Take This 40-Question Quiz: “Hillary or Barack???” (My Score Was Barack 40, Hillary 0)

Hillary and Barack both have wonderful abilities and qualities.

However, pick only the one candidate whom you feel is the BEST qualified:



Whose campaign runs like the country should run?


Who believes in a transparent government?


Who will tell the truth if they do something wrong?


Who trusts the public to be able to handle the truth?


Who values advisors who disagree?


Who respects and welcomes opposing points of view?


Who won’t hurry into war?


Who will resist the pressures of special interests and big money?


Whose family will be a credit to (and a delight in) the White House?


Whose tenure will reflect most positively upon America?


Who is liked and respected by all members of Congress and the Supreme Court?


Who can explain confusing issues to the American public?


Who can we believe when we hear conflicting stories?


Who is the least partisan candidate?


Who has the most global perspectives?


Who has an audacious vision of where to go, and a detailed plan for how to get there?


Who has the leadership and executive skills to solve even our biggest problems?


Whose example inspires us all to make personal sacrifices for the common good?


Who will guide us thoughtfully through national emergencies, tragedies, and catastrophes?


Who inspires our youth to greater effort, contribution, and productivity?


Who are national and world leaders eager to work with?


Who is it impossible not to like and admire?


Who do we most want to see succeed?


Who can heal our many divisions?


Who holds to moral principles under pressure?


Who has sound judgment under pressure?


Who reaches out in friendship to all foreign leaders and ordinary citizens?


Who will bind up the nation’s wounds?


Who can be counted on to defend us wisely from those who would do us harm?


Whose leadership inspires all the world’s peoples?


Who will move citizens of all ages and backgrounds toward greater civic involvement?


Who is the most intellectually broad-banded?


Who has the best “people skills”?


Who understands minority perspectives?


Who can offer global leadership toward solutions to common problems?


Who can sell tough solutions to the American public?


Who do Republicans not mind losing to?


Who inspires the confidence of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike?


Who do I look forward to listening to, weekly or more often, for the next eight years?


Who has the potential to become America’s greatest President, in her time of greatest need?



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“Attack-Dog Hillary Heals Nation and World.” (Not Likely.)

I find watching Hillary Clinton’s baseless attacks against Barack Obama repellent, if unsurprising. It's now clear she'll do and say whatever is necessary to win this election, which is exactly why Obama is running for President: because he wants to change American politics.


In recent weeks, and in last night's debate in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton lost my respect and my vote, in any election, along with the votes of many other Americans. I’ll vote for an honest conservative, or sit out the race, if my only choice is a slippery politician who will lie to my face again. I’m so tired of listening to lying Presidents.


Bill Clinton subconciously must want his wife to lose, because his smear attempts, like hers, aren’t doing her any good. Bill’s just mad because he told Barack to wait outside the kitchen door another eight years and that uppity whipper-snapper had the sand to tell him no. No! To him! Bill Clinton! Regrettably, Bill Clinton is destroying his solid legacy in an enfeebled attempt to extend it. (It's called hubris.)


Maybe I should be glad the Clintons are out of integrity, because such behavior can only help the Obama campaign. Still, I hate to watch.


Barack speaks so persuasively and eloquently because he’s been writing and saying the same things to anyone who will listen since his college days; nowadays he just has bigger audiences.


If Obama were killed today, he would be mourned as one of our greatest and most beloved American heroes for the priceless vision he came so close to successfully pulling off—the transformation of American politics. Like Dr. King, Obama has served the American people passionately for many years, fighting for the same values, ideals, and goals, and winning many important fights. May he live to fight and win many more.


Barack Obama, like Dr. King, is at great risk for assassination, because an Obama Presidency would completely upset the applecart for all the moneyed insider special interests in America on both sides of the political aisle. And there are some scary white supremacists out there who would kill him just for being presumptuous.


Obama is not only popular, well-organized, politically astute, and brilliant, he is a very viable political candidate, which makes him a huge target for assassination. Historically, America kills her charismatic popular leaders, those few and rare individuals who are brave, talented, and daring enough to actually stick their necks out to serve the people instead of established interests. Obama and his family are incredibly courageous, as courageous as Dr. King and his family were.


What are Obama’s odds of just surviving this campaign? Of living through a two-term Presidency? Of just plain living long, and prospering? I, for one, don’t intend to wait around to support him until after he’s dead. I only hope many more Americans will soon recognize what an unusual and precious political commodity Obama is, and what a rare opportunity we have for real change, if we will come together right now under his capable leadership.


How many Americans once misunderstood or opposed Dr. King, who now wish that they had dropped what they were doing to walk beside him? Well, we’ve got our chance again.


“Barack Obama Heals Nation and World.” Yes, I can see it. And I will hope and work to see it happen.


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Charisma, Courage, Leadership: MLK’s Heroic Legacy

A few decades ago, on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I ignorantly explained to my curious classroom that Dr. King was important because he freed a lot of black people. A courageous and well-informed young (black) student raised her hand and gently reminded me: “He freed white people too.”


Many black Christian churches proudly plan welcoming celebrations in Dr. King’s honor, in part because he was one of their own. But Dr. King was one of our own too, whoever we are, whatever our race or religion or nationality.


Dr. King was that rare, brave, idealistic hero willing to courageously stand up publicly, to speak out, and thus risk his life, so that all who dreamed, with him, of non-violent political change, equality of opportunity in America, and an end to racism, war, and poverty, could find own their own courage in his brave leadership, and walk beside him. 


Dr. King's life and stirring words have touched, in our own generation, another great and inspiring leader, Barack Obama, who just as courageously as Dr. King, leads us today, encouraging us to work with him in unity for change.


In 1967, at a time when nationalistic fervor made opposition to the Vietnam war an agonizing choice, Dr. King spoke out boldly:  “America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way (in a) revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. These are the times for real choices and not false ones.”


Dr. King’s words could not be more relevant today. Barack Obama has been equally bold in his own steadfast opposition to the Iraq war since before its inception, when nearly everyone else was calling for the much more popular idea of vengeance and retaliation after the 9/11 tragedy.


If Dr. King were alive today, he would be working to help Barack Obama, today’s bravest American hero, as he courageously leads us to work together for political reform reflecting our deepest American values and ideals. 


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7 Reasons Why Barack Obama is Uniquely Suited to be President

Only a United States of America and an Obama presidency will change a bleak American future into one that is genuinely hopeful and positive. Barack Obama’s unique combination of strengths and abilities make him the only candidate:


1. Who convincingly articulates an ambitious plan for addressing the most pressing common problems facing most Americans; 

2. Who has the leadership, character, and political skills to take the Democratic nomination from insider/“incumbent” Hillary Clinton;

3. Who will win the general election with the backing of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike;

4. Whose popular “coat tails” will pack Congress with legislators from all parties supportive of his agenda in ’08 and in following elections;

5. Who will inspire national leaders having competing interests, ideologies, and agendas to find workable legislative solutions;

6. Who will inspire a grassroots citizen movement to get behind and pass such legislation; and

7. Who has the honesty, integrity, courage, intellectual bandwidth, global perspective, vision, character, judgment, and Presidential leadership skills necessary to simultaneously and successfully handle breaking crises as they arise, while healing and transforming national and international relations, and shepherding huge domestic policy changes through Congress.


If we want to elect the smartest and best person in America willing to take the job, we should be working to elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America.

Hillary Dismisses Obama’s Eloquence and Charisma as Irrelevant Leadership Skills. They’re Not.

Obama’s gruff “You’re likeable enough, Hillary” during last night’s ABC debate was hardly cynical, but rather a low-key (and successful) attempt to head off a fruitless squabble about the relative likeability of the candidates, not to mention a gallant effort to rescue Hillary from an embarrassing moment.


Hillary was not being cynical either. Of course her feelings were hurt, and she was courageous to admit it. It hurts to be publicly slapped after doing your best in a lifetime of service. And of course this seasoned politician will soldier on with her characteristic indomitable resilience despite the shaking she’s endured in the last few weeks from the rough winds of political fortune. Her willingness to be vulnerable and honest was positively endearing, and indicative of hard-won personal growth in recent years.


Hillary is deeply warm-spirited. If she could as consistently offer that diplomatic side of herself (i.e., the openness, defenselessness, and respect she offers Chelsea, for instance) toward voters, the press, her rivals, and even America’s presumed enemies, as Obama can and will (rather than attacking, stereotyping, and polarizing her “enemies” as Bush has–i.e., Hillary's recent remark about the “soulless KGB agent, Putin”)–her political scope of influence (and fortunes) would change overnight.


Unfortunately, Hillary has not yet conquered her distrustfulness and defensiveness, while Obama has apparently little ego to protect. He judges and attacks no one, including himself, and because of that, he doesn’t feel attacked.


Negative campaigning doesn’t sit comfortably within Hillary’s moral heart, so she was at her desperately inauthentic worst during the opening moments of the debate as she deceptively snuck in unfair innuendos about Obama’s record, attacks which Obama handily deflected with facts.


Then all the other candidates justifiably pounced on her for negative campaigning, which won’t work for her, and shouldn't (how could a ruthless attack-dog heal a nation and lead the world?) and shame on her for the pointless grief and confusion it could bring to what otherwise would be a profitable exchange of competing ideas during a dangerous time.


Unfortunately, it’s a bit much to ask Hillary to suddenly turn into Bill Clinton (or Barack Obama). She is what she is, which is a truly amazing woman with a few limitations and the tenacity to overcome them.


Obama did have a chance to speak briefly and eloquently on the subject of the relative importance of charisma and leadership skills. When Hillary contemptuously dismissed the impact of “words” as opposed to “actions,” Obama countered by insisting that the next President’s ability to inspire the citizenry to greater personal political responsibility was essential. And he’s right. Even Barack Obama will not be able to move forward on the huge, difficult changes we need without overwhelming public backing, because, despite the current popularity of the word “change,” no one likes it.


The American public is gradually awakening to the realization that our next President can break political gridlock only through charismatic, trustworthy leadership. This realization is less fun for Hillary, whose many talents currently lie elsewhere.









Bill Gates and the End of High School As We Know It

Bill Gates is right. Our high schools are failing far too many of those who count on them. Americans spend vast amounts on education, but too much of it goes to support entrenched interests and bureaucracies, while our kids get stiffed.


The good news is that we can gradually make the changes we need by shifting our talented, dedicated, skilled, hard-working (and powerfully unionized) school workforce toward new roles and goals as professional mentors. The bad news is that practically every other long-standing interest has to go.


What is it about our American high schools that doesn’t work anymore?


It makes no sense to transport students expensively to large, distant, costly, energy-inefficient, underutilized buildings where they’re wastefully herded from class to class, despite vastly different interests, abilities, strengths, and personal goals–in order to fulfill an entrenched, outdated curriculum.


What could work better? Build no more huge expensive buildings, use the ones we have differently, and completely change our teaching approaches as we currently know them.


Instead, give each student a safe, well-maintained home computer, the support necessary to use it well, and wonderfully-designed content software. Give them well-paid, highly qualified teacher/mentors who can work closely with them daily to help them plan their own educations according to their individual needs, guide them toward efficient learning, and help them master necessary skills. Give them a small, safe working environment near their homes for daily regular mentoring and studying. Give each student well-designed opportunities to understand and practice the social skills, values, and habits they need to become good students, good citizens, good people.


A range of mastery standards in math, reading, science, and technology could provide limitless personal goals. Computer-based content could be flexibly supplemented by an efficient computerized library media support system, doing away with expensive and quickly-outdated textbooks. Personalized computer-based scheduling and messaging could daily anchor each child's educational experience. Well-organized flexible learning groups and clubs could support innumerable important curricular goals, such as improved learning habits, personal organization skills, health, character, cultural awareness (music, art, literature), a sense of place and heritage (geography, history) as well as other emerging interests and social values.


Every student could belong to a local team enjoying friendly local competition with other teams in healthful, inexpensive, well-supervised and refereed sports. Low-cost school and sports uniforms, and more readily-available and anonymous (or universal) support for shoes and school expenses could be provided. Progress, good citizenship, excellence, and scholarly habits could be publicly recognized and rewarded. Field trips in all areas of interest could be offered. Financial support and mentored places for evening study in lieu of night jobs could be awarded to demonstrably conscientious scholars.


What do we stand to lose when we make such radical changes?


Our children's dangerous daily swim in the over-stimulating hormonal soup we now call high school, where the lowest cultural common denominators too often prevail…. The wasted time our children interminably spend transitioning–coming and going, changing and starting classes, standing in lines, waiting, waiting, waiting for something to start, something to happen…. Our children's sense of being anonymously factory-processed, instead of compellingly involved in their own highly-desired learning goals, outcomes, and futures….  Anger, rebellion, and desperation among too many students (and their teachers….) Pointless and harmful man-hours spent credentializing…. Proms…. Debilitating, expensive, space and energy-inefficient, exclusive competitive school sports systems which, themselves, create health and emotional problems, and primarily provide fodder for the sports industry…. Lost lives and liability suits from the inevitable violence arising from our contemporary culture's too many unnecessary school pressures…. Lost time for learning due to shootings, mercury, guns, drugs, viruses, terrorism, prank calls, snow (etc!)….


We stand to lose, in other words, nothing of any great value.


And what do we stand to gain? A better education and a better future for our children and our country. (That is, everything. Priceless!) 

Message from Iowans to Obama’s Opponents: Sit Down, Shut Up, and Let Him Lead

When the other Presidential candidates hear Obama’s speech in Iowa tonight (1/4/08), they cannot but feel daunted to compete with the world’s most formidable political opponent since Bill Clinton. Tenacious fighters all, yet must they wish, if for only a moment, that they too, along with the rest of us, could just sit down, shut up, and let him lead. For Obama’s spirit gives us hope, and hope has been hard to come by lately.


Even those hearing Obama speak for the first time tonight must recognize his brilliance, eloquence, and depth of passion, his commitment and strong faith in America. It was a soaring speech, a great speech, one for the ages.


Finally again, we have a leader we can follow, we can trust. I for one am ready to be led by Barack Obama.


I wish he could step right into Bush’s shoes.


By this time next week, a majority of Americans will have joined him; the rest will scramble on board soon enough. Because tonight, Obama took on the mantle of Kennedy, of Lincoln, even Dr. King, the greatest speaker and moral leader America has ever seen. 


If you’ve not yet heard him speak, please google “YouTube,” type “Obama” in the search box, and watch any of his speeches. Tonight’s speech would be a good place to start, or the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner speech earlier in Iowa, or any campaign ad. All his speaking events are available on YouTube.


Governor Huckabee’s win was also one for the people, and against the entrenched political and corporate powers-that-be, because Huckabee too is a trustworthy patriot of conviction and principle, though not nearly so broad-banded as Obama. I am proud to see that, at least tonight in Iowa, American democracy, howsoever greatly outspent, still works.


Hillary Clinton will always be my idol and a great great public servant, but through no fault of her own, she is a partisan polarizing figure, and were she even electable, which she is not, I cannot predict for her any more success with Congress than the brilliant Nancy Pelosi. With respect to demonstrated judgment and useful experience, Obama is the wiser, humbler, and more able leader. And I am just as thrilled to have the opportunity to support a minority candidate for President as I would have been to support an equally electable and capable woman.


Like John Edwards, who is truly a great American, Obama is a staunch friend of the working class, yet stronger than Edwards in intellectual depth and breadth, charisma, consensus-building skills, and in holding the visionary and cooperative global perspectives America needs.


Republicans, Independents and Democrats of all persuasions already love Obama. No one can think of a word to say against him–they're embarrassed to, because there's nothing to say. He will make mistakes, as all leaders do, greatly tested as they are, but Barack Obama will win the Presidential election in November with the largest turnout and victory America has seen, and with the warmest well-wishes of every nation across the globe. Our best and most-beloved President may yet follow our (however well-intentioned and hapless) worst.


I am so moved by the courage and selflessness of this good man, this healer. God bless Barack Obama, and God bless America.