It's getting to look a lot like Hillary .. or maybe not
First of all, I have no real idea what kind of a president ANY OF THEM, Republican or Democrat, would be, and neither do you.
Remember, nearly half of those American citizens who were allowed to vote in 2000 voted for George W. Bush ("were allowed" meaning those who were NOT stopped by Jeb Bush's state police, i.e., those who were guilty of driving while black, especially with passengers in their cars, or more formally, those who weren't written off the eligibility rolls by the hand-picked Texas company that vote-prohibited as felons anyone whose name sounded like that of someone who might be ineligible -- estimates say 50 - 60,000 in Florida alone.)
But I did, quite unequivocally, say that Edwards would come out on top.
But since then, Hillary Clinton has made some changes -- and an observer could call it learning as she goes along or cynical shape-shifting for votes. Either way, she's now behaving and talking in a way that seems much less grating and much more engaging than before.
And Obama seems to have gotten his edge sharper (rather than blunted as usual) as the campaign goes along.
Edwards is still in there.
SO it's gotten up in the air and the only pundits who are making actual sense are the ones that point out that not one primary vote has yet been cast.
Each of those three has definite positive and negative features:
Hillary has the political system and machine in her corner, and may well be able to pull strings and push levers better than either of the other two, i.e., get things done. Unfortunately, she is fighting against the gynephobic realities of national politics and and possibly considerably overcompensating for it -- especially that anti-feminist aspect of Republican mind-set (now they're attacking her for standing by her man) -- by being more hawkish, more harsh, more threatening, less insightful and more reactionary than one might hope.
Obama has a brilliant mind, the perspective of an outsider as able to see what is non-functioning in our country and in our political system. Of course, that's because he IS an outsider, and he's black enough for a lot of Americans to say "Uhnnnn NOPE." And if Bruce Babbitt's name was enough to push a decent, intelligent, well-qualified person out of presidential contention (and it was), then how far out in left field does Barack Hussein Obama move the brilliant young senator from Illinois?
John Edwards has made his bones by taking up the fight against big-time corporate lawyers to get compensation for people who have suffered grievous personal injury and won the fights for them. And he based his case selection on the damage and the need for recompense, not on the size of potential awards.
He's a populist, fighter for the little guy, a modern better-coifed Tom Joad.* He's shown that he has the grit to stand in there and duke it out in the classic tradition of "A little guy can always beat a bigger guy if the little guy keeps on coming." But as a one-term senator and a VP candidate to John "Mr Excitement" Kerry in 2004, out of the political public eye for the last 4 years (but doing community poverty work) he doesn't seem to fire the imagination of the voters at this point and is not on top of the things Hillary is, i.e., who's got the buttons and strings and levers that make things move and what do they owe and to whom?
And that doesn't even begin to look at the Republicans. Who knows? Maybe Rudy Giuliani would be a good president. I don't think so, but the man is pretty much alone in this race for accepting gay people (such as his former room-mate) as human beings, even cross-dressing for fun, and having had no ideological argument with the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that a woman's uterus is her own stuff and NOT the business of the federal government.
On the other hand, the people who know/knew him best think he's a piece of shit needing to be scraped off their shoes -- When he was in office, New Yorkers referred to him as "Hitler," the NYFD despises him and so do his children (The NYFD for having short-changed them -- especially regarding walkie-talkies -- laying out buckets of cash for the cops and chicken shit for the firemen and women -- and that those policies were responsible for so many firefighter deaths on Rudy's Most Sacred "I Stood There and Acted Tough" 9-11, and like that.
Mit Romney? Fuck -- he's such a creepy evil Ken Doll, he could take a continuing role on Desperate Housewives if they ever decided to go in the slasher film direction as the neighbor about whom they all say: "But he seemed like such a nice fellow -- a family man. How could he have tortured and killed everyone on the block?"
Ron Paul -- Who knows? He could actually win. After 8 years of horseshit, homicide, crimes against the constitution and humanity, the public (and not just Republicans, Democrats too) is in love with this straight-talking man from Texas and showing it with approval and cash. Clarity of vision even if somewhat over-simplified, and combined with candor and honesty, is a powerful and highly attractive combination. His opposition to wars of adventure makes him even more of a hero. The fact that he doesn't exactly approve of such things as the Department of Education, Medicare, Social Security, and such would suggest that the bloom of the rose might fade rather quickly.
Hmm ... who am I forgetting? Oh, yeah, John McCain, who found a good excuse to bring up his victimization in Vietnam with an historically lovely comment when the vote for money for a Woodstock Museum came up. But, uh, sort of like, well, his time and behavior as a P.O.W. showed toughness and integrity standing up to oppression on principle, but, uh, well .. it would have been nice if he'd shown that sort of control and not just done a Colin Powell in terms of giving it all up for Monkey Boy.
I'm not criticizing his position on the war -- I don't agree with it, but that's not the point. The point is that both of them just rolled over for the boss, lost their honor and integrity -- left their balls in his desk drawer, so to speak -- and you don't get that -- or them -- back so easily. So what could Bush and Cheney threaten to do to him that outdid the VC? Or offer him as an inducement to go along? My contempt for this administration includes their love of corrupting others, getting people to compromise their integrity, people who have spent their lives -- prior to coming into their parlor -- giving up whatever it took to maintain that integrity.
So I'm saying it may be changing and I finally see a positive in this endless campaign of debates and bullshit leading up to the primaries -- the candidates are running low on bullshit and getting called on their meaningless repetition of evasive phrases by press people who are discovering they actually have these things called spines inside their bodies.
And I'm saying, AGAIN, I don't know who will win, who SHOULD win, or what sort of president any of them, right or left, would be once in office.
Remember George W. Bush's quote from 1999 and 2000 that everyone thought was clever and amusing:
"A dictatorship wouldn't be so bad ... if I could be the dictator."
*"I’ll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready and where people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build. I’ll be there, too." Grapes of Wrath