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Politics & Power

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Yes We Can” vs. “Ready On Day One”

In the battle for the hearts and minds of Democratic voters it seems that the decision is coming down to the vision of the future held by the candidates. On the one hand you have Senator Barack Obama with a message of change and hope that has been compared to John F. Kennedy. While it can be short on specifics it unquestionably inspires young voters to get out and take part in the process and has motivated voters in record numbers to come to the polls. On the other hand you have the experience and knowledge of Hillary Clinton. Her message is more devoted to specifics but lacks the inspiring qualities of her opponent. The former First Lady and Senator from New York undoubtedly has a broad base of knowledge about how Washington works but may lack some of the inspirational qualities found in a strong leader.

So which of these candidates offers Americans the better chance for a brighter future? Is it more important to know how things work or to have a vision for sweeping change that might change how things work? It seems of late that voters have been choosing change. Since “Super Tuesday” split the contests between Obama and Clinton with Obama winning more states but Clinton winning more delegates, Obama has swept the primaries and caucuses that have followed. Many pundits who had prematurely crowned Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States have had to back off on their predictions and make room for the possibility that someone could beat Mrs. Clinton for the Democratic nomination. The voters seem intent on shaking up the pundits and making sure that the race is not decided before it is run. It would seem that the American people have decided that maybe inspiration does count for something in America.

The real question that Democrats should ask themselves is who is more likely to win in November against John McCain or Mike Huckabee? While Clinton brings experience to the election, that would be little advantage against John McCain who has been in public service for over forty years. Mike Huckabee is as experienced as Bill Clinton was when he won the White House the first time so how much of a selling point is experience for Hillary Clinton? Conversely, how much of the message of hope can Barack Obama expect to translate into votes? John McCain has an inspirational story of survival and overcoming the odds that give him a level of inspirational leadership. Mike Huckabee like Bill Clinton is from Hope, Arkansas and went from being poor to winning the highest off ice in Arkansas. How much of an inspiration would he be in a two-man race between Huckabee and Obama?

The truth of the matter is that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bring experience and wisdom to the race that is unique unto each of them. While their stories may inspire or their experience impress, ultimately either one of them could serve as President and either of them will face a tough challenge in the November election. Neither of their potential opponents is a political slouch and there is an equal chance that either of them could win or lose the November general election. Hope inspires and plans instill confidence but as Howard Dean proved even hope and experience can be undone by one poorly placed microphone.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article.

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