I had no idea...
Some of my fellow bloggers have said who they intend to votes for... about 2 years ago I had very few strong opinions on the matter. My personal motto is "never vote for an incumbent," so I was leaning Democratic. Although I had no strong dislike of either of the Republican front runners. McCain was decent, Romney was a bit odd but proved himself a competent administrator, and Ron Paul was a hoot.
Two things made me eventually side with Obama. First, was a 2007 article by (gay Republican and 2-time Bush voter) Andrew Sullivan. He made the very strong case that Obama genuinely would help us move past the culture wars of the 60s, since by his very birth (date, race, country, age) it was impossible for him to take sides on the most divisive issues. He also made the strong case that nothing would improve relations abroad more than Obama -- both with former allies, and amongst states leaning towards "rogue" status... As Sullivan says:
Consider this hypothetical. It’s November 2008. A young Pakistani Muslim is watching television and sees that this man—Barack Hussein Obama—is the new face of America. In one simple image, America’s soft power has been ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm. A brown-skinned man whose father was an African, who grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, who attended a majority-Muslim school as a boy, is now the alleged enemy. If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama’s face gets close. It proves them wrong about what America is in ways no words can.
Talk about cognitive dissonance...
That made me lean Obama... but the thing that really cinched it was his Yes We Can speech... although the remix was better. The line that hit home was this:
This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected.
This was the central argument behind pretty much every one of the Founding Fathers... if you've read as many books on the subject as I have, you'd realize that the history of the USA is highly unlikely... and those who talk about inevitability, superiority, or destiny, just don't get it. The only thing that ever held us together was the drive forward, the American Dream, to make a "more perfect union." Those who make demands just because "America is #1" will only lead us to lose touch with that dream, and lead us to chaos.
Does Obama lie? Yes; he's a politician, and lies are his weapons. Are his ideas so different than anybody else? No; he surrounds himself with the same advisers as other politicians. The difference is his temperament, and his unique perspective. He views the world in a totally different way than most people do... And I think that's exactly what we need right now.
But that's just my opinion, maybe I'm wrong.