Far be it from me to pretend I have any special insight in the upcoming wide-open presidential race, but the fight for the Democratic nomination is too colorful to pass up.
For those of you who havenâ€™t been following the coverage, hereâ€™s a primer. The three leading Democratic candidates facing all the scrutiny are as follows: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who leads the race and is heavily favored by female voters; Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., a junior senator who labels himself as the freshest voice of politics; and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., a candidate who himself was once the freshest voice four years ago, by my reckoning.
Of these, my personal favorite is Obama, however much of a longshot for the presidential nomination if youâ€™re watching the national polls. Explaining why would take a whole other blog, but suffice it to say that Iâ€™ve fallen for the â€œfresh voiceâ€ schtick.
Obamaâ€™s not without his faults â€” for all his criticism of political posturing, he sure does a lot of it himself. Even worse for him, neither he nor Clinton are as experienced as former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Richardson has more actual diplomacy in his left pinky than any of the front-runners for either party combined. Just check out the Nobel Peace Prize nominations the man has racked up.
That said, Obama is still the one for me. I donâ€™t think we need another polarizing president, so Clinton is out of the question for my vote even before we get to her politics. Edwards may have had all the charisma in the 2004 race, but thatâ€™s all he has that Clinton doesnâ€™t, and in charisma Obama blows Edwards out of the water.
The incredible organization Obamaâ€™s campaign has mustered has paid off in early Iowa polling, where organization will matter when its caucus comes around. Too bad for him that the other early battleground states have been largely aloof to his wide base of support and record-making campaign dollars.
Obama trails Clinton by double digits in nearly every national poll, and has steadily lost ground. If the nomination were tomorrow and if the polls were accurate, heâ€™d be massacred pretty easily. Maybe heâ€™d beat out Edwards and longshot Richardson for a spot on the ticket as vice president.
Then again, if Obama does win Iowa, he and his campaign will have a nice little boost of viability when the other primaries come around.
Iâ€™m crossing my fingers.
In other news: leading partisan hack wonâ€™t compete with other leading partisan hacks; experts on â€œintellectual lazinessâ€ mark one of their own; and rich middle-aged white men seek the presidency.