Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Nevada Is The New Florida

The Republicans had no issue figuring out who won their Nevada caucuses. Mitt Romney ran away and hid - the nearest competitor, Ron Paul, didn't even have half as many votes as the former Massachusetts governor.

But the Democrats? They have no idea.

See, Sen. Clinton had way more votes than Sen. Obama. I think Clinton had 50% to Obama's 45%. But because of the bizarre way Nevada counts delegates, Obama - who outperformed Clinton in the sparsely populated northern parts of the state - won more delegates. At least in this case, both Clinton and Obama can declare victory and move on.

Anyway, I can't think of anything better to do, so I'll just give you my update on who I think would make the best President. I'll separate them into categories - excellent, good, mediocre, bad, and godawful. Here goes.


Nobody. Yes, I'm still bitter about Richardson leaving so early. Why do you ask?


Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton. I worry about the former's inexperience and the latter's penchant for secrecy and mean-spirited politics. But policy-wise, the two are extremely similar and would both probably push legitimately well-thought-out policies.


John Edwards, John McCain. Edwards is just too full of hot air for me - I think he's got his head in the clouds a bit. But policywise, his ideas aren't too different from what I would like to see, and he at least recognizes the existence of poor people. I like McCain's attitude, but he's far too conservative for me to place him above mediocre. However, he does have some good ideas every now and then, and appears to actually think his policy stances through. Which would be nice.


Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson. Romney seemed like he'd be a good chief executive from his time as MA governor, but his torture-happiness and abrupt about-face tell me he's weak-willed at best. He has the most potential to move up after the pander-to-the-base phase of the campaign passes. Huckabee is a nice guy, but four more years of culture-war craziness and a nutty tax plan is not what this country needs. Paul actually recognizes the importance of the Constitution (unlike any of his Republican compatriots with the possible exception of McCain), but has some policy ideas that often veer into nuttiness. As for Thompson? I'm not sure he's really running.


Rudolph the Red-Faced Mayor. Giuliani tried his best to turn New York City into a police state. He couldn't take criticism, and he had no tolerance for anyone who didn't share his narrow policy stances or who were irked by his bulldozer-like tactics. If it's possible to have a President worse than George W., Giuliani will manage. Anyone who still thinks Giuliani would make a good President will be disabused from that notion by reading this interesting New York Times article on Giuliani's destructive vindictiveness. The man's a human tornado. We don't need the Tasmanian Devil as our President.


Mike said...

"As for Thompson? I'm not sure he's really running."

As of 5 hours after this post, he's not. Nice clairvoyance.

At this point, I don't know what I'm rooting for. I know that if whoever earns the Dem nom doesn't pick Richardson as their vice president, they're insane. I know that if McCain (definitely my favored Pub this year just as he was in 2000) wins the Pub nom, his veep will be extremely important. I don't see him choosing a running mate from the current crop of candidates. (Crossing fingers for Chuck Hagel.)

Either way, I'm just happy for a compelling election year. Unfortunately I don't get to vote in next week's Florida primary, but I'm excited for the pandering for my independent swing-state vote that will no doubt ensue for the general election.

Miguel said...

Like you, I don't really think there's an "excellent" candidate out there. While I'm high on Ron Paul, I'm just too cynical to give any politician, no matter who they are a glowing seal of approval.

Ron Paul is the only candidate I'd consider above "mediocre". He's the only candidate who takes the constitution seriously and consistently, and quite frankly, that to me is the most important quality in a president. Not to mention he's the only person out there who's pretty much immune to special interest smooching.

Almost everyone else to me gets lumped into the "mediocre" category. Obama and Rommney appear to me to be all talk and no substance. They spout slogans but have no real, concrete sensible ideas about anything. Huckabee, well, he's got some good conservative ideas, but far too susceptible to the religious special interests.

I'm not sure whether to rate McCain as "bad" or "god-awful". I can't say I'm too wild about someone who's enthusiastic about staying in Iraq for the next 100 years, and it's pretty clear to me that he's a slightly more literate copy of Bush Jr. (which is why I don't get the appeal from independents). His presidency will be another 4 years of policies we have now.

And the true god-awfuls. Clinton and Guiliani. I echo your sentiments on Guiliani. For Clinton, her vision of completely socialized medicine and Nanny Statism is something that terrifies me. And I don't think her foreign policy would be any less sane than the current administration's.