Revenge of the Nerds
For a long time, the Republican Party placed some emphasis on science and math. Remember Reagan's Star Wars? No matter what your opinion on the policy, it inarguably placed a high priority on scientific research. (Note: Reagan's blatant disregard for HIV/AIDS research is why I place the qualifier "some" on my argument here.) During my time as a voter, the G.O.P. has slowly and steadily devolved toward a non-science platform, the nadir of which is our current President. Chris Mooney makes the argument adroitly in his book, The Republican War on Science. http://www.waronscience.com/home.php
In fairness to Sen. McCain, Mooney's book describes John McCain as one of the exceptions to the right-wing rule. Mooney's book, however, was published well before McCain's choice for running mate. At no time in my voting years has a candidate been offered up that is more anti-science, anti-math, anti-intellect, as Gov. Palin. (Don't believe me? She couldn't name a newspaper or magazine that shapes her world view. C'mon... she could have even faked it. Or, go to YouTube and watch any video where Palin speaks on the subject of her supposed expertise: the energy industry. It is disgraceful what the McCain talking points tout as "expertise.") McCain's choice of Palin - paired with how his campaign is being managed - is a clear sign that science is no longer a priority when you want to win an election at any cost.
Our country is failing to develop the math skills of boys and girls. Girls who succeed in the field are almost all immigrants or the daughters of immigrants from countries where mathematics is more highly valued. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/education/10math.html?_r=1&sq=girls%20math&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin
What does science, math and engineering matter, you ask? It matters a greatly. Many of the challenges we face today could be addressed by recognizing science, math, and intellect as a priority: global warming, environmental issues, alternative energy research, animal rights, food safety, stem cell research, the separation of church and state, and the disturbing trend of teaching of "intelligent design" in public schools, just to name a few.
How does the Obama/Biden ticket appeal to my intellect? There are many ways.
Barack Obama's consistent message in his speeches is the need for developing engineers so that we can be more productive, more competitive, and produce more stuff to sell to the rest of the world.
Joe Biden is married to Jill, a Ph.D. in Education. I expect education to be top priority in an Obama/Biden administration, and I expect that Barack and Michelle Obama and Joe and Jill Biden are capable of speaking about education very intelligently.
Earlier this month, Barack Obama sent a letter to the National Academy of Science, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, committing to restoring the position of Assistant to the President for Science and Technology (a position that was demoted by President Bush). http://obama.3cdn.net/08fe869a2e4de42af1_zam6b5vn2.pdf
Obama's continual message is that research in the area of alternative energy is a win-win proposition. His message is clear, concise, and consistent on this topic.
There are numerous other examples of how an Obama/Biden administration would nurture and respect scientists, but space is limited. If you want more examples, I'm happy to oblige.
Obama and Biden speak to my inner nerd because they place a priority on science, math, and engineering, and not just because they're convenient talking points. It's based on sound reasoning, rationality, and - stay with me here - beautiful, beautiful capitalism.