09 January 2008

Both my candidates are out...what now?

Looks like my boy Bill is dropping out. I lost first choice Chris Dodd after Iowa, and I'm losing second choice Richardson tomorrow, if reports are to be believed. Great.

Gone are the technocrats, the policy wonks. Gone, in other words, are the candidates who reflect my sentiments, preferences, personality, and predilections. Left are the suits. Unless Bill Bradley or Al Gore is going to appear, wonk ex machina-style at the convention and engage in some serious back room dealing, my candidate is named John, Barack, or Hillary.

More immediately, come 5 February, I've got to punch my ballot* for one of the big three. I'm not super thrilled.

All three have merits, but not one of them is the President I want.

John Edwards is still prattling on about Two Americas. He lives in one, grew up in the other, probably wants to sue one of them just for the heck of it. I kid, of course. He'd want to sue it to make a crapload of money.

John made the money that enabled him to buy his big house in the nicer of the Two Americas by being a very successful plaintiffs' advocate. I don't begrudge him for that, as there are a lot of very bad people and companies out there that should be sued and should be punished where it hurts: the wallet. Good for John for extracting many pounds of flesh and using his hefty fees and percentages to make a good life for himself.

But now? John favors tort reform.

Why? Probably to counter corporate America's hatred of "greedy trial lawyers". Hatred they've successfully convinced a good portion of the populace to adopt.

I don't favor tort reform (at least not as most people interpret it,) as I believe huge punitive damage claims are the only effective tool to use to regulate ill-behaving corporations. John probably doesn't favor it either, unless he's adopted the creed "I got mine; screw you."

Then there's Hillary. What can I say about Hillary Rodham Clinton that hasn't been said by a million mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, truthers out there who are convinced Vince Foster's briefcase contained the lost rites of the Stonecutters, plans for the USS Cole, and pictures of Hillary pulling on her skin like Jane Badler in V.

I liked Bill well enough and used to like Hillary, but I have no idea what she even stands for anymore. I'm not sure she does, either.

Finally, there's Barack Obama. He talk pretty. Likes to talk about change a lot. I expect his voice to start cracking like Chris Knight's one of these days. "It's not just the seasons you know it goes for everything."

I want to say something notable about Barack's positions and core beliefs, but I can't get a grasp on the man. He's a modern-day JFK. And if you know my thoughts on JFK, that's not good.

So basically, I've got three candidates left, none of whom I like, but one of whom bothers me less than her rivals. On 5 February, when you see the dashing bald dude striding into a PHX polling location holding his nose, it'll be me, ready to cast my vote for HRC.


* Actually, we do optical scan with paper backups here in AZ, so I'll be filling in my scantron-style ballot, but "punch" sounds more active.