Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Q&A with a former Hillary Supporter: Why She's Voting McCain

My CafeMom boards are full of Hillary supporters who are now supporting McCain for President. Randa, a mother of 5 from Fort Walton Beach, Florida, took a few minutes to share her perspective. To all other Hillary supporters who have been made unwelcome by their party and their nominee, I invite you to check out Citizens for McCain and McCainNOW .

Tell us about yourself. I'm a SAHM with 5 kids. 29, 21, 18, and 9 yr old twins. (insert applause for Randa here!)

What is your involvement in politics? Has it changed this election compared to past years? I've been a Democrat for my entire adult life. I've always been an active supporter of the party.

Last year, I felt the party was sitting pretty. I thought that it was great that we would have two strong candidates to choose from. While I have always admired Hillary Clinton and looked forward to the day that she would run for the presidency, I kept an open mind about Obama and at that time felt that I would be able to support him as the party's candidate should it come to that. So I guess to answer your question, while it started out to be the same as years past, it has certainly morphed into something that is not typical for me.

Why did you support Hillary (did you support Bill)? My main issues for supporting Hillary are healthcare, the economy and our standing in the world community. While healthcare and the economy are not something that are a main concern to my husband and I, we do have children that it will directly affect in the near future. We are concerned about the livelihood and well-being of the younger generation.

I feel that Hillary would be seen in the global community as a strong level-headed leader. She has shown that she is not an emotional thinker, rather she depends on logic when making decisions. I would feel safe under a Hillary Clinton administration.

I did support Bill Clinton. I still do.

Why do you now support McCain? What about him and his policies appealed to you (besides NOT being Obama?) While McCain's stance on the war is quite different than Clinton's, he has shown that he will make decisions based on logic. When he says we may be in Iraq for 100 yrs, I don't think he means that we will be at war with Iraq for 100 yrs. While Obama may bring the troops home from Iraq, I fear that his administration will only lead to more war in the long run. He will be seen as a weak leader on the global front. My big reasons for supporting McCain and not Obama are experience and moral character.

Are there any specific issues you’d like to comment on? I'd love to have a candidate that is strong on foreign policy and the economy. It seems to me that this time around, we have a candidate (McCain) that is strong on foreign policy, but weak on domestic issues. I respect the fact that McCain has admitted that economic issues are not his strong point and that if elected, he would surround himself with those who are strong in economics. I don't see Obama as having any strengths in either area.

What do you think of media coverage of each of the 3 candidates? McCain: mostly they point to his age as a negative. Clinton: she's been treated with a greater lack of respect than I ever thought possible. She could do nothing right as far as the media was concerned. She never stood a chance. Obama: the media in general has seemed as if they have had a school girl crush on Obama. He could do no wrong and if he did, it was somehow Clinton's fault. Only now that he has secured the nomination have there been some negative reports.

What do you have to say to former Hillary loyalists who are now pro-Obama? I would remind them that nothing has changed about Obama. He is still inexperienced. He is still a senator with a less than effective record. His candidacy has been one of half truths. Statements such as 'I was against the war and Clinton voted for it.' He fails to mention that no one asked for his opinion at the time. Hind sight is always 20/20.

I would remind them that Obama has embraced sexism in his campaign. Obama has stirred the pot of racism at every corner. I would remind him that Obama is the exemplification of dirty politics. He has so often made the comment " that's not the______ I knew!) you may insert any of Obama's racist / criminal friends in the blank. He is either a liar or the worst judge of character in the world!

I would hope that all Clinton supporters remember that in supporting Obama, they are supporting a party that has ignored the will of the voters and failed to protect the rights of Florida and Michigan Democrats. They will be supporting a party that has had a predetermined candidate for a long time. By voting for Obama it sends a clear message that democracy is no more, and we're okay with that. A vote for Obama says that women are to be held to a different standard than men and we're okay with that.

Anything else you’d like to share? As a mother of 3 young ladies, I feel that as their mother, I must take a stand. I see every insult hurled at Senator Clinton as an insult to my girls. I've raised my girls to believe that with hard work and determination, they can accomplish anything. I will not support a party that tells them otherwise through its actions.

Thank you to Randa for sharing her candid feedback. America deserves courageous, proven leadership and our answer is John McCain.


CountryGirl said...

Great interview,especially with a women you had just met for the first time.

Most importantly are the very interesting answers coming from a former Hillary supporter.

Many more women feel the same way as Sahm does and am hoping they will also support John McCain.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This woman took the words right out of my mouth. I feel the same way.

Ciejsgirl said...

Randa - Thanks for your honesty! (from a fellow cafemom-er)

concerned woman said...

Randa - John McCain supported Bush's veto of the bill which would have guanteed health care for all American children. This is a cause that Hillary has fought for her entire life. He is eager to provide tax cuts to the most weathy Americans, but does not believe that our most innocent citizen deserve something as fundamental as access to a doctor. Imagine if these were your children. I understand that emotions are running high right now, but supporting McCain is not the best way to honor your candidate.

esd921/Em said...

Thoroughly enjoyed this interview, it is nice to hear from a woman loyal to her candidate, yet willing to consider voting for someone in the other party.

In response to the most innocent citizen deserving soemthing as fundamental as access to a doctor - McCain believes that our most innocent citizens have the right to life. That is truly the most fundamental right and something his opponent fails to recognize.

Andrea Snell said...

Dear Concerned:
Let's say, for the sake of argument Hillary's health plan was the best - are you really willing to elect a man President who is dangerously naive and inexperienced- who is routinely dishonest and manipulative, and who was willing to disenfranchise millions of voters to get the nomination?
Returning to the subject of healthcare - as a independent contractor who does not have employer provided healthcare and am forced to pay through the nose for healthcare. When I lived in Colorado, I had the option of purchasing "catastrophe insurance" for $50 a month. (As I am young and healthy that's all I need.) I moved to NY and found that regulations prevented me from continuing such inexpensive coverage and had to pay over 7 times as much. McCain's plan will allow people to buy healthplans across state lines - therefore allowing much more affordable choices and greater competition - which always benefits the consumer.
I can't help being a little put off by your attitude towards John McCain. Just because he believes in a free market approach to healthcare (as I do) does not mean he doesn't care about the citizens of this country. I realize it is easy to demonize people who don't agree with your views and attribute the worst possible motives - but I think if you really look at John McCain the Republican stereotype of catering to wealth and priviledge just doesn't fit. McCain had the opportunity to benefit from his father's position while he was in Vietnam. He was badly injured (with broken bones that had never been treated correctly), and sick with dysentery (he'd lost about 50 lbs) when he was offered the opportunity to go home. The Military Code of Conduct says that POWs are to accept no special favors and that those first captured are to be the first to go home. McCain thought of how, if he took early release, it would demoralize all the other POWs whose fathers weren't admirals - and he found the strength to refuse. He was tortured for his pains.
He has donated 100% of the proceeds from his books to charity and has given generously beyond that.
He pushed for "The Surge" knowing it meant his own son would probably be sent to Iraq.
I urge you to consider those actions before making up your mind about John McCain. BTW, McCain is adding various middle class tax cuts - which should balance things out a bit.

Andrea said...

I agree with everything you said except for the part about McCain not being strong on the economy. What he actually said was he wasn't AS strong on it as on National Security (an area which he is extraordinarily experienced) that he is not as well versed as people who specialize in economics and have been immersed in it there whole lives. McCain is also humble and self- deprecating..
McCain gave a great speech on economics to small business owners the other day - I urge you to read it and read more about his plans for the economy!

concerned woman said...

Andrea S- Thaks for your comment. I usthave a few responses, so the sake of conversation. First, to your comment about Sen. Obama being:

"dangerously naive and inexperienced...routinely dishonest and manipulative, and who was willing to disenfranchise millions of voters to get the nomination"

I am all for constructive criticsm, but I don't really think this is fair. Sure, Obama is younger than McCain, but he is not a child. He is an adult male with a lifetime of public service behind him. He made a risky political move by opposing the gas tax, knowing that it would not really benifit struggling Americans, which I think was a very honest thing to do. As far as disinfranchisement - Sen. Obama was not on the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee that made the decision regarding Florida and Michigan. This decision was made by a coalition of supporters of both Clinton and Obama, faced with a difficult situation and two flawed primaries.

I see that you and Sen. McCain believe in the free market approach to health care, which is a fine personal decision. But, my argument to Randa was that this appriach is far removed for Sen. Clinton's beliefs about health care. I just think that Obama's heath care plan (as well as every other policy issue) is much closer to Clinton's. Please keep in mind as well that not all Americans are young and/or healthy like yourself, so even health care from out of state is out of reach for many.

Finally, I am confused by Sen. McCain's lack of support for the GI Bill, given his military history. Believe me, I have great respect for his heroic service to our country. But I also feel very strongly for my peers out there right now who are also risking their lives every day (as I know both Sen. McCain and Obama do). I recently lost a classmate fighting in Iraq who joined because of September 11. I understand that Sen. McCain's argument is that offering a college education will draw potential career servicemen and women out of the military, but these same statistics show that it will draw just as many new recruits in. Further, shouldn't we be encouraging our career servicemen and women, those who will be leading our military, to get a college education so that they can make the best military decisions? I would be interested to hear your responses, as this is one issue that I feel very stongly about.

Anonymous said...

Petitepatti(fellow cm)

Very honest and refreshing answers.

tigrefan98 said...

Concerned woman -

Please see my previous post on this topic:

Also Sen McCain's own comments:

Thank you for engaging in respectful discussion.

Andrea said...

I am painfully fair and I don't throw around words like dishonest, naive or inexperienced casually.
Obama has repeatedly misrepresented McCain's "100 year" comment. He also has said "if you like the foreign policy we've had the last 7-8 years go ahead and vote for John McCain" Considering that McCain not only did not set the foreign policy of the last 7-8 years, but ADAMANTLY CALLED FOR A DRASTIC CHANGE IN STRATEGY loudly and insistently from almost the start of the war - until Bush finally listened (that is, for 4 years) It's beyond ridiculous to blame McCain for mistakes and mishandling he did everything in his power to prevent and to correct.
Obama originally said the surge would do nothing to significantly reduce casualties - then later lied and said that he always said it would. ( for an excellent article on Obama's philosophical nconsistencies, politically convenient shifts in position, and lies about his position on the war I recommend Peter Wehmer's "Obama's War")
As to Obama's inexperience on military matters, it comes through all too clearly. Not only is it a fact that he has taken only one trip to Iraq and that he has never visited Afghanistan. He also made a speech about troops supposedly being sent to Afghanistan and he SEVERELY scrambled the facts (there were at least have a dozen factual errors)and showed a lack of even basic knowledge of our military procedures. (I will try and look it up if I get a chance)
In one press release he said something like "If the Surge is working so well why does Senator McCain need a flack jacket and all these troops to take a stroll through downtown Bagdad" McCain responded with various evidence that the Surge is succeeding and said " and it's flak jacket, not flack jacket" It's unlikely he would have made that mistake in an official campaign release if that was a term Obama was familiar with.
Obama's mistake about saying his Grandfather was part of the army that liberated Auchwitz is also revealing. Any serious student of WWII (I would venture to say even a casual student) would have known that the Soviets liberated Auchwitz. If Obama was firmly aware of that he would never have chosen a camp that his Grandfather could not have plausibly liberated.
I read over Obama's famous 2002 speech- expecting to see some kind of rare insight - perhaps a caution against putting too much stock in our intelligence, perhaps pointing out that some intelligence officers in Germany had a dissenting view- there was none of that. Obama said, at the time, that he believed Saddam was " a bad guy" and that he believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction & was doing everything, was capable of to aquire nucleur weapons and that he was constantly violating the terms of his cease fire. It's just that none of that particularly concerned Obama. His argument was that Saddam was contained (experts disagreed) and that Iraq was poor - so Saddam just wasn't a threat. Saddam was a "bad guy" but this was a "dumb war". That was the level of his discourse on the subject and this is the speech that Obama thinks qualifies him to be Commander in Chief!
As to the disenfranchisement. Howard Dean was wrong to ever take away Florida and Michigan's delegates. It was a shameful abuse of power.
As I understand it, all of the other candidates (who stood to gain from not having to campaign in 2 big states early on- because Hillary would have a huge advantage as the best know candidates) signed on first and so she reluctantly signed on as well. It was a move that it was in Obama's - and the other candidates - immediate self interest to support. The fact that Obama had a lot of company does not make him blameless - but that decision was not the only time Obama came down on the side of disenfranchisement. At one point Hillary and the DNC had both agreed to a plan to have a re-vote in Michigan, but Obama would not do it.
I would argue that Hillary is actually closer to McCain in a lot of significant ways. Actually I already blogged about this on in a post titled "Clinton is Closer to McCain in Many Ways" if you would like to read it.
There is more to say ( I could go on all day) but I think this is more than long enough for one comment!



ConservativeMom said...

Great interview! I have a feeling that many of Hillary's supporters feel the same way that Randa does. I applaud her willingness to candidly share her point of view.

LisaMarie said...

thanks for this. it was refreshing and honest.
aka spababy :)

bevperl said...


God Bless Your Hero Classmate and I wish I could have told Him how much his service and sacrifice means to my family and myself.
My Son too joined the Army right after 9/11. I was so worried about him but I understood his desire to serve. He loves his country and never once did he mention college. My Son does not understand someone signing up for college during a war, and neither do I. He joined the military out of pure love for his country and to ensure the safety of her people. My Son is the recipient of The Bronze Star and he didn't get that with his nose in books. It seems to me those that want to go to college should go to college, not join the military. Somehow I don't think these folks will be too happy when they are handed a gun instead of a book! I support Senator McCain's position on this and I understand it. The United States Military is the Pride of this country, and it is feared by our enemies. We need to keep it that way. Why change an institution that is working and getting more done than this Congress!

On Obama:
I am alarmed and very uncomfortable with Obama's associates. I do judge a man by the company he keeps and I have found that to be a useful guide throughout my life. Bill Ayers was responsible for killing Americans and he doesn't feel he did enough! Reverend Wright says God Damn America but too me, that was not the most offensive thing he has said. When he went after Hillary Clinton during one of his sermons, he referred to her husband's romp with Monica as "riding dirty" as he made the motions, with children in the congregation!! I would really like to know what Obama said to his pretty little daughters after that sermon, when they asked him "Daddy, what does riding dirty mean?"
I notice Obama speaks very well when he has a speech in front of him. However, when he has questions to answer, he stammers and stutters and reveals his ineptness. The "57 states" was just too much for me. Absolutely unacceptable!

jurton said...

Dear Concerned,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and comments. Very much appreciated for this voter.