Thursday, January 3, 2008

My presidential pick

So, I thought I'd weigh in before the Iowa caucuses and go on record with my pick for the next President of the US of A. It's a biggie, this election, which is why a celebrity such as myself needs to put out an endorsement to try to sway as many undecideds (or wrongly-decideds) as possible.

But here's the trouble.

First of all, I've been way too busy to follow every detail of every campaign as closely as necessary to make a truly informed decision. And if you haven't noticed, there are a bazillion fucking candidates, so even someone trying to follow every detail would have to make a full-time job of it.

Second of all, I've done a lot of those online polls where you can vote for your values and then find out at the end which candidate you match up with best. And every time my top pick is the nutjob from Cleveland. But I can't seriously endorse a candidate who looks like an elf. Or believes in them.

Third of all, there is nobody among the top three or four Democrats who really stands out to me and makes me say "That one there! That's my woman/man!" I haven't yet decided if that means that there are no great candidates in the mix or if it means there are several equally great candidates in the mix. But either way, I'm not excited about anybody.

Fourth, I'm not in Iowa or New Hampshire during an election cycle for the first time in my life. Which means, unfortunately but thankfully, I haven't seen a single ad from anyone yet. Not that I decide who to vote for based on ads, but the ads help me decide who I might not want to vote for. If candidates run especially nasty ads, for example, they turn me off. But not all negative ads are nasty. Some of them bring up really important points against other candidates that TV-watchers might not hear other places, depending on the types of television shows they watch. And, very occasionally, candidates come out with ads that are inspiring or clever or just plain slick, which can help a little. So, while ads need to be evaluated through a very dense filter, they can be helpful. But I haven't seen any, so I haven't been helped.

Lastly, the top three candidates on the Dem side have gotten endorsements from some key people, which doesn't help me at all. My graduate school mentor came out in favor of Clinton, some Iowa City political activists I trust and admire are supporting Obama, and my parents will be caucusing for Edwards. These are all people I would gladly take cues from, but they've sort of cancelled each other out. Thanks for all the help, y'all.

I've asked myself the following questions to try to help me decide. Number one, does running a slick campaign deserve my vote? If so, I'd lean toward Clinton. In the early stages of the campaign, anyway. The rollout of her announcement and the stuff right afterward was pretty genius. I didn't see much of the Edwards or Obama stuff, so Clinton wins by default, even though I suspect she'd win this category anyway.

Number two, does possessing a vagina deserve my vote? I'm undecided on this point. Certainly Vagina-Americans need to have some other qualifications to hold the highest position in the land, but it is tempting to root for the first viable female candidate in American history. At least to root for her to be good. Which I'm not convinced she is. All I can commit to saying is that if I decide to base my vote on vaginal ownership, I'll probably go for Clinton.

Number three, can I stand a southern accent like John Edwards'? 'Cause I know he does a lot of work for poor people, and even though his haircuts are kinda expensive, I know he cares about the little guy. And that's important to me. But he just sounds irritating. That statement is rooted in a northern/midwestern bias against southern accents, and in no way do I think it reflects the great diversity of intellects among people with southern accents. Bill Clinton, very smart. George Bush, not so much. But, whether it makes me an ignorant bitch or not, people with southern accents have to work harder to win me over than others do. And I'm not sure he did. Based on tolerability of accent, Obama or Clinton would take this one.

Number four, how much experience is enough? Because if experience matters, I don't think Obama has enough of the right kind. He will, but I don't trust his gut yet. Maybe in another four years. On experience, it's Edwards or Clinton. People might argue that Clinton has roughly the same experience in the Senate that Obama does, but I call bullshit on that. We all know she was involved in a lot of stuff while Bill was running the show. Which isn't necessarily a point in her favor, 'cause a lot of questionable shit came out of Bill's reign. But at least she's got experience doing stuff.

Number five, is it more important to vote for the most progressive candidate or the one I think has the best chance of beating the Republican for the job? Clinton actually would lose both of those, in my opinion. I think she's the least progressive of the top three, and she might just carry too much baggage. If I vote most progressive, I think I go with Obama. If I vote best chance to win, I think I go with Edwards. And then I remember that Obama gave a platform to friggin' Donnie McClurkin and start to rethink the whole progressive thing. So, I guess Edwards wins this one.

So, where does this leave me? With a toss-up, that's where. So what does a celebrity like me do when pressured by the masses to endorse someone for President in 2008? I mean, this my Oprah moment, so how do I figure this all out? Is there an answer? I think there is.

Trust Iowa.

That's right. I will put my trust in Iowa. I used to live there and have personally and often witnessed the thorough deliberation Iowans put into the caucus process. They take this shit very seriously, they ask the tough questions, they weigh things very carefully. At least the ones in Johnson County, anyway.

So, perhaps I should be more specific. I will put my trust in Johnson County Democrats to choose who I will endorse for President. Whoever emerges victorious after the caucus in Johnson County will get my support. It's not that I don't care enough to do my own research, but I know that thousands of people in the Hawkeye State are doing it for me. So I'm going to give it up to them and have faith that they will pick someone deserving of my very important endorsement. It's the least you all deserve!

Fingers crossed, and I'll weigh in on Friday.


Amy said...

I read a letter to the editor from Dr. Grant while I was in made for a very lively Pitlik-Family discussion/argument (as I'm sure you could imagine).

I am also going with the trust Iowa philosophy...I flirted for a while with trusting Chuck Norris...but after a lengthy period of soul-searching, I decided I would sooner give birth to more Mitt Romney babies.

Phydeaux said...

I'm as undecided as you are, Gender Blank. "Luckily" for me, North Carolina is one of the only states that didn't move the primary to Christmas Eve, so barring a brokered convention scenario, the nominee will be decided before I get to vote.

Speaking of NC, I shore am glayud you hain't never heared me a-speakin'. Cause iff'n yew did, yew might not REspeck my brainitude no more.

(just picking, btw, because that's how I roll! But ask PortlyDyke about my accent some time)

EBuz said...

Your "trust Iowa and in particular Johnson County" philosophy really resonated with me. I never got to caucus when I lived there, but really admire the caucus model for the cooperative, communitarian values that it promotes. I think we vote "better" when we vote with our neighbors instead of in isolation.

Have you been able to find results by precinct? I am putting my trust in my former neighbors in precinct 18.

Gender Blank said...

Still searching for precinct results...

Gender Blank said...

It looks like precinct 18 went 5 delegates for Obama, 4 for Edwards, and 2 for Clinton. Complete results at

EBuz said...

Thanks. Also, I think I share your post-caucus sentiment. Maybe I too was looking for a reason to like Clinton.