Super Tuesday: Harlem voices

African-Americans explain why they are voting for Barack Obama.

    As voting began on Super Tuesday, Al Jazeera spoke to voters in Harlem, New York about why Barack Obama, the Illinois senator currently locked in a battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, is their choice.

    Kimberly Theldon, teacher

    The difference between Obama and Hillary is that Obama is doing more to bring people into the political process and breaking down class barriers.

    Hillary Clinton is more about the status quo and not making too many changes.

    Obama definitely has a chance and I always question the polls.

    I think people are in for a big suprise throughout this entire election process.

    Obama definitely has a big chance to become president, regardless of the issue of race, as Obama can appeal to people across the board.

    Bill Clinton was playing politics when he brought up the race issue - and this has backfired on him. 

    Jason Nicholl, freelance photographer

    I'm tired of dynasties in American politics and to be honest I'm a little scared of Hillary Clinton.

    I feel that because she's wanted this for so long, she might make decisions that are not in the best interests of the country but instead are to validate her as a powerful woman.

    That's a great thing and I would have voted for her if Obama had not been in the race.

    But I think that Obama speaks about things that are very important for the nation.

    I know that I feel good when he speaks and you feel that the country has a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of the race.

    Voting for him would also send a powerful message to other countries that America has changed and that its ideals have changed.

    There is support in the African-American community for the idea of Obama becoming president, but there is a fear that other parts of the country would not be too happy about it.

    Look at what happened to Bobby Kennedy and JFK - there is speculation about what the country is ready for. 

    Rosslyn Ross, paralegal

    Barack Obama is an exciting candidate who is looking for real change.

    Hillary Clinton has only picked up on that message after she saw how popular and energising it was coming out of Barack's mouth.

    I think that the Republicans are screaming for a fight with Hillary and that it will be too ugly a fight - especially against McCain.

    Barack will be able to bring more undecideds and independents on board.

    [However] I'm tentative about his chances of becoming president.

    I only decided in the last couple of days as I was concerned about his viability - but why not? 

    Afua Atta-Mensah, attorney

    I liked his platform and I wanted change and thought he was the candidate that offered that.

    I believe in what he says about healthcare, on criminal justice and other poverty-related issues.

    Hillary will take New York but Obama can do well in terms of delegates and in some congressional districts such as Harlem [as well as] places [like] Brooklyn and Queens.

    I think he would certainly make John McCain worry.

    Their positions on Iraq are very different - McCain said American troops could be there for 100 years as an occupying force but most Americans don't want that and want the government to stop spending as much money over there.

    Aida Bradshaw, medical assistant

    Everybody underestimated Obama and I voted for him because I believe he's going to do what he says he's going to do.

    It has not been a fair race as Clinton has had her husband involved in campaigning.

    When you run for president you are supposed to do it for yourself.

    While she's in one state, he's in another campaigning.

    When she's in her husband will just be running the show - more than she is.

    I hope Barack Obama can become president - but to be honest I just don't know.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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