Sometimes, I like to pretend that I evaluate people solely on things such as their personal traits, quality of character, and integrity. You know, boring things.
In truth, appearance plays a big part in determining why I like someone. I recognize this is a problem for me, which I think is an important first step to correcting the problem. After all, one needs to recognize and acknowledge a flaw before she can fix it.
Said flaw acknowledged, I would like to share how my superficiality has swayed my voting decision decidedly into the Obama camp. But first, some relevant back story.
Back in 2004, I was a staunch supporter of John Kerry for President. I had just graduated from Harvard and was living in Arlington, Virginia with my best friend, Sarah, who was very politically engaged and far less shallow than me.
My support of the Kerry-Edwards ticket did not stem from the fact that I had grown up in Massachusetts, Kerry’s home state. It did not stem from the fact that my views tied almost perfectly to those of Senator Kerry. It did not even stem from the fact that I loathed President Bush with such passion that I often lost sleep wondering if our country had gone crazy to practically elect such incompetence. (Of course, we all know he did not win the general election, so “elect” is really a gross exaggeration of what happened.)
In fact, I supported John Kerry for President because his running mate, Senator John Edwards, was H-O-T.
One day, while we were living in Arlington, Sarah came home from our local supermarket, Harris Teeter. Harris Teeter was walking distance to our apartment, and as such, we made trips there almost daily.
“You’re not going to believe who I just ran into,” Sarah said, excitedly.
I was reading the newspaper on the couch and didn’t even look up. I imagined it was some bad date of either hers on mine. “Hmm?” I asked.
I threw my newspaper into the air and jumped up, startled, flabbergasted, and instantly sweating.
“Did you talk to him? Where was he?” I could barely form words.
“He was in the produce aisle,” she said, “buying fruit.”
Of course, I followed with a litany of questions that included such gems as: What kind of fruit? What was he wearing? Did he see you? and, my all-time favorite, Did you touch him in any way? (The answer to the last question was an exasperated “no.”)
That was as close as I’ve ever been to Senator Edwards. Unfortunately, he and John Kerry lost the election to Bush and Cheney. (Really, who wants to look at Dick Cheney? Shudder.) I thought my days of John Edwards gazing were over.
When he entered the Democratic race last year, my hopes were briefly revived, then dashed again just as quickly. It became apparent that this was a two person race and Edwards simply was not one of the contenders.
And then it happened. Last week, Edwards came out and publicly endorsed Barack Obama for the nomination. This solidified my already fast-growing support of the junior Senator from Illinois. What has given me even more inspiration and excitement, however, are the rumors that Edwards could be Obama’s running mate! As much I want to rise above my superficiality and overcome my flaw, I just can’t resist supporting that wholeheartedly.
Obama-Edwards? Now that’s one HOT ticket. 😉