So I decided to sit down and try to sort out what is is I don't seem to like about any of the current batch of candidates. Forget deep thinking and rational analysis. Because I suspect I, like most other voters, don't caste of our final vote rationally. I believe other motivations are trump rational thinking when it comes to picking the person we hope will become our national savior every four years. Emotions like fear, personal and religious values and our old standby reason, “the lesser of two-evils.” In other words, we don't vote with our heads. We vote with our gut.
So that's what I tried to sort out last week. All the policy blather aside, what's my gut reaction to these candidates. I didn't even try to fair and balanced. And if you are looking for the most penetrating analysis of these candidates, stop reading now, because you sure a hell aren't about to get it from what follows.
Hillary R. Clinton: Hillary is the anti-Christ of Democrats According to polls, 50% percent of registered have been bewitched by this shape-shifter. I figure that if you think you're sick of George W. Bush after 7 years in office, just wait until you get a snoot full of a Hillary Clinton administration. If elected President I fear she may be the last Democrat to see the inside of the Oval office for a generation. And the same goes for the next woman nominated by either party for that office. And she's not even much of an improvement over what we have now. Hillary is at least as big a serial liar as Bush, and just as shameful at it. For example, earlier this month she gang-banged Obama for saying he would take nukes off the table in dealing with Pakistan's unruly, terrorist infested tribal regions. Hillary claimed it proved Obama was too unseasoned and naive to be president. But wait -- just two months before that Hillary herself told reporters she would take nukes off the table in dealing with Iran's nuclear ambitions. Holy on-the-record hypocrite, Batman. I don't want four more years of that kind of cynical duplicity, phony baloney, valueless and dangerous crap. And that's what I fear a Hillary Clinton presidency would be. Same old, same old, only this time in pantsuit.
Barack Obama: I had such hopes for Barack. But, so far, they have been hopes unrealized. To call the Obama campaign uninspiring would be an understatement. It verges on somnolent. I was ready and eager for a young Martin Luther King/JFK hybrid. Instead all I've gotten so far is a nice, smart, mild-mannered, well-spoken, well-meaning, tan version of an upwardly mobile Chicago alderman. I had hoped for more, lots more. Because, if America ever needed a no-nonsense dope-slap-upside- the-head kinda president, it's now. But rather than swinging for knockouts, Barack has turned out to be a cross between Oprah and Dr. Phil.
John Edwards: He's smart enough. He's ambitions enough. He's too pretty by half. I wouldn't hold that against him except that he seems to care way too much about it. Something deep within tells my gut that it says something about a person when they can get a perfectly acceptable $25 haircut anywhere in the US but pays $400 for a stylist instead. Is that petty of me? Probably. But, over my 62-years of rubbing elbows with all kinds of people I've learned more than a bit about character. And somewhere among all that are data that gives me concern about this guy. A rich guy who billing himself a champion of the poor, who spends a year getting himself filmed working with poor people, but stops long enough to get $400 haircuts. Maybe I shouldn't find that kind thing a turnoff, but I do. Bottom line on Edwards – He's too cute by half (physically and politically.) The only thing about him that makes him even passingly creditable is his wife, Elizabeth, who if were running instead of her husband, I would vote for with out hesitation.
Bill Richardson: A nice guy, but reaching. Sure he's held a lot of high-level jobs in government, but it those were his peak career moments. Richardson just doesn't “feel” like Presidential material. VP, maybe, but not P.
Joe Biden: OMG, imagine four or eight years of having to listen to that windbag. Joe is smart-- just ask and he'll tell you. Don't ask, and he'll tell you – and tell you, and tell you, and tell you... Because all Joe Biden does – besides having his teeth-whitened – is talk. Poor Joe was born a century too late. He would have made a bigger splash back in mid-1800s when senatorial windbags were all the rage. Biden would make a great Secretary of State, but not a good President. Besides, if you think Bush has burned out the US military, Biden would do the same thing to the White House press corps. His entire administration would one long, non-stop extemporaneous news conference. I have visions of Helen Thomas fleeing the White House Press room screaming, “No, no... not another news conference?!!! ... I can't do it.... Let me cover golf or American Idol. Just get me out of the Biden White House....”
Chis Dodd: Don't like him. Every time I see him I expect Madam Tussaud to show up to return him to his place in her Wax Museum.
Mike Gravel: No thanks. We already tried turning the nation over to a raving lunatic, and it hasn't turned out well.
Dennis Kucinich: I like him. But I'm not ready for a socialistic solution to every problem that comes down the pike. While a single-payer health system is a good idea, turning the entire health care industry into not-for-profit enterprises would kill innovation. Whether liberals like to admit it or not, free enterprise is almost always more efficient and dynamic than government. Rather than removing the profit motive from medicine, the answer lays in installing and maintaining a government regulatory system that tempers inevitable free enterprise excesses.
Rudy Giuliani: Oh man, if Republicans think Bill Clinton's “personal habits” were an embarrassment wait until they get a taste of a Giuliani presidency. Ruddy Rudy would wear out the sheets in Lincoln bedroom. Then there's current Mrs. Judith (don't-call-me-Judy) Guiliani Whoa! This is one needy gal. If you think Nancy Reagan was piece of work, wait until you get a gander at Judy. Just spend a few minutes scanning the Vanity Faire profile of her. Then close your eyes and try to imagine all the things that could set Judith off as First Lady. And imagine the soap opera that would ensue when (not if, when) President Rudy decides that Judy is past her “use by” date and tries to toss her out of the White House. Talk about the War of the Roses!
John McCain: Remember the old Mr. Magoo cartoons? I do.
Mitt Romney: This guy is difficult to describe because our lexicon has no words to capture this level of slickness. Every time I see this guy on TV I expect him to say something like, “Do you know how much you'd save on your heating bill and maintenance if you installed our aluminum siding on your home?” Then there's the whole Mormon thing. I know it's politically incorrect to dump on person's belief structure, but when it comes to choosing a new Commander-in-Chief I think we need to put some limits on that indulgence. I mean it's unnerving enough that all the candidates running believe it's important to trot out their spiritual creds – mostly the Christian variety. In a time when real weapons can anniliate mankind, I am uneasy that we insist on electing only certified spirit worshipers to the presidency. But Romney's religion, Mormonism, is a bridge too far along that path. Mormons rank right up with Scientologists for unadulterated nonsensical beliefs. Would you put Tom Cruise in the White House? I hope not, (though after two Bush victories it's clear voters are quite capable of doing just that.) Anyway, don't ask Romney if it's “boxers or briefs,” because it's neither. It's worse.
Sam Brownback: When it comes to religious nuts, Brownback is the Macademean of the GOP pack.
Tom Tancredo: The Southwest's David Duke-lite
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