Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thinning the herd

Bill Richardson, perhaps the most qualified and experienced of all of the candidates vying to be the Democratic Party's nominee for the U.S. Presidency, dropped out of the race today, joining the also extensively qualified and experienced Joe Biden.

I don't know all that much about Richardson, other than what I've read about him online and what I've seen of him on television for the last ten years or so. But what I do know, I like. That's no longer relevant, I suppose. Even if I were a registered Democrat (I'm not; I am and always have been a registered Independent) I would no longer be able to cast a vote for the candidate of my choice. Even if I didn't live in the state of Pennsylvania, whose Presidential Primary election is largely ceremonial, since the candidates have already been effectively selected long before. Iowa and New Hampshire (and, of course, Bill Richardson and his campaign backers) have determined that Bill Richardson shall not be an option for any of the rest of the states.

I saw Joe Biden speak at the University of Scranton once, probably back in 1988. He struck me as having all of the smoothness and studied sincerity of a used-car salesman. Subsequent appearances on television did nothing to dissuade me of this impression.

Sadly, this campaign seems to be less about experience and qualifications, and more a race between idealized concepts. You have your choice of a First Black President, First Female President, or The Guy Who Had The Last Election Stolen From Him By Evil Republicans. The option of First Hispanic President is now off the table.

In fact, experience seems to be seen as a negative. In a campaign where both sides have embraced the theme of "Change", being a Washington Insider has become a liability.

But what do I think about the other candidates?

Hillary Clinton seems to me to have the charisma of a jar of pickles, and the people skills of a Queen Victoria caricature. She seems lacking in the very areas where her husband had an abundance.

Barack Obama strikes me as something of an empty suit, though quite skilled at speaking to a crowd. I suppose if I read some of his writings more closely, I might have a different opinion.

John Edwards spoke in Wilkes-barre during the 2004 campaign. I didn't see him, but my mom did, and she was pretty impressed. When I watched a video of his speech later, I was pretty underwhelmed. Instead of the legal-eagle attack dog I had come to expect, he came across as a whiny and pampered puppy.

As for Mike Gravel...well, he's done a lot of good things in the past. Maybe he'll continue to make a positive contribution in the future. If he isn't currently completely nuts.

Speaking of which, Dennis Kucinich was surprisingly coherent and funny on The Colbert Report a while back. (I'd link to this video, but Viacam ordered YouTube to remove it. Screw Viacom! SUPPORT THE WRITERS' GUILD!) I hope he, too, will have something to contribute in the coming Democratic Administration.

Because it will be a Democratic Administration. The Republican President and his cronies have done a lot of damage in the seven years since he took office. Time to say Enough is enough, and throw the bums out.

Now, if you've made it this far, here's a treat for you: I Found Love by Lone Justice. It has nothing to do with the election or politics, but it's been on my mind a bit lately. I believe LJ did a version of this song when they were on Saturday Night Live, which was also the William Shatner episode.

No...wait. Change of plans. Here's two versions of I Found Love by Lone Justice. I prefer the music and vocals in the first one, but the dress is very nice in the second.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I like Kucinich. I wish he had a snowballs chance...

Our primary is a joke. It's in May.

supertiff said...

i liked kucinich, too. i swear to sweet baby jesus on a cracker, i've always been pissed about the primary/caucus system--really, i still am. there's no reason why anyone should have had to drop out this early. it only speaks to the fact that money is really the most important thing. i mean, if richardson thought that he would suddenly be able to raise money comparable to clinton and obama, i doubt he would have dropped out yet.

i know this. i know that it's all messed up. and i swear, it's not JUST because there's a woman and a black man. i just feel like, no, the system didn't all of the sudden become perfect, but the tide may be changing. i'm excited about, and watching things with held breath for the first time ever...and there must be other people, too...and these are the first steps to changing the things that don't make sense. i hope, anyway.

also, the writer's aunt is on strike. i feel horrible for her (and everyone else), and i'm starting to think that we're not even going to have new tv for the next fall season. there's just no end in sight. i know i'm lame, but i like my tv.

thank god there's something interesting to watch on cnn lately.

(even though they're all full of hot air, no matter which news station you tune into)

anne said...

All of that political talk and all I can come up with is Lone Justice?! LONE JUSTICE????!!!!

Well I certainly never expected to browse through your post and come across a Lone Justice video.

Maria McKee can sing the crap out of a song.

D.B. Echo said...

If she had danced any harder she would have spontaneously combusted.