Democratic Candidates, For Sure:
Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware. Co-sponsored the Biden-Roth-Cohen Flag Protection Act, which sought to make mutilation, defecation, or burning of the United States flag punishable by up to one year in prison, and/or a $1000 fine. Notable quote (besides that stuff about Obama everyone has already heard) : "In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans - moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." This was on CSPAN.
He strikes me as a classic Democratic party presidential candidate ... and I mean that in a bad way, you know?
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator from New York. Calls her video broadcasts "HillCasts;" had a recent freak out over David Geffen talkin' smack about her and Bill. Notable quote: "Young people today think work is a four-letter-word."
Hillary's probably my #2 these days ... my biggest fear is that in a contest against Giuliani, she'd lose her cool and America would vote for it's #1 Tuff Enuff Dad instead.
Chris Dodd, Senator from Connecticut. Hired John Kerry's former presidential campaign manager; met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2005 "to mend the strained relations between the two countries;" the fine collective of Wikipedia says he is "left of center with respect to Latin America." Notable quote: "I don't care what the public wants, I'm going to give it what it needs!"
I get the feeling that Chris Dodd would make an excellent cabinet member.
John Edwards, Director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law; former Senator from North Carolina. Has been effectively campaigning for President ever since John Kerry conceded in 2004; will smile and say whatever he reckons you wanna hear. Notable quote: "If we can do the work that we can do in this country ... people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk again. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." As cool as that may sound at first - Christopher Reeve was still alive when he said it. So, no, Edwards is not the Zombie Choice in '08.
John Edward is like the creepiest candidate on any ticket right now - he's been running for President even before he ran for Senate, and everything he's ever done has been to angle himself for that office. If I thought he wanted to be President to help people - and not simply because he wanted to be President - that might be impressive. As it is, he's like the American Tony Blair - all smiles, oozing honey and dandelions from his lips.
Mike Gravel, Professional lecturer; former Senator from Alaska. Helped make the Pentagon Papers public, secret government documents relating to the Vietnam War; single-handedly filibustered 1971 legislation that sought to renew the draft. Notable quote: "Our three branches of government have become like an unstable chair, a three-legged chair." I tried to find something silly, but this is the best I could do.
It's pretty clear he's running an issue-campaign - there are things he wants us to talk about, and he wants to enter them into the national conversation by running for President. He's an advocate of direct democracy - that idea that, you know, all citizens should participate in laws and legislation. I didn't know much about Mike Gravel before this campaign cycle, so mission accomplished in some regard ... he's a sqhttp://www2.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifuare-one dude, an alright guy. I hope he gets the chance to speak before the other candidates drown him out.
Dennis Kucinich, Representative from Ohio. Ralph Nader likes him; wants total military withdrawal from Iraq, immediately; is totally vegan; has pictures of his totally hot wife on his website. Notable quote: "I'm not selling insurance."
He's a nice guy. A really nice guy.
Barack Obama, Senator from Illinois. Get out of Iraq, we want Barack; a pragmatic moderate who, I honestly believe this, has the Right Idea; is a black dude. Notable quote: "I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."
Newt Gingrich (!) said this about Obama: "Lincoln served two years in the US House, and he seemed to do all right." I think "inexperience" is a non-issue - getting practice in as a federal legislator doesn't necessarily make one a good leader, you know? It tends to make one a good bullshitter. I think Obama's honest and smart and patriotic, and daaaamn, I think that's a pretty good resume.
There are honest to goodness a whole lot of left-leaning voters who don't support Obama right now, not because he's black - but because they think *other* voters won't support him because he's black. Which is ... I dunno, passive-aggressively racist? Obama is the DEAN of 2008 - and I mean that in a good way, y'all.
Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico. Still exploring - hasn't officially declared; hasn't done a whole lot of covert campaigning, besides just being Bill Richardson. Notable quote: "Some days I'm solar powered. Some days I'm wind powered. And some people in this room might think I'm hybrid gas-powered."
I dunno what to make about Richardson - most of what I know about him is that both Gore and Kerry thought about him as a vice-presidential candidate. If he would, you know ... declare, or state a position or two ... I'd get a better idea about him.
Tom Vilsack, former Governor of Iowa. Wants a measured withdrawal from Iraq, leaving US troops in the north for awhile; wants to limit US carbon output; *really* wants you to realize he's running for President. Notable quote: "I'm not a rock star, but I'm rock solid."
Ehh. It's like someone's uncle running for office - yeah, they seem nice, but what makes him stand out?
Democratic Candidates, For Maybe:
Wesley Clark, retired four-star general. His own self figures he'll be the national security candidate; people love him for reasons still unclear. Notable quote: "I didn't go to Yale."
He's tough! But he's a Democrat! Wes Clark is like Thai food to me ... a lot of clever people in my life like him, but I can't quite get into it. I bet he'd make a killa-dilla VP candidate.
Al Gore, former Vice-President, current total smart dude. He's not running, folks. I believe this in my bones. Notable quote: "I don't see any circumstances under which I would run for president."
I love Al Gore. I voted for Al Gore. I would vote for Al Gore again. But, here's the thing - Al Gore doesn't want me to. You can just tell, you know? He grew a beard, he got mad for awhile, he got over it. The best we can do is follow his lead.
Next time: Republicans!