I catch up on my presidential candidates on an individual basis. I come up with an opinion on each without comparison to the others, and then later I compare the ones I can still stand.
I'd written off Edwards as soon as I heard about that enormously expensive haircut. Or no, it was when he was the first person to be openly badmouthing his opponents in his ads. No wait, it was when the fact that he was southern didn't win us a democratic president in 2004. I don't like him. He rubs me the wrong way. And for someone whose most admirable political plan is to end poverty in 30 years, he sure spends an awful lot of money on things that don't matter too much.
Hillary - I like Hillary. She's a politician, yes, and she seems to calculate her every political move with no apology or regard for those affected. But! That's almost what I like about her, that tenacity. I think politicians give up their integrity the minute they enter the big game - in particular, I think progressive candidates give up their integrity when they raise and spend so much money for the purpose of getting a job when such huge amounts could put a serious dent in any of our causes that are lacking in funds. So I'll say it: I respect her, and as she was the second-to-last candidate I reviewed for myself, I was totally in her corner, near ready to vote.
I knew that Obama could end up being my decision for next Tuesday. I knew because all of my friends have already supported Obama on their Facebook profiles, because he's a moving speaker, and because he's against the war in Iraq. But all this time I have been wary. I've been burned before - by Howard Dean, by Felix Arroyo, and by Deval Patrick. By the time I decide to jump on the bandwagon that every other liberal in my generation has jumped on, they go crazy, they get lazy, or they have a new commuter rail line as their crowning achievement in their first year in office. And frankly, I have had it!
That isn't Barack Obama's fault. But that is why I saved him for last. I still haven't read "The Audacity of Hope", but I plan to before I vote. I was actually going to start tomorrow, and then I heard on NPR/read in the Globe/saw on CNN and the BBC that Ted Kennedy is officially endorsing Barack Obama.
Ted Kennedy is who I want for president. Obviously this cannot be. And obviously Kennedy's endorsement does not make Obama Kennedy. But my bandwagon skepticism has waned considerably thanks to this new development, mostly because Ted Kennedy hasn't made an enormous rash decision since 1969.
I hate that I'm so easily swayed by that, but I am. Anyway, on to Obama's "Hope".