Presidential Candidates

Here is the WaPo’s list of candidates. Of course there are a lot of guys we don’t know much about and they might actually be pretty good… But I wanted to put some key thoughts down that I’ve had so far… Also I wish fundraising would go away and would become a federal responsibility, divided up equally among candidates. Or some sort of strict limit to make the process more fair towards those who get no media coverage yet might have some different ideas. The current system totally rewards the seeking of power and control of the airwaves.

You’ve got to read these Wiki entries, by the way. Some of them are fucking hilarious. These people are running for POTUS?

Hillary Clinton: She’s a career Congresswoman and that’s what she should stay as. It would be good to have a woman as president but she’s not the right one. No vision, no leadership, votes politically. Waits to see what Obama will do first. Her husband would overshadow her for sure; on the flip side, she’s already spent eight years in the White House. Internationally she’s the most recognized Democrat. Probably wouldn’t be accepted in diplomatic efforts with other countries. Hated by all Republicans and would hurt the Dems’ chances.

Chris Dodd: Another good Congressman of 25 years experience. Wants immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Votes heavily along Democratic lines. Peace Corps volunteer and former US Army reservist. Would make a better VP than President. Probably wouldn’t attract any Republican votes.

Barack Obama: There’s no question in my mind that he should be the next president. Read his book, The Audacity of Hope. He is running on a platform of bringing the nation together, which I think is very appealing to everyone without kowtowing to voters like Bush tried to do with his “compassionate conservatism”, whatever the hell that was. The difference is that he seems to understand the necessity of debate whereas Dubya just gave it lip-service. Obama is inexperienced politically but his grasp of issues shows intelligence and ability to adapt and learn. He has very pragmatic and broad perspectives on things which seems crucial these days. I think he can conduct realpolitik while being diplomatic on the surface. He is popular among those who know him internationally, and some Republicans claim he’s the best Democratic candidate because he seems to be optimistic about the course of America, despite his politics. So he’s seen as a genuine civil servant which I’m sure many people are ready for. He would be able to deal with foreign leaders very well in my estimation. My major complaint at this point was his <a HREF=”“>essay for Foreign Affairs, which was completely obsessed with 9/11 and condemning Iran. Bush has turned the entire world into a reactionary militaristic mess and I am hoping Obama could come out and say that era is over, the era of fear. I want someone to build fresh, modern relationships with other countries, building pragmatic security alliances and trade deals with even those countries we’re not so hot about, like Iran. Really, the essay was bad. It totally kissed the ass of all the masturbating war porn jockeys so common in the US right now who think our enemies will cower if we just yell at them a lot and bomb them to tomorrow. I also wish he would push for immediate withdrawal from Iraq but as such a visible candidate I’m sure he won’t.

Al Gore: Very very popular among liberals and international crowd, but ridiculed with old stereotypes and anti-global warming rhetoric by the Republicans. Personally I think he should stick to his argument that he’s done better as a retired politician and private cause-taker. He should be an adviser within a Democratic presidential cabinet. He missed his chance to be president by not being as passionate and engaging with the people as he is now.

Bill Richardson: I think this guy would be the best VP under Obama. In a weaker field I think he could pass as a president. Got his Masters in Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher School at Tufts, one of the schools I applied to. He’s served in a variety of roles in the US government as well as his New Mexico government. He has that very peculiar blend of southwestern politics, where you can be a liberal on social issues but still pro-gun-rights and pro-death-penalty. He is a good civil servant and is fiscally responsible. He has a very colorful foreign affairs history, probably the most experienced of all the candidates. I think as VP he would get a lot done and could handle much of the Prez’s extra workload.

Mike Gravel: YouTube highlights:

Mitt Romney: Apparently this guy is a Republican hopeful because he “looks presidential”. The Republicans tend to eat superficialities up (see Fred Thompson). He is a Mormon and went to France for missionary work. He was valedictorian at BYU and went to Harvard Business School. Got elected as a Republican in a New England state. So you know he’s willing to adjust his position on issues to fit the voters. Turned his back on gays recently. Epitome with the problem with businessmen as politicians: their self-interests are hard-wired and will always over-rule public interests. Romney’s Foreign Affairs essay is just embarrassing for an American to read. It advocates continuing to try to intimidate the world with an iron fist and a raging militaristic, nationalistic hard-on. Full of post-9/11 rhetorical bullshit and fear-mongering. As Fareed Zakariah put it, “So far, on the Republican side, it has turned into an exercise in chest-thumping. Whipping up hysteria requires magnifying the foe. The enemy is vast, global and relentless.”

Rudy Giuliani: A complete fraud. Even NY firefighters are like, “What did this guy even do during 9/11?” Apparently Giuliani is a hero because he happened to be in New York while it was attacked. Wow, fucking amazing. His answer to every question posed by an opponent goes something like: “I WAS AT 9/11, I WAS THERE MAN, YOU DON’T EVEN FUCKIN KNOW!” During a Republican presidential debate, Ron Paul said that our foreign policy helped 9/11 happen. Giuliani pulled his 9/11 trump card and said he was insulted. Ron Paul then gave him an assignment to read books about American foreign policy blowback and Giuliani (as far as we know) declined to take up the offer. As usual, the popular Republican attitude towards books is that they’re liberally biased and full of American liberal self-loathing and guilt. Other than being around during 9/11, Rudy’s most well-known for hiding NYC’s homeless from tourists and for dressing like a woman and being a dork on SNL.

Ron Paul: A libertarian who is pushing for the US to pull out its military not just from Iraq but from around the world, citing massive international hostility towards our foreign occupation and imperialism. Ridiculed by his own party. Actually pretty popular among the liberals. Back in the day (i.e. before Dubya), this guy would be seen as a pretty normal Republican. Schooled Giuliani in the above-mentioned debate and ensuing snipes. Well-read, used to be an obstetrician. Advocates less government which even for a liberal seems pretty appealing given Bush’s clusterfuck. Amusingly, the online liberals vaulted Paul to the top of several Republican online polls, to which the online Republicans cried foul. If the Republicans tried to sabotage a Democrat poll by voting for who they liked the most, who would they vote for??

Sam Brownback: Evangelical. Raised his hand during the Republican debate saying he didn’t believe in evolution. Is against gay rights. Trotted out children on the Senate floor to argue against using embryos for stem cell research. He seems like he’s done some productive things as senator, but as Jesus’s candidate he’s held back by being Ned Flanders incarnate.

Tom Tancredo: Got deferred from the Vietnam War, which he supported, for mental health-related illness. I don’t even know if Tancredo does anything besides eat, sleep, breathe, and shit immigration. This joker has such a hard-on for stopping Mexicans and illegals from coming into the country that even Karl Rove yelled at him and called him a traitor. Now THAT is bad.

Fred Thompson: Republicans who’ve appeared in TV shows or movies seem to do well. Arnold. Reagan. Thompson. You might have seen him in Law & Order episodes. Or Hunt for Red October. Or Die Hard 2. Or In the Line of Fire. Or Days of Thunder. This guy ACTS like a hardass! He was quoted as saying, “When people ask what has Saddam done to us, I ask, what had the 9/11 hijackers done to us — before 9/11.” And finally, when Michael Moore wrote a letter to Thompson rejecting Thompson’s dim view of Moore’s Cuba coverage, Thompson chomped at a cigar and responded, “Fuck off, I don’t have time for you.” Now he’s running for president. It’s this kind of attention to high-minded debate that Republicans really respond to!

John McCain: No one knows where McCain stands on any position any more. The photos of him awkwardly wearing a kevlar helmet and body armor while being protected by a unit-sized military escort, in an effort to prove how safe Iraq was, was just embarrassing. A winning quote:

“We have had troops in South Korea for 60 years and nobody minds,” McCain said. “If you stay a long, long time, but have the Iraqis doing the fighting, and your people are back in the bases and away from the firing line, I think Americans would be satisfied.”