Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Apple juice

One of my RAs pointed me to this video, and I can't stop thinking about it for some strange reason. So, I thought I'd share it with you.

You're welcome.

Edwards drops out

A little factoid: Four in 10 Edwards supporters said their second choice in the race is Clinton, while a quarter prefer Obama, according to an Associated Press-Yahoo poll conducted late this month.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Fuck you, Mr. Edwards

"I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business," Edwards told reporters Laconia, New Hampshire.

This, in response to Hillary Clinton getting almost teary talking about her country.

Now, I'm no great Clinton-lover, but this comment by Edwards is below the cooter. That's worse than just below the belt. He deserves nothing short of a feminist ass-kicking for going there. I mean, really, John? I'm fairly certain Hillary could fuck you up pretty easily.

Hillary getting choked up about her country is actually a point in her favor, in my opinion. And you, sir, are just a desperate douchebag hoping the cool kid picks you to be on his ticket.

Friday, January 4, 2008

On the Republican side

Just wanted to add that Johnson County Republicans chose Romney with 32%, followed by Huckabee with 22% - indicating that Huckabee is going to have a hell of a time in New Hampshire.

'Cause Iowa Republicans in general are a pretty born-again bunch, especially in the more rural areas (which is most of the state). But the ones in Johnson County, and specifically the ones in Iowa City, tend to only be Republicans because they're rich. They're really more like Libertarians than true Republicans. Except for Mike Thayer. He's about as socially conservative as they get.

But Granite Staters have a decidedly Libertarian bent. "Live Free or Die" and all that shit. They're Republicans because they want the government to stay out of their business, not on accounta Jesus. So I don't think Huckabee is going to find quite the reception there that he got in Iowa.

In addition, New Hampshire is Romney's back yard. Now, I left New Hampshire before really getting a pulse on how those folks felt about ol' Flip Flop Romney, but I think he'll probably win their primary.

Of course, who knows what the addition of Guiliani will do to the race in New Hampshire? He wrote Iowa off a long time ago, and Iowa voters returned the favor. He isn't in the top three in NH right now, but maybe he'll mention 9/11 again and it'll work this time. We'll know in a few days, I guess.

My prediction for Tuesday, btw, is Clinton-Obama-Edwards, Romney-McCain-Huckabee. Huckabee might climb to second on the momentum of last night, but I don't think it's gonna happen. I think Obama will gain enough ground in the state over the next four days to make Clinton sweat, but I think she'll hold on for the win (she currently has a 12-point lead there). Which will make me happy, because I think the country needs to see a woman do well. But I'm an Obama girl (er, woman) now, so I'll root for an upset.

Any different predictions out there?

I'm the new Obama Girl. Er, Woman.

So, I promised to endorse whoever Johnson County Democrats chose to be the party's candidate for President, and they couldn't have been any clearer. The gap between their Chosen One and the second place guy was even wider than the gap statewide, which was already pretty astonishing. Here is the breakdown:

Johnson County
updated 12:33 a.m. EDT, January 4, 2008 100% reported

Obama 52%
Edwards 24%
Clinton 21%
Richardson 2%
Uncommitted 1%
Biden 0%
Dodd 0%
Gravel 0%
Kucinich 0%

So that means my official endorsement goes to Barack Obama for President 2008. And in a huge way, too. I'm a little shocked and disappointed in a strange kind of way, although I think I would have felt that way no matter who got picked. Or maybe I was hoping JC would give me a reason to endorse Clinton, 'cause I want to like the female candidate, but she certainly didn't earn my vote based on her record or her talking points. Johnson County voters were her last hope of getting my endorsement, but they weren't extremely impressed either, I guess.

I have to give Clinton points for her speech last night, though. She focused on the party and the Democratic vision and said she can't wait for the contest ahead rather than insisting she will be the winner. Smart move.

And congratulations to John Edwards for coming in slightly second. It was a good showing for him. But I couldn't wait for his speech to be over. And not because of his accent (sorry for my prejudice in the last post, Phydeaux). It's just that he kept talking. And talking. And doing that contrived politician-y thing where they mention local people with tragic problems in an attempt to make us gullible voters believe they actually know those people and give a shit about them. All politicians are guilty of this from time to time, but Edwards is the only one I saw do it last night. And the only mention of his wife, unless I zoned out during the middle, was to mention her cancer. Classy move.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, took a moment to actually recognize his wife and her role in helping him through the whole thing. It seemed genuinely celebratory, which was great to see. And he was charismatic and hopeful as all hell, which explains why he has been inspiring all sorts of young people to come out and get involved in the political process.

And for that I am truly thankful, because seeing that kind of enthusiasm and turnout for a candidate is a reason to really get excited about what he might be able to accomplish. Because, as MonkeyPants said, any of the top three would be fine, they'd all be way better than Bush, and there probably wouldn't be much difference in the way any of them would do the job. But if one of them makes more people want to get involved in the process or makes people start caring about politics and the direction of the country, well, that's sort of a big deal and definitely a reason to celebrate. And to earn my highly-coveted endorsement.

Congratulations, Mr. Obama. The people of Johnson County - and now I - believe you're The One. Don't fuck it up.

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.