Who to vote for?
I’m a registered Republican so when the it comes time to vote here in California I can only vote for another Republican in the primaries. However the current Democratic primary is intensely interesting to watch. First you have Hillary Clinton, who needs no introduction, running under the guise of ‘experience’ but with the stigma of being a part of the ‘establishment.’ Then you have the main challenger Barack Obama running as the champion of change and hope. Then you have John Edwards who is running, again, as the traditional Democrat.
Even though I can’t vote for any of the Democrats but that doesn’t stop me from having my opinion on who I’d like to see win/loose. I can sum up my opinion fairly easily, anybody but Hillary. She’s as corrupt as her husband but, thankfully, has none of his charm. And quite frankly I’m tired of the political dynasties such as Bush, Clinton, Kennedy, etc. Hillary’s biggest problem is that she’s a woman and doesn’t know how to take advantage of it…. actually, scratch that. Her biggest problem is that she has no personality whatsoever. One day she’ll try to be one thing to one particular group of people and the next day she’ll try to be something else to another group of people. I emphasize try because it is so obvious when she switches personalities… no one knows who she really is. Her campaign reeks of entitlement, as if she is the defacto Democratic nominee, thankfully Obama has become a very real challenger to the Clinton establishment.
Obama is a very interesting candidate. He is a very articulate and inspirational speaker plus he seems to hit many of the right marks in displaying leadership qualities. Early on in his candidacy the Black community was saying that he wasn’t black enough. Even though this was, and is, a silly argument it is actually a deep rooted sentiment in American culture. The concept of racism against ‘blacks’ has gone from being mainly about the color of ones skin to being mainly about relating to a ‘black lifestyle.’ This is why Bill Clinton has been considered by many to be the first black president. This change has happened slowly and subtlety and has become almost taboo to talk about. But with the surge of support that Obama is gaining in the on going primary’s, even if he doesn’t win, I believe this will help restart a dialog in the Black community about what it means to be African-American.’ Arguably Bill Cosby has already started this dialog. Of course I have to disclaim that I am not a black man and can not know all the nuances with regards to this particular issue, I’m just a white guy that can only look on in from the outside.
As far as issues go Obama is a Liberal Democrat and thus has many idea’s and philosophies that I completely disagree with; but I also think that he is young enough and open minded enough to not be dogmatic with his ideas in his presidency if he were to win.
To me John Edwards is completely uninteresting. He is just a typical life-long Liberal Democrat from my point of view. Looking at his sustained popularity I’d say that he probably contains the typical Liberal Democrat message in a well polished presentation. But nothing more from my perspective.
Today are the New Hampshire primaries and it looks like Obama will continue his winning streak that started with the last primary in Iowa. According to the Drudgereport it seems that Hillary is starting to loose the pillars of her support with some suggesting that she should probably withdraw from the campaign trail if she looses big in New Hampshire. This will be interesting to see what happens since, according to former Clinton adviser Dick Morris, Hillary is a very angry, arrogant person with a sense of self-entitlement. The Clinton dynasty is very real and very large. If Hillary bow’s out of the race that would mean that the Clinton’s are not above the DNC, however if Hillary has her way she will fight until the bitter end. Time will tell.
The Republican candidates are a bit less interesting. Currently it seems that the fight is between Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. Huckabee has been called more of a populist while Romney has been called more of a Conservative. Although I find all of the Republican candidates sub-par there is something interesting that is happening with this primary. What are the major ideal’s behind the current Republican party? Is it Evangelical Christianity or Conservatism?
Huckabee has been unabashedly pro-Evangelical while Romney has been playing up the Conservative ideal’s; plus Romney is Mormon, which poses a problem for many Evangelicals and Conservative Protestants.
Many people, including myself, see the Republican party as being too heavily influenced by the ‘religious-right’ and breaking away from its Conservative roots. This can be witnessed by looking at President Bush and the six years of Republican control of Congress. Government expanded and spending went through the roof.
Between Huckabee and Romney Huckabee is more likable and seems able to relate to people more. Romney is likable too but not in the same sense as Huckabee; Romney does a good job of balancing likability and professionalism but seems to be lacking in the inspirational flair that Huckabee and Obama have.
Romney’s problem, from what I’ve seen, is that he’s a bit like John Kerry in that he waffles on the issues. Also he isn’t quite as finesse in dealing with questions about his personal life like Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee are.
Then there is Rudy Guliani who is the Moderate Republican. He seems to be out of the picture for now but may come out strong when we get into the bigger and more liberal states. Who knows.
I’m pretty unimpressed with the Republican Candidates. I think first and foremost an American President needs to be a leader, a leader is someone that people follow and will work hard for. Leaders inspire and empower their followers and earn enough trust to be able to go against the grain of popular opinion when the need arise.
So currently I have no idea who to vote for!