I listened and studied. While Obama seemed eloquent, intelligent, and bursting with potential, I was not as enamored as my husband. "I don't know," I said, "He doesn't seem that progressive, and I really think we're going to require a ton of progress when we get Bush out of the White House. The next person is going to have to be a rolling stone."
Then again, I've always leaned slightly more liberal than my husband, who, when I met him, thought the Libertarians had a pretty decent point. At the end of the day, though, we're both well-anchored realists who recognize that our nation needs government and both parties were highly invested in Big Government.
Note: I strongly believe that if we must have Big Government -- and since it seems we will regardless of which party rules -- it better be For The People. In other words, I advocate heavily for social policy. I want any legislation that restricts personal rights and freedom ousted and never again mentioned (Don't Ask Don't Tell, No Same Sex Marriage, to name a couple) and require that any social policy strictly benefit the good of us, the citizens, and ultimately of our society (improved education, consumer protections, infrastructure and security, to name a few).
By the time the 2008 Democratic field narrowed to Barack Obama, I had extensively researched him and found him all right.
"His rhetoric is excellent, his charisma is amazing," I told my husband, "But his narrative is dreadful. His policies and positions are really middle of the road. I don't see a big changing of the horse in our future."
My husband just shook his head.