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Someone should care, maybe not you....

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

28 January 2008

American politics

Back to American politics; the kind where the losers in an election don’t start shooting people in the streets. At least not yet.

The south Carolina Primaries are both over and done as we all know and Obama beat Clinton while McCain beat Romney, Huckabee, and the others.

Let’s start with the Democrats.
This is down to a two person race with Edwards tagging along trying to mix things up. The pressure on him from the Democratic establishment to drop out has to ratcheting up exponentially with each passing primary. I am not at all sure what he is pushing for unless it is a hope that there will be a contested convention and he gets the nod as the compromise candidate. This is unlikely but it would certainly be exciting. IT is too bad the Green party latched on to that joke named Cynthia McKinney so soon. Edwards would have been a much better candidate for them. He would have actually drawn voters. Actually, thinking about it, he is hoping to win a VP spot by throwing his support behind one or the other of the two leading candidates at the right time. A risky move but a bold one.

Clinton. This is getting interesting. She has got to be really unhappy with the way things are going but it is way too soon to count her out. I expect she will pick up enough wins/delegates on Super Tuesday to stay right in the thick of the race. There is a lot of muttering from folks all over the place about what Bill is doing and saying. This interests me. Is he doing and saying this stuff as part of a plan they have created together or is he just off the reservation and running wild? I suspect the first but it seems like a strange plan and one that obviously didn’t work in SC. I am curious as too what his role would be in the new Clinton White House. I can’t see him sitting around being second fiddle to Hillary so I am not sure what she will do with him. Secty of State maybe? Or have him shot and buried in the Rose Garden. IT will be interesting to see.
I am also quite amused/fascinated that Clinton is being touted as the candidate with “Experience”. She is a one and half term Senator and a former Presidents wife. Other than that she hasn’t done all that much. Certainly nothing on an executive Level. That is not a resume to inspire confidence.

Obama. I’ll be honest is saying Obama worries me. He is a great orator but he tends to not fill out the details when he is orating. He catches people up in his Grand Vision (Illusion??) but other than saying he will bring people together I haven’t heard any details of that vision. He is certainly in a good spot politically right now. He has gained enough support in the Primaries that members of the democratic establishment feel comfortable in coming out to support him. The press is busily trying to paint a tidal wave of support around him. As I said in the Clinton paragraph, I really don’t think this thing is anywhere near over yet.
I guess what really scares me about Obama is that he seems to be an idealist. Idealists tend to get caught up in their grand vision and not notice reality. This is not a good thing in a political leader. It tends to created chaos and death. His plan to immediately pull all the troops out of Iraq will create huge amounts of both. But I guess he can just blame that on Bush.

Of the Dems, as much as I hate to say it I’d have to say Clinton is the best bet. I don’t like her. I don’t trust her. But she is a political realist who will be absolutely desperate to have a successful Presidency to seal her legacy. (and I think that will be more important that most other things to her) As such she will be the most likely to actually compromise and do political things to get stuff done. I just don’t trust idealists.

On the Republican side it is still a Battle Royale right now. The press is heralding the return of McCain and with his SC win he looks pretty favorable right now. But it is a long way from over here too.

Let’s start with Huckabee. Huckabee came on strong in Iowa and has been fading fast ever since. Frankly if he couldn’t win in SC with the vast numbers of people who vote their religion there I don’t see him pulling it out and winning anywhere else. As previously posted, his fading doesn’t really upset me much though. We’ll see how he does in Florida. I don’t see him winning there but if he were to get second, or even third it would keep him up. But of course, right now he is polling about fourth...

Romney. Romney is the Republican that can’t get no respect. He draws well in a lot of the primaries. In fact he has one of the highest actual number of delegates so far. But when he wins there is sort of a universal shrug and when he doesn’t win everyone predicts his collapse. NPR had a commentator talking the other day about how the other campaigns actually HATE him. I don’t know if it is true or not but if it is it is sad. He does have good experience. He was Governor of Massachusetts, and he has successfully run a major corporation. He has a good track record. None of the talking radio heads approve of him (which maybe a plus). I just don’t see him winning. I could see him as a potential VP though (although not for McCain or Huckabee and as for Rudy, well more on him in a bit) He could still pull it out but I doubt it. Currently polling first in Florida, but withing the margin of error.

Rudy G. America’s Mayor (what a foolish title) has run an interesting race. I rather suspect that he is regretting not putting in at least some time, effort, and money in states other than Florida. It can’t be good to keep losing to Ron Paul. He is currently polling third if I recall correctly in Florida which does not bode well for his efforts. I haven never really liked him as a candidate. He has always seems a bit to shrill and too eager to drape 9-11 around his neck. Yeah, he stepped up and kept an orderly front during a huge crisis which is a good thing. And he cleaned up Times Square which many swore could never be done. But I just am not that impressed. Romney and he would make an interesting ticket though. But I don’t see it happening.

John McCain. Once pronounced dead by all political pundits he is back and is on top at the moment. I personally though he would never get it because of his unrepentant support for the war in Iraq and if he gets the nomination that will be what the Democrats will howl about the most. Of course getting the nomination is still very much up in the air here. The BIG TALKING HEAD of the Republican right, Rush Limbaugh, despises McCain. The smaller talking heads don’t like him much either. They all like to say he has a temper and is soft on immigration. That he works with Democrats and won’t hold fast to “Conservative Ideals” Meh. It is his race to lose right now but if the heads have their way he will lose it. And if he wins, will they turn against the Republican candidate? As a further note, I expect that if he gets the nomination Joe Lieberman will be his running mate. (you saw if here first)

Ron Paul. I man I have to admire for his sheer tenacity. That and. except for his Libertarian lunacy of a foreign policy, I like a lot of what he says too. I rather suspect we will see him running in November on the Libertarian ticket.

Oh yeah, the Lost Candidate Fred Thompson. He certainly was the darling of a lot of the conservative pundits but apparently no one else. He made a huge and fundamental mistake. Someone convinced him that if he came in everyone would flock to his banner and he could waltz to victory. (sort of what Bush thought would happen in Iraq) Unfortunately he believed this myth too and it tanked for him. He didn’t even seem to start campaigning until SC and that was a bit too late for him. I kept hearing people say he was the true conservative but nobody seemed impressed by that at the polls.

So who do I favor? McCain. I liked him better than Bush back in their first run and was angry that he pulled out after SC then. I think McCain is a pragmatist with a proven ability to actually get things done in DC. Unfortunately, if he wins it will almost like having a third party President. There will be a large number of Republicans who will hate him, a large number of democrats who will hate his and an endangered set of moderates from both parties in the middle working with him. Unless of course voters get smart enough to vote out the hardliners in the congress soon. In the last election they went the other way and voted out moderates across the boards. But Congress is vastly unpopular right now so maybe there is a chance.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwards: He's still in it in the hopes of playing kingmaker. He would like Obama/Clinton to split so closely that they have to bid for his support. VP Edwards, perhaps, or maybe he has another payoff in mind.

Experience: The funniest thing about the unending Democratic yabble about it is that the Republicans to a man (so to speak) have the Dems beat all hollow when it comes to experience. Suppose Clinton really did make "experience" the be-all and end-all of who you should vote for. That promptly becomes suicidal when stacked up against candidates with actual executive (not legislative) experience, not to mention many more terms. Not that voters are that logical, and wouldn't promptly forget why they supposedly voted for their candidate, but the theme would seem to be a self-defeating one for the Democrats.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for the theory that Edwards was hanging on to play kingmaker.

10:00 AM  
Blogger exMI said...

Yeah, I guess he either got the offer he wanted or got too much pressure put on by the party to get out. I'm disappointed.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Clinton scares me. Im not sure if she has a real sense of right and wrong. I feel what happens to be right or wrong with her depends on temperature of the current political water she is standing in.

And while a certain amount of jiggle is to be expected with any canidate during election time....Hillary seems to be willing to do whatever it takes regardless of what that is to further herself.

Maybe thats the sort of thinking it takes to succeed in political office in the year 2008.

I agree with you...I like McCain.
I like it that he stands firm on his views of Iraq dispite is unpopularity. Im not sure if he will be taken seriously because of some of his views..but at least hes not apologizing for them or trying to morph them into some more polically friendly version......and screw Limbaugh! When he can get his own life in order then he can tell me what to think...until then hes just noise.

But then, Im sort of an idealist in some ways...and I know how you hate those..lol

4:45 PM  
Blogger exMI said...

I don't hate idealists. Heck, some people have accused me of being one. (poor deluded fools) I just don't trust them to run the country.

Besides, the young are supposed to be idealists.

10:39 AM  

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