I'm at a loss here.
I honestly can't figure out who to vote for in the primary early next month.
I'm torn between supporting the candidate who most closely reflects my positions, or choosing a candidate who has a real chance at winning that may be less horrible than the other(s).
It's a very tough call.
I'm gonna try to narrow this down a bit, and we'll see where we end up. First of all, I'm not happy about any of the Republicans. Even the best of them is pretty much worse than the worst Democrat in the running. Sorry all you Republicans but that's how I feel.
So that eliminates about half the field.
I'm also rejecting any potential third-party candidates outright. Fuck 'em if they're too wimpy to choose a party and work to rise up through the ranks. Besides, third-party candidates are notoriously wacky. Consider Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, Pat Paulson and Michael Bloomberg if you need examples. Sorry, I just don't want to vote for any of you guys.
OK, we're down to Democrats only.
And really, did you think I would end up anywhere else at this point?
Sadly, Chris Dodd has left the building before he ever really got going. I would have easily voted for him if he was still in it. And yes, I know he's on the ballot here in Connecticut. But I'm not going to waste my vote for a non-candidate just to make a point. I want to vote for someone who has at least a theoretical chance of winning the nomination.
Joe Biden is out, too. Along with Bill Richardson. Which narrows down the field even more. We're left with Clinton, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, and Obama.
I don't think I can seriously vote for Mike Gravel. First of all, I don't buy that bullshit where his name is supposedly pronounced "gra-VELLE" rather than "GRAV-el". The name should sound like those really small stones, not some weird French word. Sorry, I just can't see voting for a guy with a name like a character from "The Flintstones".
Out of the remaining four, it's fairly obvious that Dennis Kucinich has almost no chance of winning. However, I like Dennis, and I agree with many of his views, in spite of the ridicule I endure for it.
I think Dennis acts as the conscience of the Democrat party, and we absolutely NEED someone like that in the race. Plus, there's always the remote chance that a ginormous meteor will strike the next televised Democratic debate that Dennis is unfairly excluded from, and he'll end up as the de facto front-runner.
So even though he's technically still in it, I highly doubt that I'll end up voting for him.
Now we're down to three candidates. None are perfect. In fact, they all have serious defects in my opinion. But it looks like in order for my vote to really matter, I'll have to choose from the three of them.
All things being equal, John Edwards is the one I'd probably feel the least conflicted about supporting. He's the only moderate in that field from what I can see. A lot of my friends are big fans of his. But he's not showing very highly in the early primaries and his polls are consistently floating around third place. Maybe he'll do better in South Carolina on the 26th, and his numbers will look more promising. But right now, he'd gonna need a serious boost to be a front runner.
Now we get to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both candidates are picking up loads of endorsements from many important public figures. Case in point: Ned Lamont is backing Obama while former State Democratic Chairman George Jepsen is backing Clinton. There are similar cases of many people who apparently share similar political orientation choosing differently on these two candidates. Usually for no obvious reason.
So, I'm kind of stuck here between Clinton, Edwards, and Obama. I feel that we'll do better with ANY of them over George Bush, or over any Republican currently running. But I'd prefer to actually SUPPORT someone for good reason, rather than simply vote to avoid the worst candidate.
I'll probably wait until after South Carolina before making up my mind. It ain't gonna be easy. I welcome your suggestions and reasons I should support your favorite candidate. Feel free to comment on this.
Or, who knows? Maybe that meteor thing will work out after all.
It sure would make my decision much simpler.
UPDATE: This video (via Scare from MLN) of Hillary answering a question about Joe Lieberman is an example of why I tend to not like her. In fairness, I haven't seen Obama or Edwards answer a similar question. But it tells me that she refuses to even acknowledge Joe's relentless support FOR the war and AGAINST nearly every important Democratic initiative that Bush opposes. It really annoys me.