The time has come when I should say that I wll vote for the Democratic Party ticket and urge others to do the same.
Senator Obama is more to the left than I would like, but Senator McCain’s patently erratic character and bellicosity are more risk than I can vote for in the context of the present world situation. His discomfort with domestic issues adds to my conviction.
I think Obama has the intellect and the character to be president.
Sarah Palin? She does not know enough to be trusted with the presidency any tme soon.
For what it is worth, I would like to see an Obama cabinet that includes Senator Hagel, probably at Defense. At the same time I think Obama would be wise to appoint Bill Clinton to be ambassador to the UN and Senator Clinton to the Supreme Court. pl
i was thinking, one clinton or another to state, the other to justice.
but then, i’m such a dreamer.
i also expect that an obama presidency will continue to lead more of us to be better, more active citizens, year long, not just on voting day.
Clap, clap, clap!
What other rational choice do we have?
A recent article (NYT magazine) described what Obama’s students from the U of Chicago thought of him; one said his administration would be characterized by “ruthless pragmatism”. After the last 8 years this sounds pretty good.
First time posting though I have been a lurker for some time. Can’t vote in the US election but as the neighbour from the North, I am in total agreement
Thanks for putting up this post, Pat. Right there with you supporting Obama/Biden.
Hagel is certainly qualified as SecDef, & his choice would be a good effort toward actual bipartisanship instead of the hot air variety we’ve come to expect from the current Fed Admin. HRC on the Supreme Court? Excellent- she’s a natural.
Thank you for taking a stand. I don’t imagine it was an easy one for you. I know you’re not a huge fan of Obama, and you had at least one personal, very unpleasant, experience with Biden. But I agree with you that temperament matters a great deal. I used to admire John McCain (didn’t we all?), and I still honor his service to his country, but his recent behavior frightens me.
Love your blog–I’ve learned a lot from it.
I respectfully submit that COL Lang would be an excellent choice to be President Obama’s National Security Advisor.
Yes on Obama/Biden! Yes on Chuck Hagel for Defense! Yes on appointing the Clintons (Hillary would be great on the Supreme Court)!
I knew you were a very smart man…..Any thinking person would not be comfortable with Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the presidency. The way the McCain campaign is “handling” her is an insult to women everywhere. If she can’t answer simple questions, why did he choose her in the first place? His choice of her made me lose all respect for the man. He could have chosen a number of Republican women with smarts–as it is, it appears he just chose her to be window dressing in a flagging campaign. How cynical.
Dear Sir, I cannot think of a better placement for former President Clinton than the United Nations, unless they relocate to Iceland or Finland.
Both Senator Clinton and President Clinton have asked me to vote for Obama. I will honor their request. Even so I will always detest the screaming harpie supporters of his that slandered Mrs Clinton. Hopefully he will drop those supporters in the garbage dump where they belong if he wins the Presidency.
Not sure I agree about appointments for either of the Clintons. Hillary can accomplish much more for this country in the Senate than in the Supreme Court, and there are many judges more qualified than her. And the same for Bill, as a former president and friend of the Obama administration he can accomplish much more than as the UN ambassador.
Besides – why would they take a handout from Obama after his supporters slimed them and played the race card during the primary? They both support him for policy reasons and not in any hopes of political patronage – they don’t need it.
putting Hillary on the Supreme would take her out of the realm of politics and neutralize her- a waste of her prodigious talents.
hmmm- one good way to remove a possible challenge in 2012.
Your sentiments are right on.
It’s clear that Obama/Biden should win easily, but may just narrowly squeak by. However, getting elected may turn out to be the easy part!! Looking beyond the Congressional elections, the Republicans are going to be diminished in the Senate. However if they hold the Democrats below 60 seats it could be that obstructionism will reach new heights. Senate rules require 60 votes for many procedural votes, and if the “rump” Republicans in the Senate can withstand the pressure from a President Obama they can block a lot of the action. This is especially true as many of the Republican senators who will be knocked off by the Democrats will be the more moderate ones!
On the other hand, if the Democrats reach or exceed 60 seats in the Senate then I think a President Obama would have the most trouble with his own party. Without Republicans to be against their cohesion will evaporate (after all, don’t most senators think they are just as qualified to be President?).
I wondered earlier if/when it would come to the point where Republicans (in desperation) would say ‘vote for McCain to ensure divided government’ George Will came out with that a week ago, but it doesn’t seem to have taken hold at all… If it did and actually resonated (currently pretty unlikely) enough to tip the election, that would seriously change the game …
I respect you and your opinion so much. I read your blog all the time to learn…and I learn not just from you, but from those who comment here (thank you, commenters!).
Your endorsement of Obama/Biden made an impact on me.
I would also like to see Sen Hagel in Obama’s cabinet.
And Sen Clinton on the Supreme Court? WOW! That is something that I never thought you’d suggest! As a woman, I would LOVE to see her there!!
I have nothing important to say; I just wanted to let you know how I feel.
It is one of the peculiar joys of this space to see you suffer conference with those with whom you would most obviously disagree on any number of issues.
Sufferance is no longer a political asset, but it remains an admirable trait of individual character.
In addition to the intellect and temperament issues you mention I think that McCain, whatever his “change” initiatives might be, will have a very difficult time preventing those efforts from being sandbagged by uncooperative political appointees of his own party. The more non-ideological, moderate members of his party have largely left in disgust, and what are left are mainly neoconservatives and right wing hacks. This, together with his own impulsiveness, will make for an ineffectuality that we do not need at this point in our history.
I am curious as to why you recommend Sen. Hagel for DOD instead of State. Who would you recommend for Secretary of State?
I would prefer to see Clinton as Senate majority leader. Reid is weak and I think Clinton would be great in that position. She would also stand up to Obama time to time, which would not necessarily be a bad thing.
I wouldn’t mind if McCain dumped Sarah Palin and replaced her with someone like Tom Ridge or Tim Pawlenty; the thought of someone as uninformed and inexperienced as Sarah Palin becoming president is frightening. And there are a number of Republicans who agree with me (e.g. Kathleen Parker).
I thought Obama really should have chosen Hillary. If Biden really screws up and decides to “spend more time with his family” within the next month, I would hope Obama picks her.
A well argued endorsement, with which I agree.
But, fellow citizens, remember that we have enormous, long term structural problems and expectations in Obama to make *change* need to be managed.
Once he gets the chalice, I simply don’t see him, for example, reversing the creeping Ceasarization of the Presidency, or reducing government surveillance of US citizens.
If Obama is really so “ruthlessly pragmatic,” he will realize that this is not the real ‘change’ election. He will realize that his will be a caretaker administration whose main goals are a) to kill off the remnants of Cheneyism, and b) lay the ground work for actual reform/change in 2016.
If Obama fails or overreaches, I predict the change will indeed be made – by a bigger, badder, more competent version of Bush in 2012.
Get ready for a long, hard slog, my fellow Americans.
Col. Lang – I think your idea of announcing cabinet appointments is excellent.
But regarding Hagel and the Clintons, I’m curious. As someone who finds Obama too far too the right, but who strongly supports Hagel’s appointment to a ranking position in an Obama administration, I would have recommended him to be Secretary of State. No one in government has given foreign policy speeches like his. Serious, informed, with actual American interests, and respect for the world at large, at their core. The Clintons on the other hand are, one might say, not so clear in their thinking. With Hagel at state and B. Clinton at the UN, one could imagine less than smooth going. And after all the Clintons, or Bill at least, are responsible for a very great deal of death and suffering, of innocents, in Iraq. At little cost to us at the time, but…
And their ME policy in general, certainly as executed then, and as proposed recently, are not Hagel’s.
So if Hagel goes to Defense, who then at State?
Hillary enjoys mixing it up in the Senate. She wants the gavel and while not a fan, I think she would be a great Majority Leader; “madam president” indeed.
Hagel for DOS.
Richard Danzig for DOD.
I know this choice was not lightly made.
Will is on to something here:
putting Hillary on the Supreme would take her out of the realm of politics and neutralize her- a waste of her prodigious talents.
Hillary Clinton’s natural talents, I think, are best used in the US Senate. Not the White House, not the Supreme Court. She’s been most effective in the Senate, and she’s still pretty young — give her a decade and she could become the next Robert Byrd.
Why people (including her!) keep trying to shuffle her off somewhere else, leaves me baffled.
Well good to make up your mind and probably will vote for Obama also. But think events are still in the saddle. Hope all goes well for the candidates and country between now and election but it is a dicey time for both in my judgement. By the way the President signed into law secret service protection for form Vice Presidents. Guess we know one who wants to continue the trappings but hopefully not his current power.
I, too, will reluctantly vote for Obama. With regard to Bill Clinton, the man has a “need” to get a Nobel Prize to erase the stigma of impeachment. The best thing would be to appoint him the presidential representative to the Palestinian-Israeli Peace “Process”. If he pulls it off , it is Nobel time and also solves a 40+ year problem.
Having Hillary on the Supreme Court is a brilliant first step in restoring balance to that slanted bench.
It has been obvious for quite a while that you were not too enamoured of Obama. I admire your realism and courage in coming out with this public endorsement.
It is unfortunate that there are not many among those who have a voice in the USA who publicly choose based on what is best for their country rather than on some parochial interest or prejudice.
Good for you! It is a delight to know that there are people out there who, although they probably do not share my political philosophy (born-again liberal), are able to weigh the the choices at hand and make a decision based on rational thought, not emotion. I hope there are more like you in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in the country at large.
The campaign managers for Sen. McSame are agile dancers. When a position becomes difficult to hold, they shift to an unrelated position to destroy audience focus on a problem. A terrible October surprise for Democrats would be the removal of Sara, whose role as the heart beat away Maverik is becoming difficult to maintain, to a substantial choice for GOP Veep. Sorry Joe that excludes you, yet again.
Your website is the first I go to every morning and I so value your opinion.
I would like to see Hilary replace Reid in the Sente, and definitly Hagel some where in his cabinet.
I suppose that before we pick Obama’s Cabinet for him we shold just hope and pray he wins.
I fear for our country if McCain/Palin is elected.
I thought you might like this one:
“And it was in watching the replay that I picked up my absolute favorite unsung moment of the debate.
It came when Senator McCain was stumbling with Ahmadinejad’s name. He was stumbling hard, almost unable to get the name or any semblance of it pronounced. Very quietly, but audibly Senator Obama can be heard saying something. In the first viewing, I knew he had said something there, but was unable to decipher exactly what he had said. In listening to the replay it’s easy to hear his comment.
He quietly acknowledged to Senator McCain “That’s a tough one.” When I heard his remark, his gracious nod to the Senator’s struggle to pronounce a very difficult name, his compassion for the man, I choked up. It humbled me. It made me briefly look inward, and feel lesser for originally maybe hoping that it was some cutting barb. And it showed him as a man greater than politics, greater for inspiring empathy and compassion for a fellow man.”
Your choice kind of saddens me. Not because I disagree. Rather, it highlights how limited our choices are thanks to an entrenched two party system.
If I had to sum up my political beliefs, I’m a Rockefeller Republican with isolationist leanings and a devout social libertarian in the sense that the federal government should not be involved in all these “wedge” issues.
The GOP has abandoned people like me. They drive me absolutely crazy.
My goodness, an SST love fest. And I don’t object.
The Persico’s name is not that hard
it’s the agglutination- or the stickiness that makes it appear difficult.
his last name basically is “Ahmadi” from “Nejad” or Nezad
Ahmadi + Nejad
German is notorious for joining words to form super words.
I was just fortunate to see Mr. Mahmouds name broken down somewhere on the internets.
Cold War Zoomie, I understand your “cognitive dissonance.” Tell ya what, I’m the great grandson of two Confederate soldiers and the nephew of two Klansmen, but I’ll be happy to cast my vote for Obama. Why?
What I cherish as much as anything in the world is the U.S. Constitution and I was proud to take the oath to support and defend it. But for the last eight years I’ve seen an administration (and a compliant Congress) pretty much treat the Constitution like a petty reg that’s easily waived.
Re the lineup, I’d be glad to see Chuck Hagel in the cabinet in most any capacity, or as national security advisor. Your point’s well taken about the Republicans’ incessant whine about how only they understand national defense. My read of Hagel is that he’s very much his own man and may well be ready to get the hell out of Washington entirely.
Sen Clinton to the Supreme Court would be a good move, IF the Democrats pick up enough Senate Seats to spare her. Parenthetically, wouldn’t that be the first time that a family has served in all three branches of gov’t?
113 days till the Inauguration.
A difficult choice. Yes, McCain is an erratic jerk, but Obama is hardly more than an armchair quarterback. Full of good ideas & pity slogans, full of I-told-you-sos, but can he lead?
He had two chances last week. One at the White House, the second at the debate. With 190 economists (at last count) screaming NO BAILOUT, with literally dozens of superior ideas, the would-be leader froze. Twice. This is ever the way with armchair warriors.
So we’re in a foxhole. Under enemy fire. One would-be leader is an egotistical, bombastic, foul-tempered man who is likely to get us all killed, and for nothing. The other, the smooth-talking orator, is at this very minute sitting in a corner, huddling with his advisors, adding up the numbers. Over & over again. One reminds me of Custer. The other reminds me of McClellan.
At this point, we are usually told to pray, but I know where prayer goes, I know how prayer works & the best it can do are the likes of Richard Cheney.
If the dollar should lose its reserve currency status, if Bretton Woods were to be thrown out, if oil was to be priced by some other fashion, if the dollar were to tank, there are worse consequences than have been imagined. I read a story last week, forget where, of the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. There wasn’t much money, but rent was cheap. Food was cheap, but a tank of gas to get to the dacha was a month’s wages. Why? Because oil was imported, and at the wellhead, not priced in roubles.
If oil were no longer priced in dollars, and if the dollar were to tank, the price of a gallon of gas would go to $20 – $30 overnight. If not higher still.
Big countries, like the US, Russia & China, depend on cheap transport for their very existence. Put gas at $20/gallon, and the long haul trucking industry disappears without trace. Same for the airlines. Which leaves us with rails & barges.
So how will New York be fed when most of its food comes from California? How will the cereal factories in Battle Creek get Captain Crunch to Los Angeles at a price anyone can afford? Have you been to the grocery store lately? Where will milk come from? Ever seen that on rails?
There’s another story from the old Soviet days, of bountiful harvests in the Ukraine left to rot because there simply were not enough trains, not enough rolling stock, to get it to the starving cities. The US has an excellent freight rail system, but if it were to be our only transport system, would it be enough? Do we have enough track? Enough boxcars? If they were suddenly to become the only way to get food from one end of the country to the other?
What makes this different from the Depression is that, back then, we did not need to import oil. Now we do. Our very lives depend on cheap oil.
For God’s sake. Get these blunderers out of here. NO BAILOUT.
I didn’t word my comment very well. My vote is going to Obama as well. Rather than being happy that Col Lang and others have decided the same, I think Col Lang’s decision highlights how many of us are not served by either political party.
Once the Dems get in power they will start moving left again after being dragged to the center by the GOP these last 25 years. The GOP will then get dragged back to the center to regain power. I often joke with one of my coworkers that I’ll be voting Republican again in a couple of decades. My moderate, centrist views change little while the parties slide back and forth through me.
You sure about that?
You have clearly failed to look at the background of Obama. You stated he is slightly more left than you’d like — SLIGHTLY?
This young man is a socialist through and through. The tax cuts for 95% of Americans includes a straight up handout to the 40% that don’t pay taxes. This is simple redistribution of wealth at the expense of those who work hard to feed, house and care for our own families. Obama doesn’t call it Socialism though – his code word is “neighborliness”.
Colonel and other “eggheads” in this blog –
I am asking myself – and would want others to ask this question also – and to try to resolve it – ‘what will happen to the upper 5 % of population if the scenario of Dave of Maryland becomes reality? Will this thin crust of society still prosper if the country falls into such dire condition? And is it not a matter of self-preservation of the society to introduce the ‘neighbourliness’ vel ‘socialism’ ? I am not a socialist but I am just thinkig…
Please help me, I am at a loss, I am not trying to be cute.