Politics and Mights

Who do you want to win the primaries, and why?

I would vote for Clinton for the Dems; she strikes me as having less potential for greatness, but more potential for competence.

For the Republicans, i guess i would want McCain as pres because he is the least crazy, but i would want Huckabee as the candidate because he would be easiest for the Dems to beat.

Posted by stretch on January 19, 2008 with category tags of

I'd like Obama to win the dem nomination. I think he has a much better chance of bringing the US away from the incredibly bitter partisanship they've got themselves stuck in.

On the republican side my vote goes to Ron Paul. What a blast that would be! (if only...)
   comment by dustin (#1) on January 20, 2008

the frontrunning republican candidate with the closest politics to my own is either McCain or Giuliani, but obviously i think Giuliani's a jerk-off so McCain would be the guy i'd be least pissed-off with a Republican supporting. i think mccain's not nearly the strong-principled maverick he seemed to be just a few years ago - he's totally capitulated and wormed on a bunch of issues, - but he's still a moderate. By far my favourite Republican, on a personal/orator/ethics level is Huckabee, but his dogmatic, extreme (Christian) stance on social issues makes it impossible for me to support him. But I think he's the decent-est Repub, and the most likable.

If Clinton wins the Dem nomination i'll be very unhappy. Edwards would be fine. But I'm by far an Obama supporter, especially if I try to put myself in the shoes of an American. The biggest reason is the most superficial one - I think it would do wonders for America's position in the world if when a disenfranchised muslim dude in indonesia turns on the tv, America is represented by a black guy called barack hussein obama. that alone would be such a major positive force in the "culture wars". He seems really bright, seems genuinely dedicated to critical/rigorous thinking on the various issues (although i disagree with him on a lot of things), and does truly appear to have a vision of a different and better America, as well as the inkling that he could get them there. I don't see any of this vision in Hillary. I think she'd be an ok caretaker but would not be able to put the USA on a different trajectory, just to help manage the downward spiral a little more progressively than mccain or whatever.
   comment by sean on January 20, 2008

Call me cynical, but I just don't think that, in a general election, there would be enough American voters willing to support a woman or an African American. Admittedly, it's pretty unlikely that any of the Republicans (with the possible exception of Romney) would be big enough douchebags to actually capitalise on this in their campaigning, but the point is that I doubt they'd really need to. There's enough sexist and/or racist sentiment built into American culture (especially in some of the swing states) that a Democratic candidate with skin pigment or a vagina would just get trampled. So my vote is for Edwards, though Clinton would be an acceptable substitute if I she could win it. (Obama just strikes me as more style than substance, though Sean's point about international reputation is well taken.)

On the Republican side I don't have many strong feelings. I don't share the apparently ubiquitous distaste for Giuliani, but I also don't think he'd be a great President. For me the biggest jerk-off amongst the Republicans is certainly Romney, which I suppose leaves McCain and Huckabee. Huckabee does seem personable and I like his attitude towards negative campaigning (even if it's mostly huff and puff). I also doubt that, with a Democratic congress, his religious inclinations would get much policy traction -- but frankly he still seems a little too flippant about the whole process to really be taken seriously as a candidate (that Chuck Norris campaign spot was really obnoxious). Which leaves McCain.
   comment by goodladd (#144) on January 20, 2008

yeah, i remember your saying that about the unelectability of Obama in particular - but his pollings among Democrats and (especially) Independents in the states that have caucused so far (or are soon to caucus) suggest to me that the racism card is probably overrated. lots of people are ready to vote for a certain kind of black guy - and more than that, tons of people are EAGER to, because of what he would represent for the country and also about themselves. ("i voted for obama and so have vanquished the racism in my heart!")
   comment by sean on January 21, 2008

The curious thing with Obama and polls is that polls consistently overrate the support for black candidates (New Hampshire, anyone?). Two things seem to happen: lower-class whites, those who seem most prone to racism, are least likely to take part in polls; and a certain percentage of people seem to just plain lie to pollsters to hide their racially-based preferences. This isn't a knock against Obama as such, just a cautionary note.

I think the real trouble for Obama is drugs. If he becomes the candidate the Republicans will go to town with his admission (in his book) of limited, youthful drug use. Sure, everybody knows Bush did it, but Bush has always kept mum on the subject. Obama looks too much like a drug user in the American imagination (nudge nudge, wink wink) for a certain portion of the populous to let this slide.

That being said, i've always thought that Hillary would benefit from being female against a sexist Republican party. I could see some radio-jock or octogenarian senator making a too explicitly sexist attack on Clinton and inadvertently galvanizing women (51% of the population) behind her.
   comment by stretch (#87) on January 21, 2008

Speaking of polls, did anyone see Zogby on the Daily Show last week? It was hilarious. Jon Stewart was giving him a hard time about how wrong the NH polls had been, and in the end Zogby just caved and basically said: "Yeah, you're right, we may as well make this stuff up." It actually left Jon Stewart speechless for a few seconds, and then he just cracked up.
   comment by goodladd (#144) on January 21, 2008

Dems: a bit of a tossup between the 3. I find myself rooting for Obama because he's a feel-good story, but beyond the inspiring nature of his run, I'm not sure he has much substance. On the other hand, electing Clinton would mean 4 consecutive Bush/Clinton presidencies. Is this India? There will also be no end to the left/right bickering in sight with a Clinton win. Edwards' responses in debates appeal to me, but I worry that he might be a crazy spender. I haven't heard any of the Dems talk about balanced budgets. The Democratic debates focus mostly on "One of you is a woman, one of you is black--what do you think about that?"

On the Republican side, Ron Paul is great. I think he should have run on a small-l libertarian platform, rather than big-L, but a Paul presidency would do a hell of a lot of good for the US on many fronts. He's the only one that would actually kill the patriot act, wire taps, and many of the overseas military bases.

McCain has lost a lot of credibility of the last 8 years, but he's still better than Huckabee (doesn't believe in evolution), Romney (2-faced scumbag), and Thompson (detestable). During their last debate, Giuliani didn't seem so bad. Still, he's 9/11 batshit crazy. I'd prefer a Dem to win, unless it was Ron Paul, so rooting for McCain is a bit of a problem in that sense, since he's the only Republican that can beat the Dems.
   comment by Bryan (#22) on January 22, 2008

Goodladd, if you dismiss Clinton or Obama on the basis that others are sexist/racist and won't vote for them, doesn't that make you part of the problem? If the non-sexist and non-racist crowd don't give them a chance, what chance has America?

p.s. Vote Ron Paul.
   comment by Bryan (#22) on January 22, 2008

Libertarians should go back to Liberia.
   comment by Mario Dumont on January 22, 2008

Bryan, I know that sort of pragmatism can seem a little callous, but what would you have me do? I'd rather not have *any* of the Republicans for president, and I honestly think that an Edwards campaign would be far more likely to win the election than a Clinton or an Obama one. For the same reason I wouldn't want Kucinich as the Dem nomination (or even Gore if he was running, for that matter).

It's not to say that I won't vote for Hillary or Obama in the presidential election if they get nominated, and if they are then I certainly hope they win. But I don't think it's completely unreasonable to use electability as a criterion in picking a *candidate*. Kerry had no broad appeal, which is why we got stuck with another four years of Bush; I wouldn't want to get landed with four years of Romney, say, just so we can make a statement about who *should* be electable.

Though, I might add that, as a white, upper-middle-class, heterosexual male with a higher education, YES, I am part of the problem.
   comment by goodladd (#144) on January 22, 2008

Goodladd, there is definitely a time and place for strategic voting; I just wanted to make you feel guilty about it.
   comment by Bryan (#22) on January 22, 2008

And I do! *sob*
   comment by goodladd (#144) on January 23, 2008


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