Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 16:37 UK

Voters' Views: Tom Taber

Democrats are gathering for their party convention in Denver, Colorado as the election campaign shifts up a gear.

Here eight Democratic voters from across the US look ahead to the convention and reflect on the state of the party and their candidate Barack Obama.

Tom Taber Retired | Democrat

I don't think Obama is qualified to be president

Tom Taber
Age: 58
Lives: San Mateo, California
Occupation: Retired
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Optimistic, outdoor-oriented, physically fit, unconventional, non-conformist, sceptical of authority

"I am old enough to remember when party conventions had a real purpose.

Today they are carefully scripted 'infomercials' in which no arguing is allowed and no speaker is permitted to deviate from the party line.

I think the Democratic Party is still divided. Many Hillary Clinton supporters - including me - are not yet convinced that Obama should be the president.

This campaign has been going on since January 2007. It is way too long. I experience alternating feelings of boredom and interest - though I lost a great deal of interest when Hillary dropped out.

For me the most important issue is to move the world economy away from its dependency on petroleum. Environmental issues are also very important to me.

I don't think Obama is qualified to be president.

He has no executive experience, no foreign policy experience and he hasn't even been in the Senate long enough to chair a committee.

I don't hear any bold new ideas from him either. Also he has been flip-flopping on issues such as offshore oil drilling.

I fear that Obama is a media-created celebrity who is the product of unprecedented hype. I don't think he will win the majority of the white working class, but he could win enough of this group to win the election."

Your comments:

To Tom: what executive experience does Hillary Clinton have? Being the First Lady does not give you that. So you need to let that go if you do care about moving the world economy away from its dependency on petroleum - Obama is your man. If you think things are bad now, wait until McCain gets elected.
Richard , Minneapolis, MN

Richard: though Hillary Clinton has no first-hand executive experience, she was personally active in her husband's presidency for eight years. Also, I think Bill Clinton was an excellent president. He would have had an active role in his wife's administration.
Tom Taber, California

Tom and Richard: I tend to agree with both of you. The real problem here is that we really don't have choices in this election and that is why so many people are still undecided. One thing is for certain in this election - there will be no slam dunks!
Pam, Indianapolis, IN

The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.

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