by Constance Daley
American Reporter Correspondent
St. Simons Island, Ga.
February 12, 2008
CONFESSIONS OF A DISAPPOINTED VOTER
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- A week ago at just about this time, I completed an article and was about to submit it as scheduled to The American Reporter. I was feeling rather elated, ready to show up on Super Tuesday morning, firmly touch the X next to Rudy Giuliani's name and get on with my day. He was my choice; he would get my vote.
Originally, my article was to be called "Confessions of an Ordinary Voter." In my mind, an ordinary voter is not the same as a typical voter. A typical voter will go to their assigned voting station, show their photo identifications, and then proceed to cast their secret ballots.
In spite of their bumper stickers, lapel pins and the red, white and blue signs left behind in their yards, they may or may not - but probably will - vote for the person they've been shouting about.
But I'm not typical. I'm ordinary. I never miss voting but I never vote meticulously. I don't analyze, nor am I guided by polls and trends - and certainly not by media presumption.
An ordinary voter looks at the person. As for voting according to the party line, well, I have done that during state elections more often than not. I find it works best to have like-thinking politicians getting bills passed.
I'm a registered Republican because my views are usually conservative. But I was a Kennedy Democrat and a Reagan Republican. Religion never enters into it. I practice mine; they can practice or not practice theirs. It's America. We have that freedom.
I really thought I finally could vote with pride for a candidate who offered as much ability to govern as I saw in Rudy Giuliani. Of course, he was the only one I was looking at, so scanning the field for second best just didn't occur to me.
In late September, Giuliani had over $16,000,000 in his war chest. John McCain had little more than $3,000,000. Romney, now withdrawn, was in-between. Although Giuliani spent great amounts on a direct mail campaign, he wasn't visible in any great way in primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina. I received a very impressive mailing from his campaign headquarters and it was informative in listing his credits - but where was he?
I didn't care that he wasn't here to "press the flesh." I know if he were needed - for anything - he'd be there. What I don't like is the media's propensity for second-guessing why he is the way he is.
Although I've never met him, I am one ordinary voter who would be most comfortable with him at the helm. He is a take-charge sort of guy, he is tough, and he has "street smarts." He can think like the other guy and act accordingly.
Every one of the other candidates is "nice." Obama is "likeable." Hillary is smart but "not likeable." That's what they say.
The media offers that gossipy report so often that the public picks it up as its own idea. Romney is "presidential," and Huckabee is a good guy, a nice family man. That's what they say but they won't vote for him, "unless he's on the ticket - to bring in all the Evangelicals."
Words are being put in the mouths of voters who should be weighing the abilities of the person we will elect to serve, to live up to the oath they swear (or affirm) to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Would we all be better off if we didn't get into the political arena a year closer to Election Day, 2008? Would I have changed my mind along the way if things moved more quickly? Perhaps we wouldn't have started picking away at each candidate. Obama smoked pot and he's too young and inexperienced; Hillary has a shrill voice and a frozen smile and it would be a dual presidency; Rudy is estranged from his children and hugs his wife in public. Romney is a Mormon; McCain talks about the POW camp too much and works with Democrats across the aisle; Ron Paul makes sense but has no charisma; Fred Thompson, who's also withdrawn, is good but he's an actor so you can't tell if he's lying.
I like the fact that Giuliani did not often throw punches at his fellow candidates. I don't like those viewers hearing him speak about 9/11 and wanting to scream "enough already." Why shouldn't he be alerting the world that we were once attacked - and not since. Americans joined hands, pitched in, cleaned up and followed the leader: Rudy Giuliani.
So, with all this on my mind, and determined to vote with little knowledge of whom could take his place when I walked into the voting booth, I put my identification card into the slot to alert the machine I was voting Republican. I watched the names appear, each candidate in order with Rudy Giuliani heading the vertical list.
This is where the secret ballot earns its worth. I couldn't bear to vote for someone I know nothing about. And, really, it was the primary: it will be counted electronically, and who's to know anyway? If I voted early, as I could have, it would have gone to Rudy. I had to be true to myself. I had to vote but not miscast the vote.
So, I did it. I put the X next to Rudy Giuliani's name, and I still feel good about it. It's too insignificant to have sent a message, but in some way to me it changed the demographics. When Romney took Glynn County but none of the other counties around they said it was because rich people live on Sea Island and had big businesses; and when Obama took Georgia it was because of the heavy black vote; and if Huckabee had taken it, it would have been because Georgia is in the Bible belt.
Yes, I am disappointed. I just happen to like a take-charge kind of guy.
Visit longtime AR Correspondent Constance Daley at her Website.