Sunday, July 29, 2007

If these are the best and brightest ...

Ok, so I've peeked at a few of the "debates" on TV, especially the YouTube/CNN deal. A few observations before I grade the candidates.

1. Why did Hillary get to stand on a 4" platform, and the vertically-challenged Cucinich not? Inquiring minds wanna' know.

2. Although I applaud the "newness" of the video questions, some of them were out in place, in my humble view. But then again, can you really call these debates? this is just free advertising time ...

3. If these candidates have no discipline to shut the flap quickly when Anderson Cooper says "time", it makes me wander how their discipline is when I am not looking. But that may depend on what my definition of "is" is ...

4. I agree with Hillary and John. There is way too many candidates up there. Although the guy from Alaska (Gravel) has kept me going with his complaining of not getting enough time.

5. Have ANY of these candidates ever run a business, generated any income, voted for a budget cut of ANY kind, balanced their own checkbooks? ... I wish the snowman could have asked them that...

Hillary Clinton: I have to admit, she has impressed me with her command on the lectern, her fixing her delivery so her voice is less shrill, and just the quick way she thinks on her feet. I have not ruled out that she may be a good thing for America (as I duck the tomatoes coming my way), I will explain later. Yes she is a DLC-fed opportunist, but I think she has this nomination sewn-up. Score=8

Chris Dodd: Probably the dark horse here. I never expected him to do so well. His politics are too far left of center for me, but unlike other left wingers, he speaks with a "centrism" that demands I listen. Like Hillary, he can edit himself fast, and has the tenure to claim experience. I think he is angling for a Cabinet position, ... I don't think he will make it past November, but if he can get to the final 4, ... Score=7

Dennis Cucinich: I'm not kidding. Stop looking at him and "listen" to what he is saying. Sure he is a wide left socialist, and maybe he does want to slice the largess of the military (well hell, so do I for that matter), but some of his ideas and convictions are lead pipe solid. He has not swayed his convictions according to the polls, and you got to love a guy who lays the lumber the the rest of them without any care. I think he can last until super Tuesday. As close to a Libertarian as the Democrats have on their roster. Score=7

Joe Biden: I admit I always liked this guy. Sure the guy can't find the edit button for his mouth if his life depended on it, but neither can I, so there. Even when he was going postal on the Thomas Supreme Court nomination back in the day, he struck me as smart, educated and well meaning. I think he has a pragmatic view of the military and the US role in world democracy and if he were the President (and stopped talking long enough to work) I would not have too may sleepless nights. I still can't forgive him for the Neil Kinnock plagiarism bit that torpedoed his first campaign, but I am willing to concede that he has learned his lesson. Score=6.5

John Edwards: I just can't root for him. I think his populism message and "poverty" tours are the last life raft that he can hang on to because he has lost the black vote to Hillary and Barack, and nobody in the South gives a shit about him. He is articulate, smart and all, but when he unleashed his wife to take torpedo shots at Hillary and Coulter, instead of having the stones to do it himself,, .... that spoke volumes. In my opinion, he is a fake, an opportunist of worse level than Hillary,....... but, I guarantee you he is the next US Attorney General under Hillary. Score=6

Barack Obama: I'm still not sure what to make of him. He speaks well, great presence, and an undeniable "fresh" face to the group. But did you read his book? It sounded like it was written by a 22-year old. The broadside that Hillary landed in his ass for being naive was felt. Sure Lincoln was less experienced than Obama when he ran for president as a 3-rd party candidate,... but there is not comparison. Obama comes across prepared, but not extraordinary so. New, but his flavor-of-the month moment is fading in spite of all the money he is still getting. Stay in the Senate Barack.... oh maybe another 12 years. Then go for it. Your green ears are showing. Score=6

Bill Richardson: A very boring man, and a worse candidate. This guy has the aura of a firefly against the black night sky... not very noticeable. He may have the best resume on the planet right now, but so did Bush 41 back in 88 and he still bored me to death. His delivery is fractured, he is not a dynamic speaker or figure, and I still can't find one think he did as Energy Secretary or Governor that makes me do a double-take. As to his Latin credentials?... please. With "Richardson" as his last name and his feeble attempts at Spanish,.. I doubt many even know it. Score=4
Next up: My opinion of the GOP side (and you think this is bad...)


Robert said...

I don't know if it means I am cynical or have jsut been around long enougth that I know snake oil when I see it, but I can't swallow any of the "centrism" that fills the pre-election season.

Theer is no center for these candidates, and I personally care not for the middle of the road speeches. I want someone to tell us what he/she thinks, and what direction they think the country should head. Let the chips fall where they may. If you have the best ideas, you win. If you don't, you go back where you belong.

I am looking forward to the GOP post, though. I am still hoping for Gingrich entry, and if not then a Thompson candidacy.

I guess those will have to do since Reagan isn't a possibility.

Truth-Pain said...

I think "centrism" has gotten a bad rap, at least as defined by the Limbaughs of the world (yes, I listen to him all the time, amongst others). I don't think centrism is devoid of pure belief or full of concensus,... I myself -and in spite of being a conservative/libertarian at heart-, consider myself a centrist. Meaning this: Were I to be elected President, and in spite of my own beliefs, i would say...

"Ok, I am doing this and this with Congress to make the winning party happy and fix what is otherwise a broken system. At the same time, I am going to take a few issues of the loosing party and generate sensible legislation that passes my own muster as a pragmatist"

On a third tact, I would infuse any law or program with those qualities I hold dear as an independence-loving American. I would be aware of the realities around me, and be a President for all the electorate and those within my borders, not just for the ones on the winning side. As a father, I do what is best and most effective for ALL my household, not just for the ones that agree with me. It is important to me that every person stepping into my house feels my care and affection,... If I were to extrapolate on this, does it not make sense for me to treat the house of America with the same compass?....

These are difficult philosophical questions, yes. But to me, it is the obtuse-ness of the left and right that is gridlocking the progress. Compromise is politics, the art of negotiation. Politics should never be about the defeat of one idea over another, but about using the powers of persuation and leadership to look at the lay of the land, consider all sides and interests, and forging a decision that although may well piss everybody off, ... gives everyone the belief that their voice is heard,... no matter how loud or soft the voice is.

Mustang said...

I think that most people in this country are "moderate." That doesn't mean "fence sitting" in my definition, but rather one who rejects radicalism and believes that the center is where most people can come together irrespective of political party affiliation.

Politicians survive by their ability to generate the most popular sound bites, knowing as they do that most people remember longest what they heard last and the best way to fool people is by conveying the idea that you (politician) agree with them (prospective voter).

What I want people to remember is that NONE of these people can be trusted to babysit your kid, and NONE of them care about their country as much as they care about their own political success. This may be a cynical view, but one that has evolved from watching the politicians perform over the past five decades. Their collective failure as "servants of the people" is why I supported term limitations.

Not that anyone is asking me, but I would advise every potential voter to pay less attention to what they say, and more attention to what they do (or have done) while in office -- because we shall truly know them by their deeds.

Semper Fi

Robert said...

Semper Fi, Mustang. 0311 here.

I don't believe, personally, that "coming together" is the solution. I am a Reagan/Goldwater conservative, and I think that direction most closely resembles the framer's intent as well as the historical record of success, liberty, and integrity.

I agree with you that we must pay attention to what they have done, but also to what they have said in the past. Clinton comes across as a moderate because that is where the election will be decided. If you hold to the general rule, 40% are on each side and the 20% "independent" voters decide, so that left rushes to the middle. We should also look back at what they have said when NOT running for office.

Renegade Eye said...

The DLC are so oppurtunist, they'll say or do anything to win.

Considering your principled libertarian positions, you are screwed, with all the mainstream candidates.

Obob said...

I had a healthy comment, didn't go through. Your breakdown of their thugs is pretty good. Obama is screwing himself in the worst way. I'd love to tell him to shut up, but he can't. He's getting the Joe Biden disease of his shoe leather. As long as he doesn;t become the pompous jackhole that makes up Biden. I do think Richardson will get the VP nod. CLinton's love loyalists and he is one of them true blue

Laurie said...

There's going to be a Republican president come 2009, since Hillary is going to get the Democratic nomination, and the woman is highly, highly beatable. Doesn't know when to put her foot in her mouth. I just hope it's Thompson when it happens.

QuakerDave said...

It's "KUCINICH." With a "K."

I kare bekause he's my kandidate.