Not being registered with a political party, I don't vote in primary elections, so my interest in the dozens of people running for president is largely academic. I find myself fascinated with the public's messianic obsession with Barack Obama, I'm looking forward to watching Mitt Romney crash and burn, I think John McCain's political hackery knows no bounds, and I think John Edwards has some good ideas (hiring maniac bloggers for his campaign website not being amongst them).
I read two articles this morning that make compelling points about two candidates, both in their own distinct ways. The first is this Slate article, discussing Hillary Clinton's irrational refusal to acknowledge that voting for the Iraq war was a mistake. These quotes sum up how I feel about this:
This calculation is cynical, self-defeating, and wrong. There's nothing wimpier than a presidential candidate who spends every moment trying not to look like a wimp. Worrying about your image is a female stereotype. Protecting your poll ratings is classic Bill Clinton. And refusing to admit mistakes is classic George W. Bush. Just when voters have gotten sick of a Republican president too proud, stubborn, and insecure to fess up, the Democratic presidential front-runner, a woman, decides to emulate him.
How odd. Voters just repudiated a president who thinks that stubbornness is responsibility and that admitting mistakes is groveling. The way to act responsibly is not to act like him. It also happens to be the way to get elected. And if you don't understand the former, you don't deserve the latter.
Turning to the other side of the spectrum, I greatly enjoyed Giuliani To Run For President Of 9/11, from the Onion. Again, here's the money shot:
"Sure, he has no foreign or national policy experience, and both his personal life and political career are riddled with scandal," said Hammond. "But in the key area of having been on TV on 9/11, the other candidates simply cannot match him. And as we saw in 2004, that's what matters most to voters in this post-9/11 world."
The article also mentions Bernard Kerik and the fact that Rudy is on his third wife. To say nothing of this. Now there's a solid Republican frontrunner if ever I did see one.
Have fun picking a horse, chumps.