What a strange political season! I see Joe Biden on This Week this morning and say, "Yes, I think he should get the nomination." In spite of things like his support of the Credit Card Company Welfare Bill (aka bankruptcy "reform"), I could find it in myself to support him, and I think he'd be good against whichever of the Republican lightweights get the nomination.
But on Friday night, I saw John Edwards on Bill Maher, and I found myself thinking I could support him. And yet I count myself as an Edward skeptic. His email list -- which I ended up on after I wrote in support of his bloggers after a religious intolerance group attacked them -- doesn't help: for all their asks for cash, the Edwards emails don't say much about his positions behind mere sloganeering. He's supposed to be the best candidate on substantive issues, so why don't they share that in these spammy newsletters? And he's not helped by his hair. If Edwards and Romney end up the nominees, we will never have seen more meticulous hair in a presidential election. I know that's shallow of me, but how you present yourself is a big part of politics. Edwards is always so together that you wonder just how passionate he is. When he speaks, he's passionate, but then he smiles and I almost feel like I was watching a little performance. That's what I was left with on Maher.
Aside: I wish someone would give us an objective comparison of everybody's plans for healthcare reform. It's a mess, and yet all I know about the candidates is they have plans and they've been talking about them for some time. So why don't we get any coverage of what these plans are? Edwards appeals because he sees the insurance companies as part of the problem. But he doesn't appeal to me if he plans to just dump it on the backs of employers. You can't expect small businesses to just take on the weight of financing healthcare. Our economy is driven by small businesses, and many, if not most, of the larger enterprises today started as small businesses. We can't make it impossible for people to start new businesses.
Last week I saw Hillary Clinton on some show or another -- was it This Week? -- and she impressed me more than she has in the past. She's more relaxed now, and it really seems like she's enjoying herself. She may be a natural. But I am extremely suspicious of her political machine and her DLC ties. Still, I'd vote for her.
And then there's Barack Obama. He apparently is drawing the biggest crowds and is raising a lot of money from a lot of people -- the latter part always a good sign -- but I'm not seeing him much on TV. That could be good, because his position is as the new guy, and if you look at him every day for months on end, he won't seem so new. I appreciate his willingness to question political orthodoxy. I like is stated opposition to how politics is practiced in Washington. Even though in the past he has struck me as wishy washy, today he seems much more clear and focused now. I'd vote for him.
Oh, and let's not forget Bill Richardson. I'd vote for him, too (though I don't think he is realistically in the running any more).
What a strange world. With most politicians most times, the more they talk the more I dislike them. That is still true for the Republican candidates, who every time they speak always remind me that they are indeed worse than I thought. But for the Democrats, there's a very strong slate of candidates.
And that's why I feel it's just too late now for Al Gore to get into it. He would throw confusion into the process, and I'm not sure that would be a good thing just now. Leave the confusion to the Republicans.