all around me. I ignored Super Tuesday completely, I’ve been purposely avoiding as much of the “horse race” coverage as possible, and I’ve been ferreting out little bits of information about boring things like voting records, position statements before they were national candidates, and ties to industry and previous administrations. I’m nerdy that way.

And as the pack has thinned over time (I swear I never heard anything about Fred Thompson after his anti-climactic announcement – talk about a lesson in bad timing) and the choices are narrowed to three, I’ve been thinking more seriously about how I intend to vote, and barring something unforeseen, an online video made up my mind.

My biggest fears are that Barack Obama is not who he says he is, that he will be marginalized and ineffective, that he is too inexperienced, that he has not developed the tough hide and cynicism of a seasoned politician, that he is, and his rhetoric is, simply too damned naive. Sustainable change is not easy, it’s not quick, and it can’t be won with pretty words. I wavered for some time because Hillary Clinton is a known quantity, her history has been largely public, and I think as much as any of us plebes can, I have a sense of what she can accomplish, what her weaknesses are, and just how seasoned and cynical she is. She has a thick hide and she knows what she’s getting into because she was married to it. Barack Obama, who knows.

But in the end, I need a leader to encourage me, to stop smirking at me and scaring me and lying to me and hiding from me things that are my own business. I want a president who articulates ideas and ideals that mean something to me, that speak to my own vision of what the future could be. If I vote my conscience and not my inner strategist, I have to go with a message of hope, a message of empowerment.

I’ll be voting for Barack Obama in the primary. And I’ll hope that he has more than just hope in his arsenal.


  1. FWIW, from a non-american, I think you have made a right choice. I can’t remember when I was last impressed by a US politician, but his speeches moved me. Perhaps America can be something more than an ignorant, navel gazing, environment destroying bully the world has known for the past decades… Obama brings hope not just to you, but to the world.

    And, BTW, Lessig agrees with you: