California's muy super duper primary is coming up next week and I'm not sure for whom I'm going to vote. Let's review the candidates.
I'm a pretty liberal guy and probably have never voted for someone on the conservative half of the spectrum for any office above the county level. That being said, I've enjoyed the Republican race so far, so let's include their candidates too.
Rudy Giuliani - Megalomaniacal head-case completely obsessed with 9/11. Spent most of the campaign trying to convince everyone that he was a conservative by becoming increasingly xenophobic. Also, 9/11. Has now dropped out of the race. 9/11.
Mike Huckabee - Has a funny and charismatic demeanor which nicely covers the fact that he'd like to remake the Constitution over in the image of the Bible. Doesn't believe in evolution, is admittedly ignorant on foreign policy, and isn't a fiscal conservative. Plays guitar.
Mitt Romney - No clue what this guy is about. Looks good in a suit.
Ron Paul - The most principled guy running in either party (with Kucinich coming in 2nd). His basic philosophy seems to be to get rid of as much of the federal government as possible. In lieu of things like environmental protection policy or educational standards, we're all just supposed to sue each other for "property damage". Although I'm pretty sure that's a naive approach, if the Republicans nominate this guy, I will seriously consider voting for him. I think his policies would fail, but we've been failing the traditional way for longer than I've been around, so let's give Libertarianism a try. Also doesn't believe in evolution.
John McCain - Would be the oldest President ever. Often crossed party lines to craft policy back before he was running for President. Has now received the endorsement of Giuliani. If they run on the same ticket, it will be the first Republican ticket that consists of zero true Republicans.
Now for the Democrats. This coming Tuesday I'll be voting for one of these people in the California primary.
Hillary Clinton - Wicked smart. Has the "career politician" stench despite having only been in the Senate for a few years. A policy wonk who trots out positions and proposed policies with ease. A chick. If you're a Democrat and you don't vote for her, you are a misogynist.
Barack Obama - Inspirational. Nearly glows with the ability to start healing rifts, whether they be between Republican and Democrat or white and black. Makes uplifting speeches in lieu of laying out policy. Says the word "change" a lot. Mostly black. If you are a Democrat and don't vote for him, you are a racist.
John Edwards - Son of a mill worker. The choice of misogynists, racists, and mill workers. Dropped out of the race.
This is a tough call for me. At heart, I love numbers. Every time I hear Clinton speak, I'm impressed with her command of numbers and the fact that she has a well-defined set of policies on every issue I've seen thrown at her. She is an exceedingly capable candidate. Also, being the father of an eight year-old girl, I cannot help but wonder about the impact she'll have on a new generation of women, who will look up to the most powerful position on the planet, and see a woman there. That's an amazing amount of encouragement for about half the people on this planet.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, seems to be more of a feel-good candidate than a facts and numbers candidate. He may have well-defined positions on all the issues, but he'd rather talk about healing the nation. I'm not surprised that Oprah endorsed him because if he loses the election, he'll probably take her job. I am, however, intrigued by his idealism. I like that he doesn't have an axe to grind. I like that he'd talk to any world leader. I like that he hasn't been around politics long enough to be owned by the lobbyists. Unlike Clinton, I don't think that he's just telling me what he thinks needs to be said to get elected. The guy just seems like our first 21st century presidential candidate.
So many things to consider. Is Hillary hated too much to be electable? Would some wacky KKK member assassinate Obama? Is it important to have your policy laid out in the election or does that all get thrown away on your first day in the office? Is Obama more smooth talking than substance?
I guess I must ask myself, "Mike, are you a racist or a misogynist?"
I'll find out on Tuesday.