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January 06, 2004
MY RESPECT VOTE - HERE'S WHERE I STAND TODAY
I get to vote in Arizona's Feb. 3 primary - having just squeezed in to register yesterday, the last day to do. You have to be a registered Democrat to vote in the Arizona primary.
My girlfriend, who voted for George Bush Jr. in 2000 hates the man with a passion now (Yes, she was my girlfriend in 2000, as well.).
The candidate I respect the most? John Edwards, for staying above the fray and for being articulate; for answering questions directly when asked, not bouncing around in the spin room. I along with everyone else who cares about such things can't quite figure out why he hasn't done better. Looking so young definitely plays a part.
He's comported himself well and has made no enemies. That speaks well of his future as a national leader. And, since he will no longer run in South Carolina as a senator he better have some kind of future.
I used to have respect for Kerry, Gephardt and Lieberman (I have to be very selective in my respect for Lieberman, but I had it). They have gone totally off the wall in their idiotic criticisms of Dean.
Of those three Gephardt has the best ideas. It wouldn't be the end of the world if he became a candidate.
But Dean seems to be the frontrunner. And I look at him through perhaps a different prism than most.
A presidential campaign is a lot of shitty, foul-stenched air that pollutes anything it touches. It should not be the case, but for the most part they are a complete waste of time. Something needs to be fixed there but it won't as long as people are saying that it's a freedom of speech issue to inject obscene amounts of cash into the process.
As such, I ignore pretty much any of the small "scandals" that rise and fall like so much flotsam.
Instead I look at three things:
1) What the person did in their past governing experience.
2) How well they can articulate their vision of the future.
3) Do I respect the person.
Looking at it that way, and wrapped up in what I have said up top, Dean gets my support.
Sure I have reservations - many of them. But has there ever been a perfect candidate for president?
I'd love to have someone who was Dean without some of his flaws. But even the main flaw is exaggerated - that of opening his mouth without thinking.
He rights himself with great aclarity. If it wasn't for right-wing fire-breathing outlets and commentators (and fellow idiot Democratic candidates) most of these statements would have the shelf-life of roadkill in a Florida summer.
Do I think Dean needs a stabilizing foce such as Clark to fend off all the muddying of the shark-invested anti-war waters, which will tidal wave once he becomes the nominee?
Clark (from the South) could come right out and say it again and again that "this military man supports Dean because his vision will be to act responsibly with soldiers' lives. He will fight for what's right. That's why he and I are Democrats."
A dreamer can hope for perfection. On a lonely man waits for it.