Sunday, February 18, 2007

Looking toward '08

Because it's a frequent topic of recent conversation, I'm throwing my 2 cents out on the main candidates for '08 here. Sweaterman and I are known as political junkies amongst our circle of friends, so we've spent a lot of quality beer time discussing the merits and weaknesses of each candidate. The opinions here are mine, and maybe Sweaterman will weigh in later.
It should be noted that a lot may change as the campaigns proceed, and I will end up supporting whoever is the Democratic nominee. My sanity couldn't survive another Publican president.

(in alphabetical order).

Hillary Clinton:
She's a very tough, savvy politician, and she'll have to be. The right-wing attack machine is already gearing up to throw everything they can at her (anybody remember Vince Foster?) and there is a large group who viscerally hate her. She has the baggage of her Iraq and Iran positions, but she has remained steadfast in the face of criticism. She has a lot of money behind her, so she's likely to last through the early primaries. While I think that Hillary could be a decent president, I fear that she'd likely be rendered ineffective by a barrage of constant media manufactured scandals.

John Edwards:
A very good public speaker, his "two Americas" message has been well received so far. Short on experience. He responded way to weakly to the whole blogger flap, and that bodes ill for when the right-wing starts getting really nasty (and they will). The early primaries favor him, but the schedule could change dramatically. Edwards may be hurt most by Obama, who should be able to trump him on the charisma/charm front. I think Edwards could be a reasonably effective president, but he'll need to assemble a really strong foreign policy team to get elected.

Barack Obama:
Already the media darling, the man has charisma by the bucketload. Gives the kind of inspiring speeches rarely seen in modern politics. Lack of experience will be highlighted repeatedly. Has already shown a lot of savvy in fending off the right-wing attacks (try again, Mr. Howard). Forget the whole "black enough" question, Obama will have to overcome the "what have you actually done" question. I'm unsure how effective Obama would be as president, because of his inexperience. On one hand, his inspirational talent could lead to greatness. Or, he could end up unable to implement any real change.

Bill Richardson:
He's got a resume no other candidate can touch. A very smart intellectual, his speaking style is uninspiring compared to the field. He hasn't been the target of the righties yet, but I'm sure he will be if he has any early success. May benefit by being the western candidate, but will have difficulty with fundraising compared to the rest. While I think Richardson is the most qualified to BE president, I'm not sure he has what it takes to get elected. Let's face it, American voters tend to focus on image over substance.

I don't see any of the other candidates having a realistic shot, but time may prove me wrong. Should Gore enter the race, I don't see anybody beating him. Also, we'll see how much mutual destruction occurs during the primaries.

Your thoughts?
added: I may post something later on the Publican candidates, but I'm oppossed to all of them.

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