Sunday, April 29, 2007

Democratic Candidates Debate 4/26/2007

Faith spoken in the first and last lines only!

Dear Lord, thank you for CSPAN and especially for repeats of significant shows such that I can see them in pieces when needed. It took two viewings to see the complete debate due to that wonderful thing called life. But here, Sunday evening, I get to watch the balance that I had missed the other day.

Sadly, none of these candidates are the one. Not one of them differentiates themselves enough and stands up as the one that will make the changes in my humble opinion. The debate was good, and had it’s humorous moments (Thanks, Joe Biden, for that simple answer of “Yes.” And the attempt to resist a smile if not fully realized when asked about your ability to keep your food out of your mouth.)

But in my personal rating from bottom to top –

Mike Gravel – this guy is angry. Rightly so. But a candidate simply can’t show anger or be known to have reason for anger. To darned scary. For me, this is the reason John McCain will never win the majority of the vote. Back to Mike, though, his point that all the main players leave nukes on the table with respect to Iran is valid. How about we leave that to Israel to deal with? Does anyone really think that Israel won’t strike if nobody else does? But Mike is the potted plant he felt he was, nice to have around and serves a good purpose, he will not be our next president. It occurs to me if Barack Obama said the exact words that Mike Gravel said, but in his own tone and cadence, it would have been entirely differently perceived.

Chris Dodd – Old School. And this said from a guy who is decidedly old school. He seems the Democratic Party’s Newt Gingrich. Please, no.

Joe Biden – Joe lost me a couple of months ago thanks to CSPAN. On “The Road to the Whitehouse” they followed him for a bit on some house calls in New Hampshire. The live camera showed him from outside, walking into the house, to greeting the first person there. The charm of the smile that came on his face simply let me know that he is a professional politician and all that entails. I’d probably enjoy lifting a glass and solving the problems of the world with Joe, but I don’t think he’s are the guy to do it. Great statement on foreign policy at the end though, the world we live in can benefit from our support of the lesser ones in far away places.

Bill Richardson – I want to like this guy but he’s too nervous to trust. He is obviously well studied, going often to listing one, two, three, the items that relate to the given topic, but his openly stated desire to give Alberto Gonzalez extra time “because he’s Latino” scares the crap out of me. Honesty is good. Preference due to similar background is not. He’s good on guns, though. And that comment about blow-dried candidates – what is up with that? Is there some issue between him and John Edwards? Bill does have the worldly credentials and seems a proper servant of the people. Can it be so?

Dennis Kucinich – this guy is smart, well spoken in his every inflection, well spoken in his plan of what to do in so many instances, but an overly confident nerd ain’t gonna win it. Even with a hot wife, as I was told in typical white trash manner by Randi Rhodes the other day on Air America. I like just about everything I hear from Dennis but I don’t see him winning and a big part of choosing who the Democratic Party candidate is if the person can win the whole thing. I don't think Dennis can.

Barack Obama – very simply, lack of experience. Frankly, Dennis K is tied with Barack in my thinking. For the first time that I have seen, Barack's youth showed during this debate. Please, Barack, come back in four more years. Or eight, or twelve, or sixteen. Until then, show us what you’ve got on the national level and keep working at the local level. Make a difference. Then run for president. One more thing – given one minute to make a response to an important question please don’t go to the old saw of reciting your daughters’ name and ages for any reason.

Hilary Clinton – I want to like Hilary, and again I do. Her candid admission of many mistakes, without a laugh, was well timed. Her desire to get real health care reform is well known and spoken here again. She remains unflustered. But while she ain’t the one, but she may wind up in the position. Her ability to raise money raises concerns about her being beholden to the contributors. As much as I like Bill, and think he would make an excellent first first husband, and as much as I like the moderate platform of the party that Hilary supports, she is probably part of the machine that needs replacing.

John Edwards – One of the frontrunners for good reason. Incredibly well prepared. A good looking guy with a good reasoning behind his expensive haircuts. He’s thankful and humble all while building what – a 28,000 freaking square foot house? I have also paid attention to his wife’s troubles and while I think it worthy of prayer, as are so many, I don’t think he should be running for president right now. He is so calm that I really wonder what he will be like when emotions run strong. It is difficult to find fault in John Ewards, and that may be his greatest fault.

Which leaves the question – Can Al Gore run again? Could he come in this late and win it? Very simply, I think yes. I didn’t much care for Al in the previous election. I thought him pompous. Not quite as bad as the real blow-dry guy, John Kerry (whose picture with John Lennon I still have magnetted near my computer and like for it's determination) but surely the sense was that Al was talking down all too often to all too many people. Then the movie came out and we got a sense, however expertly manipulated by a fine director and a separate cinematographer, of a guy that has a mission and a desire to achieve a greater good for all of mankind. While I wonder if that one cause may overwhelm (rightly!) all others and become the wall that all the stuff thrown by the GOP sticks to, I also think it would be almost worth it. Either Al wins and becomes the next president or he loses and becomes the only candidate to twice be defeated through the implementation of illegal voting violations.

It’s a long road to the Whitehouse, thank God.


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