Texan taxi drivers in Austin take a break to talk politics
MATTHEW PALEVSKY, JOURNALIST: This is Matt Palevsky for The Real News. And I’m in Texas just days before the primary. I’m standing outside the Austin City Airport at the taxicab hub, where the people who drive this city, while waiting for their next fare, can usually be found talking about politics.
PALEVSKY: Whom are you planning to vote for?
TAXI DRIVER 1: McCain.
PALEVSKY: Why John McCain?
TAXI DRIVER 1: Because I think he’s got the best overall sense of what we need in this country by far. He is at least a realistic individual. He’s appealed to me to that. He’s an individual who has been willing to admit that he’s not perfect.
PALEVSKY: So who are you going to vote for?
TAXI DRIVER 2: I’m voting for Barack Obama.
PALEVSKY: Why Obama?
TAXI DRIVER 2: Because I’m looking for somebody who can actually improve the economy of this country, and then also introduce some kind of a new foreign policy to other nations. You know.
PALEVSKY: What do you think about the elections?
TAXI DRIVER 3: I think it should be called “selection” instead. See, the corporations are running this whole show.
TAXI DRIVER 4: I want a Democrat to take back the White House, and I don’t think Hillary can do it at this point. So I think Obama has the momentum and knows how to beat the Republican.
TAXI DRIVER 5: My name is Rain, like falls from the sky.
PALEVSKY: And who are you voting for, Rain?
TAXI DRIVER 5: I’m a Green Party guy, you know what I mean? Peace and love and all that good stuff. But, yes, I think Obama is the guy I’m going to be voting for.
PALEVSKY: Why Obama?
TAXI DRIVER 5: So far here, he’s maybe the most honest out of all the crooks.
TAXI DRIVER 1: Obama to me also seems to be like what I consider too many of the Democrats themselves to be, which I certainly consider Hillary Clinton to be, and that is just highly two-faced. This is an individual; these are individuals who are going to say whatever they need to say to have the attention for the moment. They’re going to go whichever way the wind blows. Now, McCain, on the opposite side, has taken a lot of flack for being McCain, but McCain is McCain.
TAXI DRIVER 6: I wouldn’t vote for John McCain. I would have voted for John McCain in 2000. In fact, I did. But this time I think he’s siding with the concept of staying in war. You’ve got to be realistic as to why we got into the war and do what’s best for the country.
PALEVSKY: So you’re a McCain voter who’s gone to Obama.
TAXI DRIVER 6: Correct. A McCain voter that doesn’t believe in McCain anymore because of the fact that he’s changed from what his first popular belief was.
PALEVSKY: If you could vote for someone, who would you vote for?
TAXI DRIVER 7: Obama, I think.
TAXI DRIVER 7: Because he doesn’t have a lot of garbage—I mean baggages. If he gets the right information, I think he could make the right decisions.
TAXI DRIVER 3: Why would you vote? The decision’s already made.
TAXI DRIVER 6: I wouldn’t vote for Hillary, because of the fact that I look at Hillary as people are voting for her in hopes of having Bill Clinton in there to coach her through the next four years. I don’t think that she can do it on her own. She has a bad attitude. She gets frustrated way too easy. And I think that with her ethics that she has in this primary that that’s a representation of what she’s going to do as a president.
TAXI DRIVER 5: I think Hillary kisses up to people. I think, you know, she’s just playing a game. You know?
PALEVSKY: What game is that?
TAXI DRIVER 5: You know, she’ll cater to whoever pulls the strings over there in Washington, you know? May be, from what I heard and read a little bit, you know, that maybe Obama, you know, not so many people are pulling the strings.
TAXI DRIVER 7: I think Hillary Clinton is—I don’t hear anything good from her, because last time I heard, you know, she was very passionate about health care. She’s been in the Senate for about—what, six years? And she never mentioned health care. So why do I have to trust her?
TAXI DRIVER 2: The issue that matters most to me is to bring America to what it was before, back in the years, you know, to make America the best country and the humanitarian country, the country of peace, the country of friendliness, brotherliness, and so on and so forth. You know. But now America’s image in the outside world is kind of tainted. So we are looking for somebody that will correct those image.
PALEVSKY: If you would say there’s one issue you were voting on and one thing that matters most to you, it would be his stance on Iraq?
TAXI DRIVER 1: Who? John McCain’s? No, I think it’s more like his stance on himself, because John McCain is John McCain. Whether you like him or not, and whether you come up with something about him that you don’t like, he’s still willing to say what he said in the past.
PALEVSKY: And do you think America’s ready for an African-American president?
TAXI DRIVER 6: Absolutely. If they’re not ready now, they never will be.
TAXI DRIVER 4: Regardless, whoever is the president of the United States will follow the policy of United States. So it doesn’t really make any difference to me.
TAXI DRIVER 3: And here we are, living democrazy.
Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.