Obama is inexperienced, fluffy and arrogant. I can't back that.
I've never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, but this year is different. I'm voting for John McCain.
Throughout the primary season, I supported Hillary Clinton. Between the final two Democratic contenders, Hillary was the only candidate who demonstrated leadership and a true understanding of key issues. She inspired millions of women around the country, Democrats and Republicans alike.
When Barack Obama became the presumptive Democrat nominee, I was faced with a difficult question: Could I support a candidate who gives good speeches but has no substance and little experience? No.
During the primaries, I was turned off by Sen. Obama's arrogance toward Hillary Clinton. In particular, he seemed to dismiss her experience dealing with foreign policy. Time and again, Obama attacked Clinton's past stances on international issues, while he hid behind his vague message of change and new politics. Who was Obama to criticize Clinton's vote on the Iraq war, when he was merely a state legislator when the vote came before Congress?
Now we learn that Obama completely overlooked Clinton and her 18 million voters, failing even to vet her or consider asking her to join the ticket this fall. I believe Obama's decision to pass over Clinton for vice president without reaching out to her with so much as a phone call makes it that much easier for Hillary supporters like me to turn away from him.
Now that Obama has captured the Democratic nomination, the choice is clear: John McCain has far more experience and understanding of critical issues -- the war in Iraq, economic prosperity, health-care reform and energy security, to name a few -- than Barack Obama. John McCain has been a member of Congress for 26 years; Obama has yet to finish his first term in the Senate. I may not agree with McCain on every social issue, but he has earned the right to stand where he does after years of making tough decisions as a federal lawmaker.
I know that I can trust McCain, because he was willing to sacrifice his own life in service to his country. That kind of character is hard to find, and that character has guided him throughout his political career. He has held fast to his beliefs even when they made him unpopular and when he faced pressures from his own party. Obama doesn't have a record of character like that; in fact, he doesn't have much of a record at all.
Some Clinton supporters like me were holding out hope that Obama would make her his running mate, but no vice presidential candidate can make up for Obama's lack of experience and his arrogance.
I wish Clinton were the Democratic nominee for president because I thought it was her time to lead the nation. Obama doesn't have the experience or judgment to lead this country where it needs to go. John McCain does, and that's why someone like me -- someone who has never voted for a Republican for president before -- is voting for him.
Lisa Sisinni, Eden Prairie, is former president of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.