I have been holding off on writing this entry until the video was in from all three remaining presidential candidates tonight. I watched all three and there were some good speeches given tonight. They are posted above and I apologize for the commercials but it was the best and most complete video I could find. I think the speeches tonight were the first time the American public got a glimpse of some of what they can expect in the coming months. I am probably misquoting the exact number, but McCain used the word ‘change’ around 35 times or more in his speech. A particular note that offended me from McCain’s speech was his touting that Obama somehow represents or is supported by special interest. That was hard to sit through considering McCain is supported by some of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in the country. His attempt at posing himself as the original change candidate seemed a little contrived and a touch desperate but I think it is just the beginning of his part pulling out all the stops against a potential run against Obama. I have heard from inside his party that the proposition of running against Obama and his ‘new’ way of campaigning scares the hell out of some of his affiliates. Apparently Obama has been able to move younger conservative voters over to his side and this worries McCain’s organizers. It should and it is also why I think we can expect to see a very interesting race that will highlight some of the polar factions of American politics.
Another note from the nights events is that Clinton made it clear that she is not yet deciding to drop out of the nomination process. She has amassed a large cache of voters, and as a wealthy woman, there can be no doubt that she knows when you have acquired valuable assets you hold on to them as long as you can or at least as long as you can to use them for leverage. That being said, it is looking like she wants to use that cache of voters as a potential way of maneuvering her way into a V.P. position. News is breaking from her camp that she wants to seek personal council with Obama as soon as possible so they can discuss future plans. The nagging question is, why doesn’t she just meet with him then? Why does she have to ‘announce’ that she wants to meet with him. One thing is for sure, the Clinton supporters are standing firmly by her and regardless of her attempt at congratulating Obama and speaking of party unification.
Lastly, and of course I can admit bias as an Obama supporter, I think Obama gave a rousing speech tonight. It was truly inspiring and it was the first time I felt he really started laying down the issues he wants to address as the nominee. The news has been quick to jump on the story of his nomination and I was very excited by it myself. The problem is, Clinton has not yet officially ceded the nomination and until she does I worry that she could cause a tear in the party. Obama is doing his best despite this to talk to all potential voters on both sides of the aisle. Despite the muddy conditions under which he did his best at accepting the apparent nomination, it is a historic evening for American politics. Obama will be our first black presidential nominee and it is due time. I still believe he is a real symbol for a new America and it is an America that young people understand and openly accept while some older Americans are still clinging to past prejudice. I have heard it said and uttered that America is not ready for a black President and I feel this is totally untrue. If we are not ready now then we never will be. Skin color should no longer be an issue in this country. Period. It’s an important and overdue step for the U.S.
I know some readers do not like it when I write about politics but as an American citizen this presidential race and it’s impact on both the U.S. and the world are impossible to ignore. The current administration has put a strain on this country and it has made it a difficult climate in which to practice a creative career. It will be better for us all if America takes a step in a more intelligent, diplomatic, ethical and prosperous direction. These are interesting times we find ourselves in and I think it’s important to pay attention. The world could be a very different place in the future and making changes may require sacrifices from us all, specifically in the U.S. We need a leader now more than ever that can inspire us to take up our civic duty and make both America and the world a better place. We have been apathetic for too long and it is costing us dearly.