Primary Endorsements

Super Tuesday EndorsementIf you’re not a U.S. citizen, please feel free to read this but also feel free to ignore. This is intended exclusively for U.S. citizens eligible to vote in the primaries (or dead people in Chicago, if you’re so inclined).

First of all, since my early days as a blogger where I covered a lot of political commentary when I was getting started (the election of 2004 was a fun time for political bloggers, even those of us who were nobodies), I’ve made an intentional effort to avoid political blogging. This entry does not mark a departure from that routine.

However, this presidential election has serious ramifications for those of us in the technology and business communities and we should not simply look the other way and not concern ourselves with the politics of the day. Nor should we retreat to party lines and simply say, “I’ve always been a Republican, therefore I’ll never vote for a Democrat”, or “George W. Bush was a Republican and because I want change in Washington, the only options I have are for a Democrat.

That said, if you’re registered a Democrat you’ll likely only be able to vote for a Democrat in your primary and vica versa for Republicans.

I’m an independent and therefore I cannot vote in my state’s primaries. I am enjoying the politics on both sides and firmly believe that party politics is a poor reflection on America, which is not as divided as most people would like you to believe (at least not most people in the media or in Washington). The reality is that we are all shades of left and right and that most of us tend somewhere toward the middle. If you don’t, you’re blindly following an ideology and not thinking for yourself. In which case, why are you reading this blog? Smart people read this blog.

Because this blog is non-partisan (happily), and because I have intelligent people reading this blog that are voting in both primaries tomorrow and on through the Primary season, I’m going to follow Mike Arrington’s lead and endorse two candidates – one from each party. These endorsements are for the nomination – not for the general election. I will have my own endorsement for that in late October or early November.

I will also clarify that, regardless of your political views, these endorsements are largely based on how I feel the candidate would be for the technology and business community. I do not speak on other, unrelated issues that, while important to consider as a whole, do not play to the interests of the technology and business communities.

Democratic Endorsement

There are two primary candidates for the Democratic party – Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. There is clearly only one candidate that is palatable in the area of science and tech. That candidate wants to empower the private sector to innovate, create and connect America. That candidate understands the concept of openness and how it can fuel innovation and thus, is driving to conquer the digital divide in poorer areas of the country. Clearly, one candidate stands above the other as the only one with a vision for technology in the government and openness in an increasingly open society.

In the wake of 9/11, a glaring weakness was revealed in the FBI’s technology infrastructure. That has not been addressed. As one with first hand experience working for both the Department of the Navy and Health and Human Services, I can attest to technology tone-deafness. One candidate is proposing the creation of a CTO position to ensure that all government agencies are moving forward into the 21st century with modern technology at their fingertips. As a sidenote, how is it we don’t have a CTO already”

That’s why, if you are a Democrat, you should vote to nominate Barack Obama as your nominee for President.

Republican Endorsement

As Mike Arrington noted, the Republican side is quite a bit more blurry. However, unlike Arrington, I come to a different conclusion.

Though there are three potential candidates on the Republican side – John McCain, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee – the real race is between only McCain and Romney. McCain probably fits my overall perspective a little cleaner than Romney does. However, I believe Romney is a more solid candidate for the business and tech community.

Unfortunately, neither of the leading GOP front runners have established any kind of solid business platform. While Romney is disturbingly heavy on “War on Terror” related issues, his history presiding over the 2002 US Olympic Committee and the failing Salt Lake City Olympic Commission, as well as fiscal success as Governor of Massachusetts makes him the most appealing candidate as a business community champion.

Lacking the emergence of any slam dunk “business and technology” leader in the GOP race, I cautiously endorse Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.

Go vote. It’s your country. Your leader.