Well, and Your Humble Blogger is finally ready to start posting these notes about the candidates. I thought it would take a week, and it took a month. I’m hoping for lots of discussion, so I thought I’d lay out some ground rules, and perhaps a bit about what I think I’m doing.
As I’ve been doing this, I’ve thought that there are three ways of looking at primary candidates. You can look at who has the best chance to win the general election; that’s very important, and there is lots of speculation and analysis about this for all the candidates. Another way is to simply look at the candidate’s policy positions, and see which matches up best with those positions you already have, and you can find those policy positions spelled out pretty clearly on the candidates’ campaign sites and on Project Vote Smart. And then, you can look at the candidate for patterns of behaviour, and character, and experience, and try to figure out what sort of president each would be. Sadly, I haven’t found many sites which are useful for that; if you know of one, please let me know.
Anyway, that’s what I’ve tried to do here. I’ve used Project Vote Smart, and the candidates’ sites, and Lexis-Nexis, and some other resources, and I’m hoping that I’ve got a lot of it right. I’m sure I’ve got a lot of it wrong, and I hope my Gentle Readers will correct me where I’m wrong, or add to my analysis any way they can.
I do not want to talk at all about electability yet. I will, ultimately, look at that before I cast my vote; I don’t dismiss it as a valid topic for discussion. It’s not the only topic for discussion, though, and if you want to talk about it now, I strongly encourage you to find a site where that is being encouraged. I just don’t want to talk about it yet. I figure that if I don’t think about that part of things at all between now and Labor Day, it’ll still leave five months to think about it before anybody has to cast a vote in a primary or caucus, and that should be plenty of time. So if somebody posts here about it, I may well edit that comment or delete it. I don’t mean to be harsh, but I’m ignoring that whole aspect of the thing until Labor Day (at the earliest), in hopes of learning something else.
I’ll try to post a note on one candidate each day. What I’m looking for from all you Gentle Readers is first, how do your perceptions differ from mine, and why, and second, what do you think the country and the world would be like if this person were president from 2005-2008. I had written 2006 fantasy reports on each candidate’s first two years in office which I ultimately didn’t include, as they aren’t really fair; if any of you are willing to provide those, I’d love to read ‘em.
OK. Here we go.
And an afterword of sorts as well. I'm hoping there will be more afterwords yet, of course...