O.k., itâ€™s a matter of hours before 2008 and I have no idea who Iâ€™m supporting for president. Still plenty of time before November, you say? Are you kidding? In a month this whole thing will be whittled down to two (maybe three) candidates. Then Iâ€™ll just have to hold my nose and pick.
Nowâ€™s the time to get on a wagon. Even if your guy comes in 8th in Iowa, at least you can spend the rest of the year saying â€œwell, I was really for_________.â€ So, hereâ€™s where Iâ€™m at on the top contenders:
Barack Obama: Maybe. He seems to me to be a conservatively tempered liberal, which makes me think heâ€™d be a pragmatic leader. He has the intelligence to make up for his lack of experience. But his stated desire to bring unity to the nation seems in conflict with his uninspired, liberal Democrat policy positions.
Hillary Clinton: I donâ€™t think I can do it. Itâ€™s not that I think sheâ€™d be a bad president or even that I greatly disagree with her policies (she has some reasonable ideas). But after two decades of Bush/Clinton/Bush and the accompanying divisiveness, Iâ€™m ready for a change.
John Edwards: Nope. I supported him in 2004 because he seemed to be a centrist who keenly saw Americaâ€™s inequalities and had practical solutions. Since then heâ€™s drifted much further left and is now more of a liberal crusader (like a reconstituted, genetically altered Robert Kennedy) than a leader Iâ€™d want.
Bill Richardson: Quite possibly. I know heâ€™s not a contender and heâ€™s had some wishy-washy answers on national security, but he was my favorite Dem from the start. I like his experience and his independent, Southwest attitudes.
Rudy Giuliani: A slight maybe. I supported him early on but my enthusiasm has waned considerably. He panders too often and too poorly and he really doesnâ€™t seem to be running on anything expect his extraordinary leadership in the 9/11 aftermath. Thatâ€™s certainly compelling, but itâ€™s not enough. Heâ€™s got to show us a lot more.
John McCain: A definite maybe. McCain irritated me last summer with his clumsy attempts at pandering and his carefully parsed statements, so unlike the straight-talk for which he was once famous. But heâ€™s regained a bit of his mojo and he just might be my favorite Republican at the moment.
Mike Huckabee: Unlikely. He seems to be overusing religion to mask his deficiencies as a leader. He supports the Fair Tax plan (which is intriguingly bold) and recognizes the health care system is broken (which is unusual for a Republican) but he seems to be running for pastor-in-chief more than president.
Mitt Romney: No. Heâ€™s a phony. Says what he thinks needs to be said to get elected. Loved his Massachusetts health care plan but I canâ€™t trust this guy.
Fred Thompson: Possibly. But I only say that because I know so little of the man. Heâ€™s rather bland, isnâ€™t he?
Ron Paul: A slight maybe. See here.
So, there you have it. Iâ€™m flummoxed. At least I donâ€™t feel compelled to give anyone money â€“ or pester my friends with candidate info. Maybe I will just have to wait until there are just two options from which to choose. Or hope this quixotic effort produces results.
Cross-posted at Maverick Views.