Sunday, September 07, 2008

Why I voted for Obama.

Last February, in the Virginia Primary, I cast my vote for Barack Obama. Looking back now, I can admit that I did so without fully informing myself of his background and beliefs.

Mea culpa!

My impression of him was that he was a reformer - I was aware that he had co-sponsored a bill with Senator Tom Coburn to give a bit of clarity to federal spending. In doing so, I saw he reached across the aisle to team up with a maverick, thereby giving himself the aura of a maverick and someone who could forge bi-partisan bonds. I had heard that he was elected president of the Harvard Law Review with the support of the conservative law students, further giving me hope that he could forge bonds (I still don't know if this story is true). Prior to Obama being elected to the US Senate, I recall reading encouraging posts on him by fellow U of Chicago professor Jacob T. Levy. (Of course, this was back before I learned that Obama was not a professor - just a part-time lecturer.) And finally, I recall reading favorable commentary from Christianity Today's Books and Culture editor Agnieszka Tennant (who remains a supporter).

(As a parenthetical - Barry Obama was a 1979 graduate of Punahou High School in Honolulu, in the same school and class as my life-long best friend and best man. While I had left the islands long before this, there is something special about thinking that we were in the same place during the same era - even if he did go to the ultra-elite Punahou.)

In addition, in Virginia, I had the opportunity to vote in either the Democratic or the Republican primary - and by the time we voted, the GOP nominee was fairly well decided. This left the choice as to either Hillary or Obama.

Finally, well after I cast my vote, I learned that former Reagan Justice official and former dean of Catholic University, Douglas Kmiec endoresed Barrack Obama - for me, this was a big deal as it conferred a solid pro-life imprimatur on the candidate.

Since that time, when my vote was cast in large part on wishful hope and in large part on Obama's association with people I respected, I have learned of Barack's other associations - with Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright and I have learned about his positions with respect to life issues - which are monstrous - and will be the subject of another post.

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