I LOVE when the pundits and polls are wrong, as they were in New Hampshire last night--at least on the democratic side. It sure makes for exciting telly.
This year is going to be an exciting one in the US and there's going to be interesting debates and spats because all sorts of normally silent segments of the electorate are fired up--women over 45, voters between 18 and 45, hell-fire zealots, lefties and righties--if the Iowa and New Hampshire initial turn-out results holds. Makes for great politics and strengthens a democracy. Gone is citizen ennui and indifference.
As an independent--my leanings are obviously democratic given my background, but I do not vote the party line out of obligation or urge because I feel the Democratic party, like the Republican Party, needs to clean house as well--my view so far:
Sen. John McCain--a likeable warhorse who's well intended but not in touch.
Mitt Romney--a shiftshaper, opportunist. Too many of his ilk currently in Congress. Don't need another in the White House. Despise he will try to buy the Presidency if he runs out of donors. Founding Fathers would hate that.
Mike Huckabee--a charmer, and pretty smart except when it comes to his denial of evolution--this, unfortunately, raises its head as a criteria to be discussed in the sophisticated US every election cycle--and justice for all, and I don't believe the majority of the country is in the mood to have another four years of the dangerous 'same old-same old' from a Baptist minister-cum-politician.
Sen. Barack Obama--I like the guy, like his common touch, eloquence, fighting spirit and desire to change things. But what exactly does he want to change and what will he do? I'm unsure of what he represents currently.
Sen. Hillary Clinton--Who can't help feeling a soft spot for her after what she's had to endure from the zealots? I feel a strong pull toward her, but again what is it she's representing, exactly? Is she left of center or is she center? If she's center, we've had that before from the Democrats so where would 'change' occur? She's got backbone and I want to see it as rigidly on display as Joan of Arc held her standard on the battlefield.
We got a glimpse of her passion and concern for the country, our country, two days ago when she thought she was going to lose in New Hampshire. In her cracked voice, in her drawn face, in her intense gaze. She spoke from the heart. I want to see that more, and I want to know what she will change. I don't need to know everything at this stage, but I do need to know enough to believe she is the only person I want as my President, a President who will lead this great country back to its proper place in the world, a President who will serve ALL the people.
Sen. John Edwards--youthful and well-intended and I really like his desire to rein in the corrupt influence of big corporations. His doggedness and genuine desire to better the country will keep him in the race, though his ability to raise money will suffer as a result of his performances.