Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Who in 2008?

Now that the Democrats seem on the ascendancy, and seem poised to beat the Southern Party in the 2008 presidential election (barring a major change in circumstances), the question arises: who? Well, that's unclear, to say the least. I think that the number of candidates will increase as victory seems more likely (Mark Warner seems to be rethinking his decision not to run).

For me, though, it boils down to Clinton, Gore, or Obama. Sorry, I see Edwards as an empty suit, and I know nothing about Vilsack. Clark did not impress the first time around. And Kerry.. well, he's clearly the best candidate in his own mind!

Let's assume Gore won't step back in, and it's Clinton and Obama. I don't know who I would prefer. Clinton would be a technocrat's dream. We would be guaranteed good policies, and the lure of the 1990s is certainly appealing, especially after the last six disastrous years. Sound budgets. Free-ish trade. Economic growth that lifts all boats, not just the very rich. A welcoming approach to immigration. A respect for multilateralism. Possible health care reform. And a willingness to stand up to the abortion lobby, and fight to reduce abortion rates.

With Obama we would get.. what exactly? I don't know, but I like it anyway! Because Obama is the first politician since 1968 to capture the spirit of Bobby Kennedy. The soaring rhetoric. The charisma. The basic decency underpinned by strong religious values. The inclination to bring people together. After a long-term debasement of political culture, culminating in Bush, Obama soars above all others. But what would be actually do? He could easily be a failure, just as Bobby Kennedy could have been a failure.

So, who should it be? Solid policies (but boring and risk-averse) or idealism (but untested and risky?) I have no idea!


kalle anka said...

MM. I think you're overconfident with respect to the Democrat's easy victory and Clinton being an automatic guarantee for good politics. A middle ground Republican may easily swing the voters back in his/her camp (who could that be???). And it's not clear to me that the 90s were so wonderful because of Clintonesque good politics. Some may argue that not much got done. It's a long way to the finish line, and I for one would like to hear a bit more about political agendas before entering any debate.

Morning's Minion said...

You may be right, Kalle Anke. But who will the Republicans pick? At this stage , it looks like McCain, but his support among independents is collapsing after he snuggled up to the fundies, and compromised his basic principals by giving the thumbs up to Bush's torture bill. At the same time, his foreign policy is hyper-Bush, and people are sick of that.

As for Hillary, I agree with you that her husband's policies cannot take full credit for the 1990s boom (though they did contribute significantly). But it's more a matter of perceptions. After Bush, the 1990s seem like a golden era!