How far we’ve come.

{ Warning this entry may shock those who have pigeon holed me based on earlier blog entries. While I am a true hawk with regard to foreign policy, I am a social liberal. My political heritage lies in a school of American politics that seems to have died some time ago. It’s roots can be traced through former Wisconsin Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, or NY Senator Jacob Javits. Jackson, a democrat, and Javits, a Republican, were very similar, domestically liberal, foreign policy conservative (labels I despise, btw).}

With today’s announcement by Hilary Clinton that she is forming her “exploratory committee” America, and American politics have truly entered a new era.

In addition to the fact that both Hilary and Barack Obama announced their intentions via web broadcasts, which indicates a sea change…

You now have a major party whose two leading candidates are an African American and a woman.

And there is NO discussion that this is particularly unexpected, much less offensive. This is perhaps the most significant aspect their respective announcements.

While it is my feeling that Obama is totally unqualified to be President, he is, nevertheless, a serious candidate. (Hard for me to say as we are both Columbia grads!!) Six years in the state legislature and 2 years in the US Senate do not make for the qualifications or training to be President – in my opinion. In addition, I think there are questions that have gone unanswered as to his early education in a Pakistani Madrassa (Islamic school).

But he is a fresh voice, unquestionably intelligent who can bring a different set of views and experiences to the discussion.

Hilary is a difficult figure. Most, even those who support her, actually know very little about her and her past.

It is my feeling that she may be one of the MOST qualified individuals to run for President in some time. I have no idea if I will support her.

What I mean is that she unquestionably has the experience and background to run. After graduating from Yale Law School, she became a counsel on the House Watergate committee and has remained involved since.

For those who are not NY’ers, she has conducted herself very effectively as a Senator. Again, not discussing her from a political stand point, but as they say in politics, she has “done the work”. Taking time to find out the issues of the state,and working for it. In addition, she has not responded in knee jerk fashion to the extremists in her party. For example, when the Democrats shamelessly abandoned Joseph Lieberman in neighboring Ct. she toed the party line, without supporting the unqualified democrat nominee Ned Lamont.

Unfortunately, it is my early sense, that if Obama remains in the race as a significant candidate, Hilary and he may open the door for John Edwards to win the nomination. He has strength in most of the early caucus and primary states which can give his candidacy a boost.

So, stop and think for a moment how far we’ve come… Most importantly, get out and vote whenever you have the chance.

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