Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Corn-fused?

The Iowa caucuses are in 3 weeks. It's less than two months until the craziest super Tuesday of all time and I have never been so undecided about a presidential election, primary, exploratory process, election, whathaveyou.

In 2000, the primary was essentialy a battle between Al Gore and Bill Bradley, and it wasn't much of a contest. Now Al Gore is angling for modern day savior status, after that fiasco of an election left him to find a higher purpose than simply running a big country.

In 2004, I waffled more. I liked Carol Moseley-Braun, John Kerry and John Edwards, ultimately voting for Edwards at the last minute, taken in by his "two Americas" language and seeing him live. Made no difference, we still nominated the wooden Kerry.

This year, with the long primary campaign and compressed voting schedule, I think the nominee will be determined before I have a chance to figure out who I like, at least on policy. I'm absolutely torn, and I'm trying to be objective. After all, I'm supposed to have some sort of policy acumen-- yet still I feel like doing a gut-check to figure out who really floats my boat as a candidate. What's crazy is that all these folks are good candidates. Joe Biden is Mr. Foreign Policy. Bill Richardson has experience in spades. A vote for Hillary gives the promise of a return to the halcyon days of Bill. John Edwards gives a damn about equity in ways not seen since Johnson, Chris Dodd has always been a thoughtful and honest debater (a trait that draws me in more than any other).

This is an election of principles, and principal firsts. The potential for a female president. Despite her political calculation of recent years, Hillary has serious feminist cred. The possibility of a black president. I have to admit a huge part of me is swayed by Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama, but even prior to that I was excited by his oratory style. Andrew Sullivan thinks his non-boomerness is really important to acknowledge.

All I know is I want a Democratic candidate that can win, and that will be a great president. I yearn for a dynamic and inspiring leader that will spur us on to do something serious about global warming, to build populist support for fixing the healthcare system, to increased conservation efforts and serious and sweeping education reform. And I'm damn concerned that the folks on the other side of the aisle aren't much concerned about any of that.

(And if you noticed that the Iraq war isn't on my list, and neither was immigration, tell me what you think about that.)

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