I'm finding myself more into politics this time around than ever before. This is the first election in my lifetime - in fact, I think it's the first in half a century - without an incumbent or vice president running for president, and it's pretty exciting. I really think the next President could be decided on Thursday. While it's disappointing the way our country works it, with Iowa and New Hampshire getting so much influence, it's still fascinating to watch.
I'm also excited because, for the first time ever, I support a politician I really believe in. I had huge qualms about Gore v. 2000, about John Kerry, about Bill Clinton. Not yet do I have them for Barack Obama. It's not that I agree with everything that he says, but I definitely believe him and think the decisions he makes comes from a principled, intelligent place. My opinions have not changed much in the last few months. I've read and listened like crazy, and I still support Barack Obama unequivocally. I'm getting really excited about the possibility that he might take Iowa and use it as a springboard to do well all around the country.
Edwards excites me less, but he has impressed me much more this time around than in 2004. I still think he's a lightweight, but at least he's a principled, intelligent one. I'll never get over the fact that he voted to authorize the war, though, and don't quite trust his impressive veer to the left. Still, national polls have him beating Republican challengers by a larger margin than either Clinton or Obama (probably a result of the white male privelage he's got going for him, but it's still significant).
Richardson remains my 3rd choice. I think he's got a good chance of being the Vice Presidential candidate. Wesley Clark also has a good chance, especially if Clinton is the nominee.
I still feel the same way about Hillary Clinton: I think she's be an okay President - she's smart, can work across the aisle - but I hope she's not the nominee for two reason. First, she would give the Republicans someone to unite against. People really do hate her (a trip back to southwest Michigan reminded me of this... my mom doesn't even like her), and, right now, the Republican side seems totally ununited, but a HRC candidacy could unite them against something. Secondly, I just think she's too much of a politician - saying what the polls want her to say, instead of saying what's in her gut. I was not a huge fan of the Bill Clinton presidency and a HRC Presidency would just continue the horrible Clinton/Bush II political squabbles of the past sixteen years. That being said, I think she'll run a better campaign than either Gore or Kerry did, and might even make a better President than either (at least Gore version 2000).
Anyhow, I'll be glued to the polls throughout tomorrow, and hopefully Obama can pull it out. If he does, I expect him to be the next President. If Clinton wins, I think she'll be the next President. As for Edwards, I think it's up in the air still.
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