I have yet to really weigh in on the presidential posturing going on for the 2008 election because, mainly, I think it's too early and I'm not really excited about anyone in particular who is running. I would be, if Al Gore were to throw his hat in the proverbial ring. But that's another story.
I watched the AFSCME Presidential Forum this morning on MSNBC. I came to a couple of realizations through it. Barack Obama is full of himself; Hillary Clinton migh not be as bad as I thought; John Edwards is a more practical Al Gore; and Bill Richardson has nothing to lose so he can say the truth.
I'm going to work backwards in explanation.
Bill Richardson had many very practical things to say. He stood for things in answering the questions not being afraid to play it as it lays. He would do most all of the things that the American people seem to want given the polls. I'm not sure how he would be as president, but do we ever really know until it's a reality? At this point, if he is nominated, I would have no problem voting for him.
John Edwards has learned a lot since the 2000 election. He seems to know what to say and do and he isn't afraid to take a stand on things. He seems to be swift-boated by stories like the $400 haircut. This is the type of thing on which pundits like to focus. An interesting post over at TPMCafe points out that in a Fox poll the same number of people are aware of his $400 haircut as still believe that Saddam Hussein had WMD's. Priorities must be set. He was very precise on the stands when asked questions and he focused on solutions. On the whole, I feel comfortable that, if Edwards would be nominated, I would have not problem in voting for him at this point.
I have always had a problem with Hillary Clinton. I think that her husband, Bill, was the best thing for the country when he was elected and that he made a difference as president in matters that counted. I hesitate on Hillary mainly because of her reaction when her health insurance initiate was put down. Not the initiative itself. If you look at the combination of all of today's candidates, Republican and Democrat, you will realize that all of their health insurance plans either follow Hillary's, are complete copies, or contain many of the major points. The plan wasn't a problem; the politics were. At the AFSCME conference today, she sounded sure of herself, able to make decisions, and, maybe, just maybe, able to not take things serious when they are personal. Today, I would be comfortable in voting for her if she were nominated.
Barack Obama is, and has been in my opinion, something of a blowhard. I live in Illinois. I think he was effective as a state legislator. I voted for him for U.S. Senator. I am very disappointed in his performance. He made a lot of promises when he ran for senator. One of which was that he would not run for another office, namely president. It didn't take long for his mind to be changed. He also is right now having some problems that haven't really become national news involving corruption, a la Chicago-style. Besides that, he really doesn't say anything of substance when I hear him speak. One of the commentators on MSNBC after Obama spoke said that it was a very good stump speech. That's exactly what I was thinking as I listened to him at the podium. There really wasn't much substance to what he said. He received an enthusiastic response from the audience at AFSCME. He has the ability to rouse the populace with idealistic fervor. At this time, we need more than idealism and fervor. I would not feel comfortable in voting for Obama if he were nominated.
of course, given what the Republicans have to offer, there also might not be much of a choice...
this is just out of my mind...