Pick a winner

Speaking of American politics: big day tomorrow. Super duper tuesday. All the primaries are off to the races, so to speak.

I don't really know why, but somehow, I feel compelled to pick a candidate. Maybe it's because I follow US politics the way other people might follow sports (although to be fair, professional sports don't invade Iraq). But even though it's the night of the game, and I have this feeling of having to pick sides, I still can't choose. I've gone back and forth. Obama's health care plan has been the big thing that keeps cropping up in my reading. It's not as good as Clinton's, and there have been some persuasive arguments made (notably by Paul Krugman in his book, The Conscience of a Liberal) that if you get universal healthcare, it would open the door for a new New Deal. Some relevant discussion of that issue (Obama's plan lacks mandates and there are disputes as to how relevant that is) can be found here, here, and here.

With McCain as the presumptive nominee for the GOP, it does actually look like this election could be closer than we would like. If so, an Obama/Clinton ticket would probably be the sure win, mobilizing black and female voters - two groups that break overwhelmingly for Democrats (blacks hugely - around 90 % in 2004, I think, women around 10 %).

So on the one hand, Obama has a worse health plan, while on the other hand Clinton made a huge error in judgement in voting for attacking Iraq, which does reflect very poorly on her leadership ability. Right now, I'm inclined to let the last one be the weightiest argument. This time, I'm hoping for a presidency without wars. Oh, and Obama is a good speaker. I think a president who speaks (and who knows - maybe even reads and writes!) English would be a pleasant change.

So I guess that with flip-flopping and total ambivence, I'm coming down on the side of Obama after all, but only if he picks a progressive vice-president candidate (maybe Edwards) or Clinton. An Obama/Clinton or Obama/Edwards could both win and make good presidencies. Even though Obama's stupid about, say, Israel (to be fair: Clinton is even dumber on Israel), has an imperfect health care plan (and even argues that the flaw is the big selling point) and even though I think his campaign has waffled and gotten bogged down in rhetoric, and even though I think he started playing safe when he could smell the power, I have hope that he'll overcome the kinks in his personality and turn out to be a good president. Anything is better than John McCain and any human being with a heartbeat would be better than the lame duck quacking on Pennsylviana Avenue right now.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is satisfying to see that Mitt Romney is on his way out. Everything else aside, if the American President were a man called Mitt, it would surely be a sign of the approaching apocalypse.

All else aside again, I am pleased that there never was a first lady called Tipper. Tipper Gore sounds like an adherent for tiles.

February 06, 2008 12:39 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

Dana Carvey used to do a fantastic impression of Al Gore on Saturday Night Live back in the mid-90s. Every time he said "Tipper", he would tilt his hand and his head 15 degrees to the side. "Tipper and I..."

February 11, 2008 3:51 pm  

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