My Tepid Democratic Presidential Endorsement

I've been relatively undecided about whom to vote for in Feb. 5 primary--and for the first time EVAH! I actually get to decide who the Democratic nominee will be. I was leaning towards Edwards. Since 2004, he was the most liberal candidate on most issues, even though his political record before then was spotty (I think that of all 'big three' Dems; why everyone was saying how strong the Democratic field was still mystifies me). Now, that Edwards is out, I plan on voting for Obama. Here's why:

  1. Obama is far less hawkish than Clinton. In retrospect, I don't think Clinton voted against her better judgment when he supported the Iraqi Clusterfuck: she actually believes that neocon crap. Obama is more likely to end the Iraqi Occupation, which we simply can't afford, both in terms of lives and money. I also think Obama is less likely to do something really stupid in foreign policy than Clinton is.
  2. Related to the previous point, I think a candidate who can actually run as a candidate who opposed the war will do better than one who can't.
  3. Of these two, I think Obama does less damage to the downticket candidates (although Edwards would have been far better than either of them).
  4. On the other hand, Clinton is slightly better than Obama on economic issues. From what I've been able to gather, his economic advisers are far more conservative than Clinton's (which is saying something). And his rhetoric about Social Security is disturbing.
  5. Having said that, I think Clinton's instincts are conservative--she is incredibly risk averse, and we need someone more dynamic than that.
  6. Obama is bringing out young voters; I think this will help downticket campaigns.
  7. Obama doesn't have Mark Penn as an adviser, although it's not clear if Obama will be good on labor issues.
  8. While all that optimism crap doesn't play well with me because I've seen that before, a lot of voters appear to like it.
  9. The longer the Democratic primary continues, the longer we can delay the onset of Compulsive Centrist Disorder.
  10. The traditional media don't hate Obama like the do Clinton (yet).

As you can see, this is hardly a ringing endorsement, but Obama gets my vote. Damn, I wish Edwards hadn't left...

More like this

Back when I was at Texas A&M University, I knew plenty of Democrats who would vote in the Republican primary instead of the Democratic one. Although I refrained from such activity, their rationale was totally reasonable: in such a conservative area, the real contest was almost always the…
After the New Hampshire primary, I wrote: The most surprising thing is that, looking at the exit polls for Iowa and NH, it really seems that Clinton and Edwards were competing for the same electorate. The storyline was that Edwards and Obama were duking it out for the "change" vote. Not so much…
Yesterday, Barack Obama won all three contests (Maryland, Virginia, and DC) in the "Potomac Primary", all by sizable margins. This means that he has won all eight contests that have occurred since Super Tuesday. He now leads the delegate race--even when superdelegates are included--and he…
John discusses an argument by Bruce Bartlett that it made sense for conservatives to support Hillary Clinton in 2008, based on the following reasoning: Surveying the political landscape, I [Barttlett] didn't think the Republican candidate, whoever it might be, was very likely to win against whoever…

I am pretty much of the same mind. I supported Edwards because he moved so far left, and I am fairly split on the remaining two. I do like how Obama inspires people, and I think he would do much better against McCain, who I think would just look like a cranky old geezer in debates against Obama. Domestically, they are about the same, and both have had some shady associations (Mark Penn for Clinton, Donnie McClurkin for Obama). Finally, I agree that I just trust Obama's instincts a little bit more. I wish he would use more liberal dog whistles, but his instincts have shown to be more liberal than Clinton's.

You don't get to chose. Your first choice, Edwards is already gone. So why are you saying you got to chose? Obama and Clinton are both sucky "choices" so we are still left voting for the lesser of two evils. Gag.

My original candidate of choice was Richardson -- probably the best qualified of the lot and also probably able to deliver some of the mountain states and much of the Latino vote to the Democrats.

This is supposedly an election that the Democrats should have a hard time losing, yet we've wound up with the two leading candidates who carry the most baggage in terms of electability.

I too tend to prefer Obama to Clinton, but I have serious doubts about whether he can win enough electoral votes. We don't need another election where the winner of the popular vote loses in the electoral college.

Once Edwards dropped out, I decided not to vote in the primary. I really cannot generate even a slight net preference for either Clinton or Obama, so I will leave it to other Democratic voters to pick one, and then I will support whoever it is strongly in the general election.

I'm kind of in PhysioProf's boat here. I really believed in Edwards. He absolutely fit what I feel America needs in a President, which is somebody to be a strong advocate of liberal ideas, of the interests of ordinary people over corporate power. Clinton is 100% pure corporatist and Obama isn't strongly advocating anything. Neither of them do it for me.

So I vaguely kinda sorta slightly support Obama more than Clinton, but mostly I support keeping my bottle of Emergency Whiskey close at hand and hoping whichever of these clowns gets the nod doesn't make the next 4-8 years a complete living Hell.

I never liked Edwards. He was too fond of "liberal dog whistles" (he mentioned his mill worker father at least as often as Giuliani mentioned 9/11) and his cheap shot at Cheney in the '04 VP debate, bringing up Cheney's daughter's sexual orientation, was, well, just that: a cheap shot. Edwards is 100% politician, if you ask me, and that's enough to turn me off. Also, I've heard that several of Edwards' high-profile cases back when he was a glorified ambulance chaser were based on misleading or false scientific arguments.

I really like the principled stand Obama has taken against special interest money financing his campaign, in contrast to Clinton. To me, that really symbolizes his place as the (relative) political outsider, not (yet) corrupted by the system. And yes, I buy that optimism crap (or at least I'm trying to).

You're lucky if your vote counts in the democratic primary. In my state, the democrats won't use the primary at all - only the caucus results count.

What mystifies me is that you seem to actually believe that Obama is going to do anything different. Even if he wants to, he probably can't.

And have you forgotten his stupid statements about how he would bomb Pakistan or anyone who got in our way of capturing terrorits?

Liberals have given us plenty of wars out of so called idealism. I don't feel any safer with them.

And besisdes, how is he going to pay for all this stuff?

We are PRINTING money now in spades.

By John Drake (not verified) on 05 Feb 2008 #permalink

Liberals really should grow up. The issue here is that, in terms of Supreme Court appointments, either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is far superior to any of the Rethuglican candidates. Compare Ginsburg and Breyer with Roberts and Alito. To my mind, the Supreme Court nominations are the only issue here. These nominees will be affecting the direction of the country long after the Iraq war and the current subprime loan problem have faded into history.

Despite the fact that I like Obama on some issues, the fact that he's obviously genuinely religious scares me away. He has been taking the anti-gay-marriage stance for so long that it can't possibly change during his presidency, thus he's useless to me.
Clinton, on the other hand, is obviously an opportunist and will take whatever position is necessary at the time. For instance, she supported Dubya because it was a good move politically. It made her look like a red-blooded American. Unfortunately for her, we all know that the war was based on lies now, so...she can't excuse that away.
However, she has only recently taken the anti-gay-marriage stance, and that's the only thing that has brought up her "faith" in the public realm.
She's clearly an atheist who will renege on the theocratic bullshit once she's in office.