For the past two months, I have been traveling around the States and recently out of the country, and I could tell that we were coming close to the Primary Season. Not simply because my google Reader was inundated with vitriol over one candidate saying something bad about another, but the increase in discussion amoungst my friends both here and abroad. Funny thing – everyone that asks me the question gets pretty much the same response:
None of the Above
You know, when the race started out 18 months ago, I was thinking – Gov Bill Richardson. Now, there’s a man with a record and a point-of-view I could agree with….until I started hearing him extol his own virtues again, and again, and Again, and AGAIN. Something about the concept of discussing his resume over and over again led me to ask about his vision over the other candidates. But all I can remember from his speeches is “I am the only candidate here whose resume has….”
Then I took a look at John Edwards. Now here is a man whom I am enthused about with his focus on the common man (person, if you will) and a real touch. He has a terrific style about him and he is more grassroots than anyone else I have seen. But I was there in 2004, watching him with JK (I have this photo of the two of them after a speech in South Florida that showed how these two men had become good friends in the midst of the war they were in) and his own speeches were amazing. And he is the real dog in this fight – willing to push for visibility of real issues. But, something still does not gel (and we are not talking about his hair). Not sure how to put my finger on it, but it arises from experience in managing large organizations and from a “transformation” in terms of views and ideas. But I would say that his campaign, I am intrigued by.
Senator Obama – I am not sold yet. From my viewing, he reminds me of the difficulty JK had when presenting his strength on TV. I hear he he is arousing on the stump (as others have seen), but something seems to be missing. I can not put my finger on it – almost something like gravitas is missing. I completely respect his intellect and his desire to bridge the gap. But something has not caught for me with his campaign – something like the discussion I remember having with a friend of mine at Kerry who talked about the moment when the candidate realized that they were competing for the Presidency, not just playing the candidate. It is a moment where you see, as my friend Marcus would tell me, that the candidate was Presidential material – not just my perception of he (or she) being Presidential material. Senator Obama has not hit this yet, IMHO.
And as for Senator Clinton – whew. This is a toughy. I have been impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of her campaign (the number of
people women I have referred to her campaign office is astonishing) and the way it has been run – in some ways, I only wish the Kerry Campaign had Mary-Beth Cahill a whole lot sooner. But, I am not an avid Hillary supporter like a number of my political friends are at the moment. I , like a lot of Americans am waiting to see what happens – and will make my choice when I have to.
As most Democratic operatives know, I will support whomever becomes the presumptive Democratic nominee since I am so tired of a Republican Administration and want to change the direction of our future. So no matter who wins the Democratic nomination, I will more than likely vote Democratic….unless one thing occurs:
Mayor Mike Bloomberg gets in the race.
I have been contemplating this for the past 18 months and, while I normally vote straight Democratic, there are other issues that I have been contemplating, especially when I take a worldly view. And, I am sorry, the issues facing the American people in the coming 4, 8 and even 12 years are far greater than partisan politics.
But, like everyone else in the nation who is watching the event in Iowa, I am wondering what happens next.