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Friday, December 9, 2011

Hail to the Chief

I had a nice surprise in the mail yesterday – a Christmas card from the Barack Obama family. It was sweet, featuring photos of the kids and Bo the first dog. I am on the president’s “friends” list thanks to a small donation I made to the campaign earlier this year. Barack and Michelle have invited me to dinner several times. Well, not exactly. If I donate $75 or more to his campaign, I enter a raffle to have dinner with the first couple. I'm thinking it could be fun.

I’m not particularly impressed by President Obama’s first term in office. It’s not what I had hoped for, but I still like the guy. In my heart, I think he should have waited another 4-8 years before he applied for the job. That said, I’m having a hard time trusting the new contenders with my vote.  I am keeping mum about the election for the moment.  Waiting with great anticipation to see who will be the final contender.

Politics is really fascinating to me. It’s kind of interesting that you can be socially compatible with family and friends on so many levels, and then you reveal your political leanings and both sides are looking at each other with dismay saying “Really…are you kidding?” You wonder how someone you care about could have ever voted for [insert name].

I wonder how much we really seek to know about how our values and positions match up with the candidates?  It’s so much work reading all those platforms. And the debates are like a dog and pony show; positions change from one state to the next. I wanted to know if I am a superficial voter, so I answered this 2012 Presidential Candidate Selector  to see who represents my thinking on the key issues we are facing.

If this selector quiz is accurate, I am aligned with the president 93% of the time on topics like the economy, a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage, Social Security and health care, among other things. My closest Republican candidates are Ron Paul (46%) and Jon Huntsman (34%). Sarah Palin and I agree just 2% of the time. I like that this poll seeks agreement on the topics and asks you to weight the importance of the issue.  So even if I am against torture, that issue is not as important to me as Social Security and health care. 

Lots more fun to come on the campaign trail over the next few months. I hope that we can bridge some of our differences and have some thoughtful conversations about politics. We probably agree on more things than not. If you take the test and feel brave, use the comments section here to share what surprised you.

PS:  check my last blog post:  Life Interrupted, for an update on Tootsie


  1. Chris, thanks for sharing the poll link. Good to verify I'm supporting my candidate based on shared values .

  2. Fascinating poll. Thanks for the link. When I look at our relatively stable economy given the turmoil in the European economies, the drawdown of our troops in Iraq, the obstructionists he faces in Congress, I'm very impressed with Obama. How encouraging to have a candidate we agree with over 90% of the time.

  3. Libby: Yes, it's interesting to see the range of topics that are deemed critical in these times. Through this presidency, I have come to realize that the perception of a successful presidency is something of a crap shoot. The economy, Congress and world events all play a role in what you can accomplish.

  4. The number of critical topics in the poll interested me too. If only our politians would just talk honestly about their positions and let us decide without all the unrelated and scare tactics rhetoric