It’s awfully early, but at this time, I’m leaning towards John Edwards for President. In December 2002, I said that it was not yet Edwards’ time. Now, I think it is. He seems to me to be making the right moves, and more importantly, to have learned from his 2004 experiences. In the past few days, he’s decided to pull out of a Nevada debate that will be on Faux News. Given the way they’ve smeared him in the past, I think it’s a good decision to freeze them out, and one that I think the rest of the Democratic field should emulate for the rest of the campaign. Fox News is not a legitimate news organization; it’s a Republican propaganda operation. Why not just refuse to deal with them, since all they’ll do is smear you anyway?
I like Edwards’ stand on the issues. His plan (pdf) for universal health insurance (one of my most important issues) is very good. I like that he’s forthright about how universal health care will cost money, and some of that money will have to come from raising taxes. I’m so damn tired of politicians who promise the moon and pretend that there will be no cost. Treat me like an adult and ask me if I’m willing to pay more in taxes to make sure that I never again have to worry about health coverage. My answer is “Where do I sign up?” For these reasons, I’ve made my first donation of the presidential cycle to Edwards.
So far, Hillary is running exactly the sort of cautious, focus-group campaign I expected. And if she can’t bring herself to admit that she made a mistake in voting for the Iraq war, I have no use for her. We already have an idiot in the White House who can’t admit to a mistake. Hillary’s no idiot, but if she can’t back down (like Edwards did) in the face of the biggest foreign policy disaster in American history, then her judgement is no good, in my book.
Obama doesn’t have the experience to be President, and he doesn’t have enough experience as a candidate. He’s never had to run a tough campaign; running for Senate against Alan Keyes does not count. So far, his stands on the issues do not excite me. How do we know he won’t crack under the pressure of a national campaign? It’s too scary of a prospect. He’s a hell of a speaker, but rhetoric and delivery are not enough. And frankly, I don’t think that the crackers in the South will vote for a black man for President. Why start a tough general election campaign with that sort of handicap? That said, I think he has a very bright future, and I’d like to see him as Edwards’ Veep.
Finally, I have to say that if Al Gore were to run again, I’d support him in a flash. But I think that’s less and less likely.