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Monday, January 07, 2008

First Great Debate of 2008

Stave It Off watched the debates live from Walaka's crib with a rowdy crowd of card-carrying liberals. They mostly booed and hissed during the Republican portion... occasionally cheering for Ron Paul when he'd make one of his "kooky" comments about how we should get the hell out of the middle-east and how we'd be pissed off too if some foreign superpower (like China) came over here, occupied our land, set up military bases and occasionally took it upon themselves to "police" us. It was hilarious to watch all the other Republicans laugh condescendingly whenever Paul got a little air time. What a marvelous collection of ass wipes. Not sure who is more loathsome though... Mitt Romney and his "I'm a corporate tool" aesthetic, or Rudy G. and his "I'm sleazier than a Chicago mob-boss" vibe.

The interesting part was watching the three-headed beast of Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Bill Richardson? Thanks for playing. Take your 5% of the vote and go home. At least Dennis "the Menace" Kucinich voiced some opinions that stretched the field. Richardson's presence is pointless.

The Big Three wasted some time with a warm-up pissing match about flip-flopping... a completely inane issue best left to the chest-thumping Republicans. But then Clinton almost crapped herself when Obama and Edwards started tag-team blasting her as a force for status quo. It was clear at that point that Barak and John are both more determined to strike at Hillary than at each other. And it was clear that she will fight back when pressed.

As the debate evolved, all three major Democratic candidates showed their strengths. Edwards is a passionate defender of the middle-class who has shown surprising ethics in refusing lobbyist money and standing up to unethical corporations. He actually used his pulpit to name names... blasting Exxon and praising Costco for their respective corporate ethics. Let's call him The Paladin.

Obama made it clear that he believes in the concept of leadership. He believes that statesmanship can make a difference in inspiring Americans to the greater good. He attempts to be articulate and to listen closely to what others are saying. He seems to genuinely believe that instilling hope back to Americans is vitally needed. This likely comes from his background as a community organizer. Let's call him The Shepherd.

And Clinton is the insider. She's the one with the most experience (though much of it came as a first lady, both in Washington and Arkansas.) She's the one saying "leadership and ethics are great... but you've still got to get the job done if you want real change." Getting the job done means she'll cross party lines. It means she'll make concessions. She looks like someone I'd want working for me in a tough negotiation, where results meant more than grandstanding. Let's call her The Kingpin.

So... who would you want for President? All three are strong, capable politicians. All three blow away the Republican nominees. All three have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of electability. All three will wind up with significant roles in the next Democratic White House... either in the cabinet, or as Vice President. Personally, I came into the event expecting to affirm my support for Obama, but I was surprised at how well Clinton performed. Even so, my best case scenario is this: Put Obama, the Shepherd, up for President. He's best at leading, speechifying and will be a fantastic figurehead for the nation. He won't just shoot from the hip or sink into the "politics of fear" that have ruled this nation for the last 7 years. Put Edwards, the Paladin, up for VP. Let him be a moral compass, the way Al Gore was. Give him a supporting role and a strong voice in the administration. And install Clinton, the Kingpin, as Secretary of State, or some similar role where her powers of persuasion and ability to get things done will make this an effective administration. That's how I'd get the hydra to stop biting its own heads off and turn it into an ass-kicking political machine.



At 1/07/2008 02:09:00 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Or don't bother to vote for any of them because they won't change a damn thing?

At 1/07/2008 02:35:00 PM, Anonymous Steve said...

Edwards won't take the VP slot for a second time. How about Edwards/Obama ?

At 1/08/2008 06:56:00 PM, Anonymous katal said...

I was for Edwards all the way up to Iowa, but now I'd like to see him drop out and endorse Obama.

Barrack for president, Edwards for Attorney General, and Dodd for Senate majority leader.

At 1/08/2008 10:20:00 PM, Blogger lowcoolant said...

You're all crazy. Ron Paul is our next president.

At 1/09/2008 03:19:00 PM, Blogger John said...

I like the idea of Edwards for Attorney General... that might be more likely than him accepting another run as VP. Not sure who Barak chooses as a running mate at this point. I'm guessing a white male from a swing state.

At 1/09/2008 05:18:00 PM, Anonymous A-mon said...

I'm still in shock. The pundits on Sunday night had essentially called Hilliary dead and buried. The Phoenix has risen I guess.

My gut says that if Obama had beaten her in New Hamphire it would have been tough for her to come back. Now she is probably in the stronger position. With a few weeks to play hard ball and update her message, I think his momentum has been eliminated.

I'm also guessing Obama and Clinton probably can't co-exist on the same ticket. Whoever comes out on top probably picks someone else as VP. I bet Clinton would stay in the Senate v be in someone elses White House (she's seen the decision made from another chair in the room, she wants the big spot now). Obama might take a VP spot if he is loses, thinking he would be in line in 8 years to be the front runner. Hard to be some one elses lacky though.

Good call on Edwards as AG. Let him sue the hell out of corporate america (probably shooting myself in the foot here) from the deep pockets of the government. I can't see him beating both Clinton and Obama.

How about Al Gore for Secretary of the Interior or something new like the Environmental Czar? I'm guessing he'd jump at the chance.


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