Thursday, November 16, 2006

Leaning Toward Edwards

Now that my favorite '08 Democratic presidential candidate (Sen. Russ Feingold) has announced he won't run, I've been thinking about who else I might want to support instead. Well, it only took a few days. I was already leaning towards former North Carolina senator (and vice-pres. nominee) John Edwards, but hearing him interviewed on NPR sealed the deal. I love his positions on economic populist issues, and he is a great advocate of working people. But the thing I always hesitated about was his earlier pro-war stance. I am reassured by how frank and open he has been about making a mistake in voting for the Iraq war. He now seems very pragmatic and anti-war, stating quite simply that we need to withdraw from Iraq soon--and that the best way to show the Iraqis we are serious about that is to simply start doing it! I think he is absolutely right that Iraqis will not take our proclamations seriously and start taking full ownership of their own country until we make it clear by our actions that we are not staying indefinitely. We will still bear some major responsibility for aid and support given how much we have wrecked Iraq, but right now things are just getting worse and worse under U.S. occupation. My sense is that John Edwards really understands that, and he is willing to do what it takes.

And of course, he has wonderful and inspiring views on so many other issues, especially ones that strongly affect ordinary Americans, like jobs, health care, and trade policy. So I'm leaning towards John Edwards now, and (of current likely candidates) he is most likely the one I will support in the campaign.

Any other thoughts out there about '08 candidates?


Ambivalent_Maybe said...

I don't have a favorite candidate at the moment, but in my informal list of candidates that I like, Edwards ranks pretty high. I will have to admit to having a soft spot for John Kerry, because I think he's a good person underneath all that posturing, and I identify and sympathize with his awkwardness. Not good reasons to vote for him again, I guess, but I think he's gotten (and is getting) a raw deal from the media, the members of which just don't like him. I also like Wesley Clark, though my opinion is largely informed by a couple of foreign policy essays he's published, and not a detailed knowledge of his politics. And, of course, there's Barak Obama, who can write damn well, and is good at speechifying--two things that usually serve political leaders quite well. On the whole, I'm pretty impressed with all of those guys. It bodes well for the Democratic party that it has such a surfeit of good candidates.

On a somewhat related topic, let me say that I was completely unimpressed by the guy who interviewed Edwards on NPR. His questions are over-long, and usually consist of restatements of what the interviewee just said: "So you're saying... Right?" Argh! Why is this man working for national radio when his interviewing skills are clearly so suited for a college newspaper?

Rob said...

I concur about Edwards although I'm still grieving regarding Feingold's departure. Edwards best chance is score early in Iowa where he has networked well and is skilled in retail politics. Hopefully he builds up momentum as an anti-Hilary alternative.

I respect Clark but wonder about his temperment for the job. I'm not quite sold on Obama yet. Can Obama take a punch? I'd also like to hear a little more substance and less lofty abstract rhetoric. Perhaps he just needs time to flesh out his message.

Overall I agree with Ambivalent-maybe that the Dem field looks strong. Far stronger than the GOP field.

As for the interviewer on NPR, haven't listened to the interview yet. Having done a few on my blog however I'm less critical of interviewers now because I've learned it's not that easy. I'm still struggling to learn how to go about it.

Tess said...

Edwards was my pick last time.... He was my senator in NC, and I liked him a lot. I'm a little hesitant after '04, though--he let himself get branded a lightweight, and I don't think he did a very good job fighting back when the GOP attacked. If he learns from those mistakes, I will happily support him.

I'm also very fond of Obama--he has been in the spotlight for two years and hasn't made a big mistake yet, which is more than I can say for a lot of politicians. He has gotten a lot of positive press here in Missouri (since he's senator from a nearby state).

I would gladly vote for either one of them. Heck, I'm just thrilled to know that in just over 2 years, no matter what, George Bush will not be president.