Thursday, June 12, 2003

P2004 Thoughts
I still cannot decide on a candidate for 2004, which would not be a problem for your average voter, I suppose. But I am a former political consultant and office holder, so I am supposed to be more driven and decisive than an average voter (whatever that is). Yet, none of the gang has inspired any great feeling in my heart or mind.
Dean is the candidate who, in some ways, has the most appeal. But, he seems to be doing everything he can to alienate moderate Democrats like myself. He compiled a very moderate record in Vermont, yet he has made the choice to run from the "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party", which is a line he stole from Paul Wellstone. So, does this mean that Dean has been a closet lefty all these years, or is it a campaign trail conversion? Is his sky high NRA rating an anomoly? How does he plan to jibe his fiscal responsibility with his liberal followers belief in Big Government?
Two years ago, I was intrigued by Dean, but now I am dismayed. His campaign resembles some sort of cult of personality. His staff seems paranoid and accuses his opponents of stealing his ideas at every turn. And when you read the comments of his supporters there is a Hare Krishna mantra feel to it. So I guess I missed my turn at the Kool Aid, because I don't buy the Dean shtick.
A few weeks ago, I was flirting with the Kerry campaign. Maybe I have a soft spot as a Massachusetts native or maybe it was his ability to quote Andre Gide. I still think Kerry is a compelling candidate, based on his resume and experience. But what bothers me is the way he backed away from his support for the Iraq War. Within a month of voting to authorize the use of force he was distancing himself from the vote. And now that there is a question about the presence of WMD, Kerry has claimed that Senators who supported the use of force should not be held accountable. This smacks of a lack of courage on the Senator's part. If Iraq did not have WMD, then those who supported the use of force should accept some of the responsibility. The public will trust someone who can admit their errors more than they will trust someone who slithers away like a snake.
In 2000, John Edwards was one of the folks who I would have liked to see on the ticket as VP. Despite my one time affinity for Edwards, he has so far failed to impress. I think perhaps he jumped too quickly and should instead have focused on 2008 or 2012. But there is still a long way to go and maybe he will change my mind. But he needs to lose the whole fixation with the rural areas and his constant reminders about his mom and dad's jobs and where he grew up. Voters care about what he is going to do for them and their country not what town he grew up in or that his mom worked for the post office.
In my mind, these are the candidates who are noteworthy. I think that Gephardt is way too cozy with the unions; Graham is sounding too conspirational; and, Lieberman won't stop sermonizing.
If only my preferred candidate had decided to run.. maybe he will in 2008 (by the way, it's Evan Bayh).


Post a Comment

<< Home