4. Republicans have a consistent record of hideous demagoguery in presidential campaigns. (Dems are not blameless, but Republicans are far, far worse.) The story of this election is how McCain made a Faustian bargain and lost. 5. McCain is no dummy, but Obama is smarter. Although you're not supposed to say so, I think having a very smart president is, on balance and allowing for exceptions like Nixon, a good thing. 6. Obama is African-American. I wouldn't vote on race if there were a good reason not to, but all else being equal, having a black president will be a good thing for this country. 7. Electing Obama will give us a big PR boost in the world—just when we desperately need one. 8. Social issues (abortion, gay rights, civil liberties, etc.). 9. Oh yes, Sarah Palin. Give me a break. Not only is she patently not qualified to be president, but her alleged charm totally escapes me. She seems like an unpleasant, cynical, scheming, nasty, vindictive person. McCain is likable and admirable. I feel sorry for him. Palin will be a pleasure to vote against. A confession: When I read the details of Obama's agenda, I disagree with about 80 percent of it. (Capital gains tax break for small businesses, etc.) I don't care.