I watched the Democratic debate from Vegas last night. As I struggled to stay awake it occurred to me that I really don't have a candidate in this race on either side. I'm trying to remember the last time I was "undecided" at this point in the campaign. Maybe '88. Nope, I was partial to Paul Simon that year, even though he had no chance of winning.
So I consider there to be eight "serious" candidates running from prez-5 GOP'ers and 3 Dems. The rundown, with my feelings about 'em:
(Order means nothing)
Mitt Romney-Man, does he creep me out. I expect his eyes to glow red every time he looks directly into the camera. And it has nothing to do with him being Mormon. He is the consummate example of a politician who will say anything to get elected. He was pro-choice and pro-gay marriage when he wanted to be the governor of a liberal state (Mass.), but hey-ho, he's pro-life and pro-marriage (which is the dumbest label ever created in Washington I think) now that he wants to be the Republican nominee. He also made that lame religion speech last month to reassure the evangelicals (what exactly is an "evangelical"? It sounds like it should be part of a manicure or something) that if he's elected he will not move the nation's capital to Salt Lake. He's not even trying to appeal to me. He's probably very smart. And he's got great hair.
2. John McCain-No way. The man is a great American, a patriot, and has been through more than fifteen thousand of us put together, but if he is elected, the Middle East is going to explode. I might have voted for him in 2000 because he seemed genuine, but eight years later he is the Bush candidate. It stuns me that he is considered a front-runner. It's hard to reject him. I like the guy, but I want us out of the Middle East.
3. Mike Huckabee-He's kind of likable, but he needs to stop fawning over Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris, who is so concerned about values and such, yet didn't seem to care when he had the most violent show on TV for almost a decade. Ever watch an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger"? So strike one there. Strike two came this week, when Huck made a comment about changing the language of the Constitution to make it reflect the word of God. Uh uh. That's strike three, four, five, etc etc etc eighty all in one. I am glad Jerry Falwell isn't around for this. I like Mike; I'm sure he'd fun to jam with, but I want him no where near the White House.
4. Fred Thompson-If I were ol' Fred, I would have ran as the character he played in The Hunt for Red October. The actual FT is really boring. His cabinet meetings would be naps instead.
5. Rudy Guiliani-The "I wake up screaming in a cold sweat in the bowels of the night just thinking of the chance that he might be president" candidate. How ironic, since he is the most socially liberal of the Republicans. Rudy wants to be President Bad-Ass; We're gonna invade Iran! We're gonna find bin Laden! We're gonna get Moose and Squirrel! It boggles my mind that he is even taken seriously. Really, what has he done? He was Mayor of New York City for eight years. Who cares? He cut crime (good), committed adultery (bad), made Times Square more pleasant (good), estranged his children (bad) and, in the eight years in between the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and 9/11, he did nothing to improve the communication devices of the police, fire and Port Authority (unbelievably bad; almost criminally bad; certainly morally bad). People who call him "America's Mayor" are morons. A) America doesn't have a mayor. B) Guiliani goes around claiming that he was "Mayor Bad-Ass" when in reality, he just ran around flexing his chest after the towers fell. He's reprehensible. I don't understand, given his personal life, why he is even taken seriously. Can you imagine the smear of negative ads if a Democrat who had committed adultery and been married three times was running? We'd all need hip boots.
6. Ron Paul-I know very little about the guy, but he seems to have a rabid following, and his ability to raise money over the Internet is impressive. He doesn't have a chance in H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.
So there are the Republicans. Can't get behind any of them. On to the Dems:
1. John Edwards-The dream match up of hair stylists everywhere is Edwards vs. Romney. I can see the ads now: "Hair Salon Veterans for Truth." Edwards would probably be a decent president, at least initially, but I picture him getting bogged down quickly. And what has he been doing the last four years?
2. Hillary Clinton-I used to be tingly thinking about Bill having influence in the White House again, but I'm over it. Look, I'm sure she is qualified and a swell person, and it really is no fault of her own that she is so vilified, but she is exactly what this country does not need, someone who will make the polarization of this country even more apparent. We've spent the last eight years with at least half the country despising the president. I don't want to go through that for at least four more. And she seems so controlled, so structured. I couldn't believe the thing last week where she was choked up with emotion. Are we sure that was not a robot?
3. Barack Obama-Sigh. I like him. I really, really do. I just don't think that he is ready to be president. I've said before that my dream is for him to finish his senatorial term, run for governor of Illinois in 2010 (there is no way Blago is going to run again. If he is dumb enough to try he will be filleted) and then run for President in either 2012 or 2016. Barack is not listening. His political flame is going to go out way too soon.
If I had to choose someone above, I'd have to default to Obama. I wanted Bill Richardson, who I thought had the most impressive resume of anyone in the race (governor, congressman, energy secretary, UN ambassador, diplomat-hostage negotiator) but he does not have the personality that the country demands. Who cares if you are qualified? You just have to look good.
Since the race was all but over in 2004 by the time the primary came around Illinois, I voted for Dennis Kucinich. Wait a tic! He's running again isn't he? I forgot all about President "Didn't he have a small roll in the Wizard of Oz" Kucinich.
I quiver for our society.