When it comes to politics, I always start with one basic assumption: All politicians are liars.
It's OK. I'm not judging. All of us have lied at some point during the course of our lives. I'm just not going to kid myself that there is some paragon of honesty in the field of presidential hopefuls. In a broader sense, I'm not looking for someone who claims any sort of moral purity. I prefer someone who has fucked up at some point (provided it isn't to the same degree as Dubya). I mainly want someone who recognizes problems, studies them, and proposes solutions. I want someone that can articulate what they're thinking in a clear, concise manner. I want someone with a generally hopeful outlook and the ability to be self-deprecating. I'd also prefer someone that doesn't make me want to rip my fucking ears out each time they speak. I need a break from that.
So, I can immediately rule out all the republicans. That was easy. They all suck.
Now, when it comes to the "lower tier" candidates, I can rule out Gravel, Biden, Dodd (who impressed me recently with his stand on the telecom immunity deal), Richarson and Kucinich. It pains me to do that to Dennis. Ideologically, he represents my views more than any candidate. However, as much as I like him, he does not have a chance. Admitting that is equally painful for me because I know that if all the people who like him but say he doesn't have a chance actually stood up for him, it might help. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough. The country just isn't ready for him at this point.
So how about the front-runners? I've said before that it makes me very uncomfortable to think that someone from one of two families could potentially hold the White House from 1988 to 2016. Sorry, Hillary. Besides, I've never been satisfied with her explanation about her support for the Iraq War. In addition, I hate to think of the media shitstorm we'll have to endure if she's elected. She's out.
I like Barack Obama. He has most of the attributes I look for in a candidate. He's come clean about his youthful indiscretions. He's a good speaker. He was also right on Iraq from the get-go. I don't know, though. If he gets the nomination, I'll gladly vote for him, but he hasn't excited me the way I hoped he would.
I have never been a big fan of John Edwards. When he ran in '04, he always seemed a little too slick for my taste. He seemed to be saying the same thing over and over. Lately, though, he's been growing on me. He seems to have the right idea on Iraq and health care. He recognizes and addresses the great disparity between the wealthy and poor in this country. I think he's far more electable than the other candidates. To be sure, he is still a politician and will always be subject to my scrutiny. At any rate, I get a good vibe from the guy and it has absolutely nothing to do with his hair.
OK, maybe it has a little to do with his hair. So he's got my support for the time being. Oh, look, he's blushing.