Monday, October 6, 2008

She'll show you: Town hall participant threatens to vote for Nader

East Nashville resident Laura Clifford wanted to be a part of the town hall debate pretty badly, especially when she heard a report about how the audience would be selected one night last week.

Less than an hour later, Clifford got her wish.

Clifford, 61, received a call from the Gallup Organization asking for the youngest male in her household, and then the oldest woman. When the voice on the other line asked who Clifford was voting for, she said she was leaning toward McCain — but her willingness to be swayed to Obama is what got her a seat on the debate hall floor.

“I don’t really fit either place,” Clifford said. “My tendencies are more toward Democratic things except for the pro-life issue, and I’m strongly pro-life, so that throws me strongly to the Republicans.”

Clifford said her vote lies mainly with her pro-life stance, which for her also includes her position against the death penalty, support for stricter gun control and a desire for limited military involvement abroad.

Despite all of that, however, she said she’s thinking about submitting a question about when the candidates would intervene in Iran if it began to make strides toward nuclear weaponry.

Clifford said she's as excited to meet moderator Tom Brokaw as she is to meet the candidates, who might have to work extra hard for her vote. After all, she said, she could just decide not to vote for either of them.

“I’m thinking about voting for Ralph Nader as a protest vote,” she said.

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