Sunday, November 18, 2007

WC: Cautious Optimism

I've been listening to the debates among the Democrats who are seeking to run for president, and the candidates are not as awful as they might be.

  • Kucinich is flat-out wonderful. He says what he thinks, and he thinks genuinely leftist/progressive thoughts. Unfortunately, he seems to have no chance of getting the nomination, but I'm glad he exists.
  • Edwards, I like. He seems to me to be the most sensible of the three front-runners and the most able to get things done. He has actual plans behind his words, with a health care plan that seems to me both practical and pass-able-through-congress.
  • Obama doesn't do that much for me. His speech at the Democratic convention--which put him on the map--seemed to me a nice list of cliches and platitudes. And to this day, he's still putting out the cliches and platitudes, with no meat and potatoes.
  • Clinton I flat-out dislike. I think she would sell her mother for a vote, and I don't want another four or eight years of the media circus that follows the Clintons wherever they go. Granted, it's not her fault, but it is her reality. (How depressing not to like the first serious female presidential possibility, but c'est la politics.)

But any of them would be a reasonable choice for me to support for president. I understand I'll never get the sort of president I'd really like--i.e., Kucinich--but the other three would all govern at least somewhat progressively. Any of them would be better than Bush (as would some 5 billion other people), and all would be likely to make supreme court nominations I could live with.

Who will I vote for for president? Whichever Dem gets the nomination.

Who will I vote for in the primary?

If the winner is already obvious, I will vote for Kucinish for that rare moment of actually voting for someone I respect.

If my vote will actually matter (another rarity), I've got it down to Obama or Edwards. I like Edwards better, but I have been very struck by an argument that Andrew Sullivan makes about Obama in the current Atlantic: In a time where we will need to do much mending of fences with the rest of the world, having a person of color as president would be a potent place to start.

I don't know who I'll finally vote for, but having three candidates I could live with (and, yes, I could live with Clinton, though I prefer not to) is definitely a reason for cautious optimism.

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