Candidates

There’s less than a month left until the presidential primaries begin in the US, yet it’s something that has been seriously bantered about for almost a year. When they started talking about it last year I thought it was ridiculous since the election would be a full two years away. But it meant that we would hear less from the prez and his ill-conceived war. And actually it has been surprising that the time went by so fast.

As far as picking favorites or at least voting, I think I’ve only voted once in four times for the actually winner. But I’m not one who feels my vote was wasted. I either voted to send a message (Ross) or for the person I felt should be in office (Bill C, Al, and John K). And for primaries my record isn’t too good also. A few years ago I had hoped Bill B would have run up against John M. And in the previous one I had hoped that Howard would go all the way. But apparently if you don’t scream correctly you are not fit to lead the country. I’m hoping this time around public opinion won’t turn on something so irrelevant.

So who do I like. Like many of the people I like to associate with, I’m pulling for Barack. I like his common sense approach to things and how he appears to be less caught up with the establishment. The same reasons I was a fan of Howard. I like Hillary, but I find she’s too polarizing at a time when we’ve had enough polarization. Plus she tends to play the political game. I’d love to see a woman in the White House as well as an African American as well as Bill C. All three would rankle the minds of people whose views I feel are outdated.

But although I have almost always voted to the left, that does not mean I would not vote to the moderate right. Why? Because as we should have learned from the past eight years of polarization, things are not black and white. We should all be independants and there should not be political parties where candidates follow the party line. Politicians should be independant thinkers with their own set of values. And it would be our responsibility to determine how our values match up with each individual candidate. It shouldn’t be a case where they divey up the issues between two camps and we see which camp jives with ours. No, in a fully independant system will likely never be a perfect match, but that’s life. And to a degree, that’s one benefit of the multi-party systems up here north of the border. Voices like the Green Party or the party for the unions get heard.

And values are only one part of the equation when choosing a leader. For one, they should be a good leader and someone with works well with others. Ronald comes to mind. Someone who did well at diplomacy and working with others who did not share his views. His views were different than mine, but he did well at leading the country.

That said, I kinda like some things I’ve seen on the Republican side of the primaries. I don’t like Rudy and most of his positions on things, but I do like that he’s broken from the party line and is pro-choice. As far as his ability to lead the country, I’m not sure that running a large city has as many parallels to running the country as his camp would like to suggest. I’ve always liked John M even though he backs the current guy in office along with his wargames. But he’s someone who is a free-thinker and breaks with his parties tenants when he feels it’s appropriate. One item that I find a bit interesting is that before I sat down to write this, I would have said that if Barack did not gain his party’s nomination that I would consider a vote for Mitt. Why? Because I felt that although I might not agree with his values, I feel he would be a very good leader. But now that I look at his current stances on things, his values are quite far from where mine are.

As far as some of the other candidates, I loved Fred on TV, but again I don’t agree with where he stands. Plus he’s really aged since commanding the USS Enterprise. I also like John and for much of what he stands for, but he’s just a tad too far to the left and I find him a bit too slick and infomercial-like. I actually don’t know much about Mike yet even though he’s been moving up in the polls. But from what I do know, his views are not in line with my own. Though I don’t know his character or his possible leadership skills. There will be plenty of time to research the final two candidates after the primaries are over.

Even though the election is a year away, we’ve seen in the previous ones that the candidate in the lead going into the primaries is almost rarely the one who gets the nomination. I’m interested to watch as this all pans out. I know it should only be about electing a leader, but I do like watching all the twists and turns these races take. It’ll be interesting to see how different things will be in a few months. All the while I’ll be pulling for my guy to win.

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~ by Frank on December 10, 2007.

7 Responses to “Candidates”

  1. You mean Rudy G. is pro-choice, right?

  2. Oops. Thanks. I’ve corrected it.

  3. Now, see. You got me all excited. For a minute there, I thought there was a Star Trek series that had Fred Thompson in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise. I would totally watch that.

    I’d like to see Obama in the White House. The experience thing doesn’t bother me much, given that the current president didn’t have a heck of a lot himself when he was chosen by the Republicans as their candidate. Also, John F. Kennedy wasn’t a senator much longer than Obama when he became a candidate for president. And there may still be enough hunger for a change from the possibility 20+ years of Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton that Obama may become the Democratic candidate.

    However, right now, it appears it’s gonna be Hilary. I think the Democrats have the sense that they owe it to her but that, of course, can change. I’ve been going through the New York Times archives for December of 1991 to see what was happening then and Bill Clinton was only just emerging as a leading candidate after Mario Cuomo finally announced he wouldn’t run. In 2003, nobody was talking about John Kerry. In 1999, it was just assumed that Al Gore would simply move his office the following year.

    I do think the Democrats have a very good chance of taking the White House because I don’t think the Republican field of candidates are all that strong. Romney looks like he was created in a Presidential candidate lab. And as much as Mormonism has tried to become a mainstream religion (albeit in a 1950’s kind of way), I think Americans are still a little uncomfortable with it. I also think Rudy’s many marriages and non-GOP positions will alienate him from the party faithful, even if he does win the nomination, which I think he will.

    Now, keep in mind that, as much of a U.S. presidential politics junkie as I am, I am almost never correct in my predictions. I read an interview with Bush a year before the election in 2000 and confidently assumed that the intelligent, modern, and internet savvy Al Gore would wipe the floor with this moron. *sigh*

  4. One thing Obama has going for him as well is a lot of potential for crossover support. A recent poll revealed that almost half of Republicans would consider voting for him, vs 20% for HRC. There is even a group called ‘Republicans for Obama’.
    Right now I’d say things are looking good for him overall. National polls still give Clinton leading by a comfortable margin, but they don’t tell the whole story — not by a long shot actually. I think it’s really all about who wins Iowa, as whoever does is going to build momentum and automatically become the frontrunner for NH and beyond. And lately Obama has been leading in Iowa polls if I’m not mistaken.
    The primary system is one complex, fascinating political beast.

    On the Republican side, what are your thoughts on Ron Paul? I can’t quite make up my mind on him — small government has some appeal, but some of his views I find quite disturbing (e.g. immigration).

  5. Sorry for the long delay in response.

    John: Yes, early frontrunners don’t seem to be a good predictor of the eventual outcome. I remember that McCain had won New Hampshire, but failed to get the nomination also. I’m very interested to see how this plays out.

    Bruno: After some of the banter from yesterday’s caucus, Obama seems to really have positioned himself as the crossover candidate. And that’s another reason why I favor him over Hillary Rodman Clinton. We’ve had enough polarization over the past six years. Ron Paul was a candidate that I really hadn’t looked into. I can’t say that I’m big on small government. I’ll check him out if he continues after NH.

  6. Wow. Did I say St. Rudy of 9/11 was going to be the nominee? Heh, that’s funny.

  7. Yeah, I’m holding off saying it will be a race between Obama & McCain.

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