It seems like the campaign for president has been going on forever. Today, I finally made up my mind. I decided I’m ready for a woman president. I’m not even bothered that this means she would follow her husband in that role. She is bright, articulate, and a lawyer in her own right.
But I don’t mean who you think I mean.
I’m starting the Michelle Obama ’16 campaign.
I’m flipping channels this afternoon, and she totally captured me, on tape delay from a campaign rally last Thursday in Delaware. Michelle is the one who finally clinched what my heart kept whispering. I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.
Don’t you want a president, she asked, who knows what it is like to live and work among the poor?
Don’t you want a president, she asked, who knows what it is like in Kenya, not because he read it in a policy briefing, but because his grandmother still lives in a village there?
I found myself saying yes to my television.
Our current president, she said, first got us into a war we shouldn’t be in. And then, she said, he didn’t ask us to do anything. No sacrifice. No rationing. Not even darning socks. All our current president asks us, she said, is to spend more money and consume. Don’t you want a different kind of president?
And I’m saying YES to my television.
Don’t you get all excited, she said. Because the people there were reacting just like me. Don’t you get all excited, she said, because when my husband sits in the oval office, he’s going to ask you to step up to the plate. He’s going to ask you to work. It’s going to be hard. We are going to change the way things are done, and you are going to have to do more than shop to change our nation. We haven’t had a president like this in my lifetime, she said. But we need it. And the question is not, she said, it is not if my husband is ready for the job. He’s ready. The question is, she said, if YOU are ready for my husband to be president. ‘Cause we got work to do.
And I’m saying, you sign me up, girl! to my television, on a Saturday afternoon, in gray and rainy Oregon.
In 2000, I really might have voted for McCain. Not this year. I’ve found myself asking, “What really are the best reasons to vote for Hilary Clinton?” And the answers I come up with–she’s competent, she’s got connections, she’s well positioned–are far outweighed by my questions about her character and outshined by Obama’s ability to say things that I have never heard a politician say except in speeches in the history books.
I’m ready for a woman president. Just not this year.