Friday, April 27, 2007

Battle of the Dems: And the Winners are...

Bridgethought of the Day: Keep an open mind, so you'll always have a way to take out the trash.

For any political junkie with no time to check out every candidate on their own, the debate between the Democratic Presidential candidates was an event to savor. With work taking over life, I don't always find time to check out C-Span or wherever the candidates hang out, so I haven't really heard all that much from most of them, except Hillary, Edwards and Joseph Biden. Barack Obama appeared like a shining star a few years ago, and the rest is mythology - I didn't really know who he was. I suspect myself, as usual, to be typical of the general American public. So bearing that in mind, here are my picks for the winners of that momentous debate...or, if not exactly "momentous", at least more revealing than CNN photo ops:

Best Ears: Barack Obama

Most Progressive: Dennis Kucinich

All the truth, all the time: Mike Gravel

Most Charisma: Barack Obama

Most in charge: Hillary Clinton

Biggest Ears: Bill Richardson

Cutest Candidate: John Edwards

Least hi-falutin': Dennis Kucinich

Most hi-falutin': John Edwards

Most Suave, Presidential: Joseph Biden

Least Suave: Mike Gravel

Best performance in a stand-down: Barack Obama - another example of how performance trumps truth

Most improved: Barack Obama

Most likely to succeed now: Hillary Clinton

Most likely to succeed later: Barack Obama

Worst imitation of Genesis: Bill Richardson, "On the First Day, I would bring peace to Iraq; on the Second Day, I would balance the budget, on the Third Day, I would bring peace on earth..." Or was it peace on Capitol Hill?...

Most confident: Hillary Clinton

Most fatherly: Christopher Dodd

Most contentious: Mike Gravel

Most patriotic: Dennis Kucinich

Most centrist: Barack Obama

Most thoughtful: Dennis Kucinich

My favorite: Mike Gravel

Most surprised at : Barack Obama - I presumed he was more progressive, but either he is scripted to be a Man for All Reasons, passionately centrist, or I am too liberal to appreciate him. Obviously, he's a man who wants to get elected.

That's why my favorite is Mike Gravel. He knows he will never be elected, so he can tell the truth with gusto. Nothing like the truth to lift the spirit. Ah, for the day elections aren't exercises in hypocrisy!

Another unabashed truth-teller is Dennis Kucinich. The charisma scale was going into the negative, but his words and sincerity propelled him into the stratosphere for me. As a guru, not President. I wouldn't wish a job like that on someone so honorable.

Dodd, Richardson were solid, honest men, who just aren't going to go anywhere with this. Dodd lacked ... what is it? ... fire, sparkle, something... and Richardson was like a great Belgian horse ... he's not gonna fly...

Joe Biden looks like the Perfect Candidate, and you can't quite figure out what's missing. He came off as more capable than John Edwards to me, and I'm sure he's just got baggage from all those previous campaigns. John Edwards? Too pretty to be attractive, too sculpted to be compelling.
Most convincing, Most likely to turn things around: Hillary Clinton

I came with a 4.7 ton load of prejudice against Hillary, and left ready to vote for her. Even though I don't agree with many of her positions, was never enamored of her, and feel she will be too cozy with the status quo, yet she really effectively drove home an impassioned message of inclusion, fairness, equalizing, combined with the obvious hallmarks of experience: no raw rhetoric, yet every word had something substantial behind it. This inspires trust, willingness to overlook stuff, and a sense that here is a capable, reasonable, human being with the ability to lead and make well-considered decisions.


Sorry, Mike...

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