It Looks Like Hillary Was Right

-By Vince Johnson

There is a good chance Obama won’t get elected after all, but for reasons Hillary may have not have considered. Obama has the grace, the eloquence, the brilliant mind, the charisma, the family, and the demeanor that makes him a powerful vote getter. What Obama lacks is what leaders like Colin Powell have in abundance, and that is the time tested ability to provide strong leadership in responsibilities that included tenures as Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Yes, I specifically used Colin Powell as an example to emphasize that I do not regard race as a negative in Obama’s resume. The reasons I cannot support Obama for President have received little attention thus far in the campaign. The first is that I have come to believe that Obama has very little understanding of America’s grass roots population. I mean the people who grow, process and deliver our food. The people who teach our kids, and build our homes, and run our businesses, and keep America on the move, and care for us when we are ill, and serve our nation in the military, and work on holidays in restaurants and stores, and on and on. In my view Obama connects with the elite, but not with the mainstream where Presidential elections are won and lost.

I also base my conclusion upon the reality that Obama didn’t have a clue that his Pastor of 20 years was berating America from the pulpit and doing so in a ranting style that no one could possibly be unaware of. I also question how Obama can convince anyone that he would not renounce those who elected him just as he renounced the same Pastor who delivered his vows of marriage and baptized his children. I do not accept the sudden trashing of a twenty year relationship with a Pastor as an honorable way to resolve a hitch in his run for the Presidency.

Those who question McCain’s judgment when selecting an “inexperienced redneck” named Sarah Palin as his running mate gave me another reason to vote republican. In my view, they have not considered the history of Franklin D. Roosevelt who was one of the most famous and respected Democrats that ever lived. People from both parties were astonished when he chose Harry Truman as his running mate in 1944. People considered Truman to be a hick from Missouri and he was a subject of constant and obnoxious ridicule during his entire tenure in office. I know this to be a fact because I was 16 when he became President in 1944 and 25 when his Presidency came to an end in 1953. During this period my interests in politics were intense and the media seemed to delight in publicizing his temper a great deal. There was a near historic clamor when a Washington Post music critic reported that Truman’s daughter Margaret couldn’t sing very well. Harry Truman wrote back to the reporter “I have never met you, but if I do, you’ll need a new nose and plenty of beefsteak and perhaps a supporter below.”

Truman didn’t even have a college degree. His plunge into international affairs during wartime was sudden and he was not prepared for the huge responsibilities that fell upon him when Roosevelt died just eighty-two days after he was sworn in as Vice President. Despite the ridicule and Truman’s unpreparedness, scholars now rank Truman among our ten best Presidents. That reality is now history and I have little reason to doubt that an “Alaskan Redneck” named Sarah Palin is as capable of handling extreme adversity today as well as did a “Missouri Hick” named Harry Truman sixty years ago.

The clinching reason I will vote for McCain has to do with the fact that I am a veteran of WWII and Korea. (I joined the U.S. Navy in 1945 at the age of 17.) In war, members of the military learn they must depend upon each other without doubts or hesitation. It is a crucial bonding at a level where people of all races, nationalities, religions and political persuasions have learned that a mutual trust can mean life or death at any given moment.

John McCain has earned my trust several times over and I will honor that trust with my vote of confidence in his ability to lead our nation in a manner where it will prevail and prosper in any undertaking whether encountered in times of war or in times of peace. So be it.
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