Sunday, January 27, 2008

Coke, Pepsi, Hillary, and Barack

For several years I have noticed a trend that I believe is worth mentioning at this time when Utah Democrats are deciding which Democratic presidential candidate they will support during the February 5th primary here in Utah. For lack of a better example I will call it the Coke and Pepsi Syndrome.

I first noticed this a child when my grandmother Kendall would send me to Pete's market in Winnemucca, Nevada to purchase her favorite soft drink and addiction, Coca-Cola. On one occasion I came back from Pete's not with her beloved "Coke", but with a six pack of Pepsi. My grandmother became unglued. Not only did she send me back to the market, she let me know that Pepsi was not allowed in her home. When I asked why, she said, "because I like Coke!" Although I too prefer Coke to Pepsi (sorry Bishop Larsen), I unlike my grandmother, am fine with drinking Pepsi, and in fact actually enjoy a little diversity from time to time.

Since it came out that I am on Hillary Clinton's steering committee I have received several e-mails, and phone calls from Barack Obama supporters who cannot understand why I am supporting Hillary. Most of the e-mails are not too condemning and are from friends, but yesterday I received a letter that stated that I, Rob Miller, am not a true Democrat, and that I have become another member of the do nothing status quo.

Just so you know, I don't take it personal. I am very comfortable with myself politically due to the fact that I absolutely understand my political motives, and still understand that I am an activist, not a politician. Don't let my age (42), haircut, or suit fool you. I came to this work with honest intentions. In fact, this wasn't what I originally wanted to do with my life, or imagined for myself, or for my family. But events happen, eyes open, and now I can hardly see myself doing anything else. I'm pleased that I have found my place as a Party steward, and I am grateful that I am engaged in the re-building of Utah's greatest Party, the Utah Democratic Party.

I don't truly understand how I, a mediocre man at best, has been allowed to be one of those agents of change at this most important time, especially since I am sure that there are so many others who could do a better job, that is except for maybe these reasons, I have the passion, I care about you and your family, and in my heart I truly want to do what is right.

Lately there has been some negative posts on the Utah blogosphere about Senator Clinton by Democrats I admire and love. Just yesterday I posted that Chelsea Clinton was coming to Utah. Soon afterwards my friend Bob wrote a post titled, Hillary doesn't give a damn about Utah. The day before my friend Misty had a post on her blog titled, This Really Disgusts Me. My first thought about Bob's post was that his passion for Barack has clouded his judgement as to why Hillary is sending Chelsea instead of coming herself. All one needs to do is look at the nasty things that are being said about Senator Clinton on the Tribune and Deseret News comment boards to see why Chelsea may be better spokesperson for her mother at this time, but even that hypothesis is my own and may have nothing to do as to why Chelsea is coming to Utah and Hillary is not. In fact, events this weekend (Florida) make me wonder if I'm not up in the night.

As for Misty's post I was taken back a bit due to the fact that Misty herself was in Nevada and stated,
"Thankfully, I didn't see any of this happen in the small town I was in."
Just because someone says it's true doesn't make it true, but with that said, it doesn't mean the events detailed in Misty's post didn't happen either.

One comment I received from my friend Marshall, stated,
"Are you really supporting Hillary? Dr. Dean will be out the door at the DNC as quick as you can say Utah if Hillary is the nominee. And Utah will return to being the forgotten state because the 50 state strategy will be gone."
This is one of my greatest concerns with any of the candidates. The 50 state strategy has been a nothing less than a miracle for Utah, and we have watched our Party go from three staffers to over twenty under his leadership, although much of that progress can also be attributed to our pragmatic chair Wayne Holland, our executive director Todd Taylor, our current president, George W. Bush, and the lack of true leadership from our Republican majority in the Utah State Legislature. It is my opinion that if Hillary is elected that she upholds and continues Governor Dean's successful 50 state strategy.

I'm also not pleased with some of the events from this weekend. When other states decided to move their primaries to February 5th in spite of the DNC rules Governor Huntsman asked if the Utah Democratic Party would agree to move our primary date up to an earlier date. We did not because we felt it was important to uphold the DNC's rules and dates that our DNC members agreed to. Florida did not do so and lost their delegates. We did and I can state that a representative from Hillary's campaign was at the same meeting our DNC members attended and agreed to do the same. Now they want the Florida delegates reinstated.

Anyway, just because grandma liked Coke she decided that Pepsi sucked, but that really isn't the point I'm trying to get across. Very often when someone chooses a side, the competition, no matter how similar they are, becomes the enemy. I have also observed another trend throughout my life that I am guilty of myself. Have you ever known someone who becomes angry at somebody else and no matter what the supposed offender does, it's wrong, or bad, or their actions are belittled regardless of what they do? I see it all the time, and it seems that no matter what is done to rectify the situation the person who has the grudge very often seems incapable allowing the supposed offender any latitude. I intentionally try to not get caught into this trap, but as I said before, I too am guilty of allowing my anger get the best of me when evaluating someone else, just ask Greg Curtis.

In ending I want to state that I am supporting Hillary Clinton and I have given her my name as an endorsement (as if that would do her campaign any good). Another fact remains that her campaign is the only campaign that asked for my endorsement. The only one. However, I also want to state that my blog has been supportive of the Obama campaign, the Edwards campaign, and the Richardson campaign. Why? Because I like all of these candidates. Have you ever heard the old saying there's a right way and the wrong way? I realized many years ago that this statement isn't always true, if at all. Todd Taylor has a great way of explaining my point. There are lots of ways to make a grilled cheese sandwich. You may use butter, I may use mayonnaise, but the end result is still a grilled cheese sandwich, and it is in the mind of the beholder which sandwich is the best.

I walked for John Edwards in Elko. I have been both supportive and helpful to the Obama campaign. And, I have made calls and lent advice, and my name to the Hillary campaign. Why? Because I believe they are all very capable of running this country, and I will have no problem supporting our nominee, no matter who comes out on top, even if it isn't my first choice, Hillary Clinton.

And by the way, I drink both Coke and Pepsi, and that's just the way it is.

With every best wish,

The Utah Amicus


nikki said...

Great blog, but I think the distinction between the two candidates goes deeper than a labels like "Coke" or "Pepsi", two beverages that taste almost the same to me.

I don't think anyone, at least not me, expected her campaign to turn the way that it did. The latest spectacle of trying to get the Michigan and Florida delegates is really over the top. Why now?

I'm sorry you've experienced some backlash for being part of Hillary's campaign. However, I don't think I would be able to stay on board with her considering the events over the past few weeks.

Rob said...

I love to simplify things Nikki, sometimes to an extreme, but I guess what I need to point out is the criticisms I have received and negativity I am seeing on the blogosphere is primarily coming from supporters of Obama.

Sorry to say, but it's true.

I'm not sure I expressed the point well, I left for church, came back, and tried to finish. In fact, that's why your not seeing much from me lately. Not enough time to blog while serching for candidates.

BTW, you're running for office, right?

Jason The said...


Regardless of which candidate any of us may choose to get behind personally, I think we can all take a lesson from your candor and sincerity in this post.

Thanks. This is what they mean when they say "more and better Democrats."

Marshall said...

Good reasoned post and please do whatever you can to make sure Dr. Dean will continue working on his vision of the 50 state strategy.

Jeremy said...

I like Coke and will only drink Pepsi if it is the only thing available :-)

Barak Obama is the first Democrat I've ever cast a vote for for president. I haven't been a Democrat long enough to feel comfortable voting for a more traditional candidate like Hillary.

Since Rob is basically the one who got me into this most excellent of Utah parties I think anyone who gives him a hard time knock it off!

Great post Rob!

Cameron said...

I think Rob has done a fine job advocating for the Democratic Party and all of its presidential candidates on this blog. Well done.

I used to be of the same Coke vs Pepsi opinion in regards to Obama and Clinton. Most of their policies are similar, and I think in that regard they would work for the same things as president. However, events of the past few weeks have shown me that in a very real sense, a Hillary presidency would be far different than an Obama presidency. When Hillary says that she will fight for what she wants, she ain't kidding. There's just a few too many illegal screens in her gameplan for my taste.

nikki said...

Hey Rob, not surprisingly we get a lot of 'Hillary-Haters' as supporters. There are quite a few in Utah. She's not very popular.

Her negativity rating concerns me. Electibility and the ability to bring more unity to our country is just one more thing that attracts me to Obama over Hillary.

Btw, there is no way I would ever run for office! :P

Emily said...

I am impressed with the passion and dedication of Utah Democrats this election season. I haven't seen this much back and forth and good debate for a long time, it is healthy for Utah to have this debate.

One thing we are all forgetting is that the reality is that no matter *who* the Democratic nominee is, Utah's votes will go to the Republican. I hate to be the grouchy fact pointer-outer, but this is what the reality is.

I hope that as Utah Democrats we can continue to work together for a better Utah and a better America. Our country is ready for a "mighty big change" and it is time that we put differences aside and went for just that.

And for the record... I am a DIET coke girl. Add a little lemon for excitement and I'm the happiest gal in town.

Misty Fowler said...

Rob, I totally get your point here, and in general I agree with it. However, I honestly have an issue with Hillary, and it has nothing to do with her being competition to Senator Obama. I've had issues with her for a long time.

As far as my blog about Nevada goes - are you saying you don't believe what Robert Bauer says in the letter? You feel strongly that evidence of the manual put out by Clinton doesn't exist? These are really rhetorical questions, and not ones I necessarily think are appropriate to discuss via blogs.

As I've said elsewhere, if we were talking about anyone but Clinton, I'd totally agree with everything you said. But, we are talking about Clinton.

Misty Fowler said...

P.S. I'm glad to be considered a friend, even though we don't see eye to eye on this issue. :)

cybercitizen said...

John Edwards would be 7-Up--the un-cola. Why? His campaign has more natural ingredients, fewer toxic chemicals (in the form of K Street people pulling strings or throwing mud/poison behind the scenes). John writes his own speeches, takes no money from corporate lobbyists, and speaks truth to power. His message is uplifting and can-do; helping people, not amassing power, is his top priority.

Rob said...

Great response cyber. Home run!

Rob said...

It was the first I heard of it Misty. I hope it isn't, but it is a serious matter. If Bauer's letter is true it should come out in the press. If it isn't than Bauer should be held accountable.

BTW, we are friends. We don't need to agree to respect each other.

Kelly said...

I'm with cyberpower--but I (like my candidate) will "go a step further" and say John Edwards is more like orange juice--he will provide healing nutrients that will revitalize us--plus he's tasty!

Also--Edwards brings in a fair number of Republicans--could he help Utah turn blue? These folks say if he's not the nominee, they'll vote Republican...

nikki said...

There is talk of Edwards being ideal as attorney general