Who to Vote For in 2008

With primary season about to move into full swing, Ann Arbor Blue at Daily Kos makes a really good point:

Because none of the Democratic candidates suck. No. really. Despite what you've heard from various people around this place lately, none of the "Democrats" is really a Republican, none of them are Bush-lite, and none of them killed your mother and then hid her body....seriously, there really isn't an obviously wrong choice in this cycle.

....Vote for who you want. The only wrong answer is to get so miffed that your candidate lost that you don't throw your weight behind whoever emerges the victor. And this is a message to some of the more zealous supporters of various candidates as well; if you truly believe that Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards, or any other candidate is a Republican in disguise, then you need to take a major step back.

....I'll be frank, if you are incapable of recognizing that every candidate on the Democratic side shares the same core principles, and that every candidate on the Republican side opposes them (or at least pretends to), then you're a part of the problem. If you can't separate "I like candidate X" from "I must hate candidate Y", then you're a part of the problem. If you truly believe that someone is a bad Democrat for supporting a different candidate in the primaries, then you're a part of the problem.

That's exactly right. While TalkLeft has not endorsed a candidate, I've made no secret of my preference for Hillary or John Edwards. But I've also said if Barack Obama is the nominee, he will have my support. Because any Democrat is light-years beyond and preferable to a Republican.

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    i want better choices. (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by selise on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:47:47 PM EST
    Because none of the Democratic candidates suck....seriously, there really isn't an obviously wrong choice in this cycle.

    yes, "any Democrat is light-years beyond and preferable to a Republican." but that is not enough to get beyond not sucking.

    i'll vote dem to vote against the insane republicans, but i don't think i'll be voting "for" anyone.

    just like last time. blegh.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:51:26 PM EST
    I think you can make a good argument that all of them are pretty sucky.

    This campaign has been too long already (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Maryb2004 on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 10:15:45 PM EST
    and we're only half way there.

    Here's where I am:  I don't like any of them and any of them would be fine.  

    Truly I'm almost beyond caring which one of them gets it.  I just want the candidate to be picked so we can move on to a new phase.  

    Here, Here! (none / 0) (#1)
    by BDB on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:42:40 PM EST
    I, too, prefer Clinton and Edwards, but if Obama gets the nomination he'll get my time, my money and my vote.  

    It's a good year to be a Democrat - sure none of them are perfect, but all of the candidates have things to praise about them and even our second tier candidates outshine the Republican frontrunners.  What we're arguing over is small potatoes, really, like whether you prefer dark blue or light blue.  

    I think there COULD have been (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:53:26 PM EST
    important chopices and Edwards still offers the most strikingly different vision of the frontrunners.

    But this campaign devolved into the worst I can remember.


    I Agree (none / 0) (#7)
    by BDB on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 10:08:50 PM EST
    about the campaign.  While I like the candidates, the campaign has been terrible.  Part of it is the horrendous press coverage, it's not just horse race coverage, it's lousy horse race coverage.  And part of it is the campaigns' fault.  I honestly think that the lack of major differences on big issues has led to them fighting over crap.  When you have essentially the same voting records, what can you say to differentiate yourself?

    I'd have love to see them take on the War on Drugs or some of the other issues that haven't really been addressed by the front runners, but I can't say I'm surprised they haven't.   Politicians generally aren't the most risk-taking group, at least those who actually have a chance of winning.  And I think that while I find Obama and Clinton inspiring because of what each of their elections might mean, they are also probably going to be most risk averse because it's tough enough to be the first woman or African American without also staking out what are perceived as risky policy positions.


    Actually (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 09:50:52 PM EST
    My view is somewhat different.

    None of the candidates is all that is my view.

    I thought Obama had the potential to be something special but he has stuck to his schtick, has a terrible campaign manager in Axelrod and has generally stunk imo. But his policies will likely be ok.

    Hillary has a ton of baggage, has been a cuatious politician and I worry about the DLC and penn influences. But her stated policies are pretty good.

    Edwards has had the best political style but his love affair with populism has seeped too much into his policies for me.

    As for the rest, I liked Dodd's CAMPAIGN UNTIL he decided to forego the issues. But generally, Dodd has been a desultory pol in his career.

    The rest are really not worthy of discussion imo.

    None is that bad. But none is all that good.

    The 2004 PRIMARY campaign was infinitely more important and Dean and Clark were inspiring figures to me.

    This group? Bleh.

    Obviously each of them is 100 times better thanany of the Republicans.

    But, all in all, a lousy campaign with pretty mediocre candidates.

    Dean and Clark (none / 0) (#6)
    by BDB on Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 10:02:07 PM EST
    May have been inspiring figures, but they ran crappy, crappy campaigns and left us with the uninspiring John Kerry.  

    I don't think any of the Democrats is Abraham Lincoln or anything (although I am pro Lincoln, so take that Ron Paul!).  But I do think in their own way each of the leading three has the capacity to inspire.  

    Obama and Clinton are each society changers just by their very election.  Each has the capacity to expand - and in many ways has already expanded - political participation and the way we view and talk and think about politics and politicians just by being who they are.  I think that's easy to overlook at times, but the simple election of either of them would be inspiring.  And I do think that's something they can and should take credit for - for even getting this far.  They didn't do it alone and they owe a lot to predecessors, but still they've been able to do what no woman or African American has ever done, compete seriously for the presidency.  I get misty thinking about little girls wearing "I could be president" t-shirts or thinking about the Obama daughters frolicking on the front yard of the White House.  That's huge and it's a credit to liberal beliefs and policies - the civil rights movement and feminism.  It's a victory over all the hate the Republicans have spewed over the past decades towards blacks and women.  And either of their election was unthinkable 20 years ago.

    Edwards also has the capacity to be inspiring, IMO.  He's at his best when he's talking about poverty and the morality inherent in work.  His anti-corporate spiel can be too slick at times, but he clearly cares deeply about poverty and if he got Americans to care again, too, that would be inspiring.

    So none of them are perfect, but they each have the potential to change the country for the better.  That's really all I ask for - and more than I usually get - from politicians.


    Huh, what if I said (none / 0) (#10)
    by DA in LA on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 02:11:03 AM EST
    telling people they are "part of the problem" is part of the problem.

    Sorry for going with my brain and researching the candidates at length.  I see a large difference between Hillary and the other candidates in terms of corporate connections and foreign policy votes.

    And this person's comments presupposes that I am voting against a Republican.  I am not.  I will be voting for whoever most represents me.  If the Dems choose Hillary, then I will vote Green.  

    If someone needs to call me part of the problem for voting what I believe, then go right ahead.  Seems very American of them.

    yes, by contrast (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 02:56:30 AM EST
    to all the current republican candidates, any of the democratic ones would be an improvement, by a long stretch. at least, all of the dems can be counted in the "living" category, not so fred thompson.

    as well, no dem is clearly as whacked out as either huckabee or paul; i hear the state homes are nice guys.

    could there be a slimier candidate than nyc's own rudy? i think not! if you think (and i do) that bush makes nixon look almost quaint, by comparison, than you'll love rudy "i never met an ethics code i couldn't ignore" giuliani in the oval office.

    romney is just, well, kind of creepy. and not in a good way. you get the distinct impression he sees the establishment clause as a mere suggestion.

    that said, yes, i'll support the dem that gets the nomination, but there are clear cut differences. sen. clinton would be my #1 choice, by dint of training, experience and accomplishment. not to mention, she's got a pretty mean sense of humor, when the occasion warrents. i don't get the impression that either sen. obama, or former sen. edwards has much of one. she isn't perfect, but she's a damn sight better than the rest.

    sen. obama would be my #2 choice. what he clearly lacks in experience, he makes up for in intelligence and passion. i truly wish he'd waited until the 2016 election to run, he'd be a shoo-in.

    edwards is my #3 choice. obviously smart, passionate, but lacking in public experience, with only one senate term on his resume'.

    the rest of the field gets my vote only because they aren't republicans.

    actually, it isn't my job, as a citizen, to determine the candidate's core values, it's their job to show me what they are. anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. what is my job, as a citizen, is to decide if their stated and demonstrated core values are what i'm looking for.

    none of them are perfect, but their core values are pretty similar, and meet my needs, overall.

    LOL (none / 0) (#12)
    by illissius on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 06:13:37 AM EST
    "Do whatever you want!"

    "Don't tell me what to do, dickhead!"

    It really is bad (none / 0) (#13)
    by koshembos on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 06:42:25 AM EST
    I agree with Big T that this campaign is quite bad. I am not sure that you can pin the blame on one of the three top candidates. Hillary ran on positions instead of issues and that always cause skirmishes instead of debates. Edwards ran a weak campaign and tried to make up for it by vehement attacks which don't help. Obama ran first as "look how wonderful I am" and then switched to a Bush 2000 like campaign; he has driven issues off the table and, basically, joined Hillary in endless skirmishes.

    I am for Edwards due to the issues he is for. Hillary is a remote second due to a strong union endorsement and her exceptional intelligence. Obama triggers suspicion in me; I really don't know where he stands.

    Not Thrilled With Any Of Them (none / 0) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 11:42:05 AM EST
    Unfortunately the best candidates IMO decided not to run. Would have liked the opportunity to vote for someone like Feingold or Gore.

    Will probably cast my primary vote for Edwards because he has put forth the best policies on most of the issues and because I really don't like the way either Clinton or Obama approach politics.

    Gore (none / 0) (#16)
    by BDB on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 12:40:51 PM EST
    I love Al Gore, but he was a terrible candidate in 2000.  It should never have come down to Florida and, IMO, he and his lawyers mishandled Florida.

    He would have made an good president, but he's a much better activist than politician.  


    having given it just a bit more thought, (none / 0) (#15)
    by cpinva on Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 12:14:44 PM EST
    the "perfect" democratic (or republican, for that matter) candidate couldn't possibly win. they'd never even get the nomination of their party. for one thing, they'd be way too honest.

    no one really likes an honest politician, they have this nasty habit of highlighting our flaws. we say we want honesty and transparency in our candidates and elected officials, but the truth is, we don't.

    we don't want someone telling us "no, you can't have both guns and butter, in equal measure, there are limits to both." we really want someone who tells us exactly what we want to hear, regardless of how ludicrous it is.

    when we elect that person, who's been so soothing on the campaign trail, and they don't deliver on their absurd promises, we get upset. worse, we've become so cynical, the bar of our expectations has been lowered to the point where a complete incompetent gets elected not once, but twice!

    so yeah, none of the democratic alternatives is perfect, so what?