Monthly Archives: August 2008

For Hillary Supporters – Some Reasons to Support Obama

I have a friend who is a devoutly fierce and extremely dissapointed supporter of Hillary Clinton. She is politically liberal and generally agreed with Obama’s views on the issues, but she considered Hillary to be better prepared, she is put off by Michelle Obama, she thinks the process was somewhat unfair.

(Note: we don’t agree on this. I think Obama will be a great president, and don’t get me started on who played fair, who ran a more skilled campaign, or why people skills are relevant to being a successful president.)

She was lamenting the fact that she doesn’t want to vote for McCain but also doesn’t have any enthusiasm for supporting Obama. I have been thinking of reasons why a dissapointed Hillary supporter might become an enthusiastic Obama supporter. Please add your own reasons!

A supporter of Hillary Clinton might want to vote for Barack Obama –

1. Because his positions on the issues are almost identical to Hillary’s.
The much-discussed differences in their health care ideas will be subsumed entirely by the much greater difference between what either of them would want in an ideal world and what the congress is realistically likely to pass.

2. Because, like sexism, racism is an evil to be fought.

3. Because there is so very much at stake that sulking is irresponsible – fair or unfair, it is now a choice between Obama and McCain. Obama is much much brighter, more thoughtful, more self-disciplined, and more morally upright, inspiring, progressive, and on-the-ball than John McCain.

4. Because Obama will protect our daughters’ right to reproductive choice, and won’t send our sons off to fight a war unless it’s more necessary than this one was.

5. Because the next president will appoint Supreme Court justices, and will make decisions about global warming, economic justice, taxes, social programs, and environmental policies that will have a tremendous impact on our children and grandchildren. Obama will do a better job by far. See #3 above, too much at stake to sit on the sidelines pouting.

6. Because Hillary is now supporting Obama.

7. Because, ultimately, it doesn’t matter worth a tinker’s damn if you or I find Michelle Obama charming or annoying; if we like or dislike Hillary’s pantsuits, which candidate we’d rather have a beer with or go bowling with — and at this point it no longer matters a damn whether the process was fair, whether the media was biased, whether Bill Clinton is a jerk, whether Keith Olberman ought to be shot. None of that matters in making the decision who to vote for in November. We have MOVED ON to a different phase of the election, and see #3 above, there’s too much at stake.

8. Because I would have gotten excited about Hillary if she won, I promise.

9. Because McCain has chosen a far-far-right, totally unqualified woman as his vice presidential choice. You want Sarah – “teach all sides of the evolution debate (what debate?),” global warming is a myth, abortion should be illegal, if you won’t fire my brother in law then I’ll fire you, never lived anywhere but Alaska, never shown any interest in foreign affairs – Palin, you want her with her hand on the proverbial button?? Lord have mercy.

10. Because we really truly can’t afford four years of McCain.

11. Because I’m asking you to, pretty please with sugar on top.

12. Because Obama likes cats!

13. Because Biden really could step in on a moment’s notice if he had to.

14. Because, regardless of the reasons why, it is exciting to see so many new voters and people excited about Obama.

15. Because I cried when I first saw the Yes.We.Can video, and you know why? Because I found myself thinking basically “The kids are okay. We did okay raising them. They can take it from here.”

More reasons to follow, but right now I have a few kitties to feed and some knitting to do.
Thanks for reading all this!

Learning to Pick Up Stitches & Make a Picot Edge

I knit a friend a bright orange washcloth as a hostess gift, because her boys’ high school color is bright orange. Now I’m just about to learn how to make an edge. Wish me luck!

Vogue Cover Mittens – Class

Boy, now I wish I didn’t work during the week! The Hillsborough Yarn Shop is sponsoring a class to make the gorgeous mittens on the cover of Vogue Knitting – the green ones by Brooklyn Tweed.
Unfortunately, it’s scheduled for Tuesdays during the day . . .
Maybe it’ll be such a success that she’ll want to do it again at night or on Saturday!

Embracing Biden for Vice President!

Okay, despite my unread email to Obama, Joe Biden will make a fine vice president.

He’s smart, quick-witted, and experienced:
Quote from ABC –

The Delaware Democrat first won his job in the Senate over 35 years ago — when Obama was only 11 — and has been re-elected five times.
He’s chaired both the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Judiciary Committee, and raised his profile recently by traveling on a fact-finding mission to war-torn Georgia, where he called for increased U.S. aid to the country and peacekeeping forces.
The trip underscored his vast foreign policy experience — something that is lacking from Obama’s resume. Biden is also thought to be someone who could hold his own during a vice presidential debate.

He is clearly more experienced than Hillary, so the choice does not smack of a personal rejection.
He’s willing and able to be an attack dog, traditional role of vice presidential candidate.
Like the other possibilities, he has those demographic traits, reflecting his background, race, religion, region of the country, etc.

So, okay, I was wrong about Richardson.

Viva La Biden!

Richardson for Vice President!

Yesterday I sent Barack Obama an email. Of course, I realize he doesn’t have time to read emails, but it did me good to organize my thoughts. The main reason was that it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks what a great choice Governor Bill Richardson would be for a vice presidential candidate. Here is most of the email:

Dear Senator Obama,
Hi! It’s me again, your new best friend. It’s been awhile since I’ve written and I was starting to think you wouldn’t need anymore amateur advice, but alas, you are floundering just a wee bit. So, here goes, in order of importance:

1. Pick Gov. Richardson as your running mate. Biden would be a BAD choice because (a) he’s a loose cannon; (b) picking him looks like you’re insecure about foreign policy experience; and (c) a lot of people dislike him (I like him fine.)
Richardson, is a GREAT pick because (1) he has boatloads of foreign policy experience; (2) he contributes in those poll-driven ways such as being a Catholic Hispanic from a Swing State; (3) he’s nice! People like him!; (4) choosing Richardson would be a surprise to everyone but you and me, and would fit the “new” image.
So, are we agreed? Richardson for your running mate.

2. Please don’t ever start another sentence with “Understand.” It is patronizing and lecture-y. Understand, I’m not trying to criticize you, but the pointing finger and the “understand” have to go.

3. McCain is really playing dirty with the lies, etc. Understand, (ha!) there is a difference between staying above the fray in terms of policy and being a passive doormat. Do something about him. I don’t know how, ask your strategists.

4. It bears repeating that nothing is gained by ignoring their attempts to “frame” the race or by whining about how they aren’t playing fair. What you have to do is challenge the underlying assumptions.
Example: “Obama is an elitist liberal.”
Underlying assumption = there is something wrong with being intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, and progressive. Unlike McCain and Bush, you clearly are not “elite” in the sense of being to the manor born.
Any “elitism” you have is based on your own God-given gifts and hard work. So, presto – “If getting a college education makes me elite, if being elected to the Senate makes me elite, then I’d like to promise every child in America the chance to join such an elite.” “If being liberal means extreme left-wing views, then no, but if being liberal means adopting policies that start and end with YOU the American people, then I’m proud to be that kind of liberal.”

Them – “Obama won’t admit the surge is working. Obama doesn’t want to win the war.”
You: “The Bush-McCain approach is to keep lowering and changing their definition of ‘victory’ rather than to define what our goals should be.”
“Talking about this quagmire in terms of win or lose is a simplistic approach. We aren’t fighting against a nation with a leader who can officially represent a country or who will one day officially announce a surrender. We’re fighting against shadowy insurgents and terrorists with no central leader and no real agenda except destruction. This war is not a footrace in the Olympics, with a single clear winner. We must take a more thoughtful approach.”

5. Finally, you have to find ways to summarize your specific plans in bite-sized ways that (unfortunately) don’t capture the particulars or the nuances. Sorry, but there are a lot of attention-challenged voters out there.
How about Americans Deserve Better, does that work?
All Americans deserve fairness and integrity in their government.
Every child deserves a great education.
Every American deserves health insurance – every single one.
Every serviceman deserves respect for their service and proper benefits when they come home.
Every American deserves clean air and water.

“I will make it harder for companies to go overseas; I will make it easier for them to stay here. I will make it easier to get retraining, and easier for companies to relocate in areas in economic difficulty.”

Okay, so I’m not a political writer! Thank you (or your staff) for taking the time to read this. I’m truly grateful that your campaign allows regular people to make suggestions.

Lunch at the Brick House with Marie!

Not only did I have fun “spoiling” my secret swap swapee this summer, but we got to meet in person.  Marie – a/k/a Knitted Gems, lives in Pottstown, which is where I grew up.  When I was up there this weekend, we had lunch and a beer at a restaurant in a converted bank.  It was fun!  Plus, I saw her knitting studio and a top-secret work-in-progress (shhh).   

After our lunch, I was busy at the Folk Fest for the rest of the weekend, but I’m definitely going to call next time I’m up there!

Folk Festival

I’m going to the Philadelphia Folk Festival this weekend.
It’s been going for 47 years!
This year they’ve planned some changes.

On a personal level, I’m ambivalent.
Pro: It’s wonderful. It’s not in Philadelphia,
but on a farm near where I grew up.
The music is very good, and they define
“folk” to include everything east of jazz
and west of rock, or whatever.
The crowd is relaxed and all ages are there.
I’ll see old friends.
It’s a change of routine.
Great photo opportunities.
I’ll meet my Secret Swappee!
I can knit while watching stuff.
I’ll be by myself, so I can do what I want, talk to strangers, sit and read.
They have a juried craft display with tempting things for sale.
Another Pro: It’s a tradition.
I’ve gone off and on for a million years.

Con: It’s a tradition. Because
I’ve gone off and on for a million years,
there are a lot of memories.
My brother volunteered there.
He even went just before he died.
I remember stuff that happened, folks who are gone, etc.
Con: I’ll be by myself and everyone else will have a date.
My sister-in-law will be there, which might be weird.
It’s a long drive.
I’ll miss my husband not being there too.
Plus, I feel like he’s annoyed I’m skipping off to take a little vacation.
YT can’t come.
The Folk Fest is always hot in the day and cold and rainy every night.
I’ll be tempted to buy stuff.