Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Campaign thoughts

Ok, I read and listened to the analysis of the New Hampshire primary, the endless tallking heads spouting on and on about things they think but don't really know. So, if they can espouse their opinion, I can do likewise from the sidelines. Really? Not. But hey, the power of the Internet, be a blogger and express yourself. And be warned, it's just my opinion of what I hear and read.

So what do I really think of the candidates? Like it matters? Ok, to me maybe, but I haven't decided yet. I'm a totally independent voter with fairly definite views.

First, I'm not enamored with the Republicans. I liked John McCain but that was in 2000 against George Bush. He's since destroyed any credibility with me for pandering to the religious and conservative right, and supporting an increased war in Iraq. While he'll stay the course, I think the rest of his platform would be so flexibile to be useless. But I've always liked his honesty in his speeches about politics. He's best as a Senator.

Both Huckabee and Romney scare me with their religion embedded in their politics. That doesn't represent all the people as they claim but just those they approve of or those who argree with them. What I find ironic about Huckabee and Romney is that people are expressing the same favorable view of them for the same reasons they liked Bush in 2000. He appears to be an upright, honest man with solid values. Ok, but that's not a prerequisite for being President as we've seen with Bush. We were snowballed by this campaigning, so look inside them for what a President should be.

All the rest of the Republicans are toast now.

Second, my favorite Democrat is Bill Bradley. No one had or has his intelligence and knowledge, not even Hillary. Bill Clinton was ok, but I like Bill Bradley's respect for people and his view of the US in the world. I wanted to see a Bill Bradley - John McCain race for they were the (then) two best. The debates would have been great and either one would have made an excellent President. And we got the worst of the lot both in the 2000 and 2004 elections and worst of those for President.

So you see where I sit. And now the current Democrats.

Hillary Clinton scares me because if you look at her record and views beneath and behind the language, she's just to the right of center. I don't want a President who supports the current strategy, or lack of one, in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't need another 8 years of the same if not more of the worse. And all the rest of the issues, she wanders so much it's hard to know what she believes except generalities that sell but aren't real. They're just words.

And I really don't agree with the comment that women should support Hillary because she's a woman and the progress she and other women have made for women. That's sexist bullshit on the face of it, and I would suggest she may not be the best for women and she doesn't have the track record supporting women's issues any more than Obama and Edwards.

Somehow I struggle seeing her as President, and not because she's a woman, but because her personality and temperament. I have no doubt she has the intellect and experience to be a good President, but she's too much seen as a controlling and pandering. That may be good characteristics for a Senator but not a President, and why history has shown Senators don't make good President, few were elected and fewer were good.

Barack Obama doesn't scare me, but he doesn't have a track record to show what he means and will try to do - try because you still need Congress. Words are ok to run on, but you need substance of your past he doesn't have. I believe he'll be ok as President, but not without mistakes. Let's not forget John Kennedy made lot of mistakes including Vietnam. So while we criticize him, let's give him credit for his other experience in life and work. We do for the other candidates, so why not him?

John Edwards is probably the best of this campaign's lot. He's probably more traditional in the sense of a candidates but he's showing a trend to make positive changes for the country and people. His rhetoric sounds goods but it's the results that would make the difference. I hope he stays in the campaign to keep the others honest. It's a shame he's been over shadowed by the other candidates as he has a lot of ideas to challenge them.

Somehow, on a personal level I think Bill Richardson is an intereting candidates, but he has made too many mistakes in his career to stand against the Republicans. He'll likely make a good Vice President, as probably Edwards will also make. I like his realistic views on some issues which I think could challenge Clinton and Obama's rhetoric. And who doesn't like a President who would sit down with you at a tavern to talk about the world over beers?

And so, that's my thoughts to date. So to the candidates, keep the rhetoric up because I'm not really listening except to hear hot air and have a good laugh. You're cheaper than a comedian.

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