The Top Nine Candidates as of 2/3/04, from most to least preferred as President

John Kerry - I hope Kerry wins the nomination. I think he will win. He has the momentum, and he has the experience. He has experience in war, the economy, international affairs, how Congress works, and I think he's pretty likeable. I'm not sure what's going on with his "aggressive" hair though, since at 6'4" I think he's tall enough already. I think his tax plan is dead on. He wants to reverse the cuts that were made for the wealthiest people, and keep the cuts on the middle class. He also wants more international involvement with Iraq, which I am also all for. We need to wrap that up instead of dragging our feet and waiting for more death and possible civil war. He is also going to enforce sensible environmental regulations, and try to reverse the damage that Bush has done to laws in that area. Do I think he can beat Bush? Yes, he can. I don't know if he will, and neither does anyone else. I do think that if he can't though, that nobody can. I am hopeful. 

John Edwards - Edwards is really the most likeable guy in the campaign. A lot of people are drawing JFK references from how photogenic he is, and his speaking style, not to mention his politics. I like him too, but I think he may be a little inexperienced to take on Bush. I do think he would make a great running mate for Kerry though, and of course that has been brought up a lot. I hope his responses to those questions, which have so far not been received well, do not take him out of the running for it. I don't think the deep south is going to vote Democratic anyway, but some of the the border states could be in play if he is Kerry's running mate, where they probably would not be otherwise. It might help in Florida too. He is also the most personally likeable and positive candidate. 

Wesley Clark - There is a BIG drop-off for third here in my opinion. He seems sincere enough, and certainly his military experience is a plus to most voters. I'm not really sure if he flipped on the war exactly, since before he may have been expected to toe the "company line" on the subject in deference to his friends still in the service. Maybe he did flip, simply on the basis of poll numbers. Regardless, I just don't think he has the experience to do it right now. I know he touts the whole "outsider" thing, but how far will that get you the second you are "inside"? Is never having held an elected office really a positive for anyone, or a liability? 

Howard Dean - Once the presumptive nominee, his flame-out has been nearly as impressive as his meteoric rise to front-runner status. I think a lot of his early backers are rethinking things now, and are sorry they jumped on the lead horse so quickly. I think many higher-ups in the Democratic Party should feel a little sheepish for jumping on his bandwagon too early, and too decisively, Al Gore included. I think they were thinking they should back whoever was ahead, just to shorten the primary season and make it easier to beat Bush. It was all before a single vote was cast, and it was all a mistake. His whole campaign was based on the most anti-war voters and I think it just got old. I have some doubts and reservations about the war too, but I think his venom makes people think he would rather Saddam were back. 

Joe Lieberman - Joe is way too much like Bush for most Democratic Primary voters. In a general election, he would maybe get some independents, and a few Republicans, but personally I don't think I could get behind him. He's too socially conservative for my tastes. I also don't think that Hollywood is the root of all evil. He's also not the kind of guy that's going to light up a room with political passion, and that's what Democrats need this time around. (Oh, and this just in as I listen to the radio, Lieberman is about to drop out of the race. Nice try Joe. Stick to the Senate.) 

Al Sharpton - I have to admit, Sharpton is really a lot more likeable on a personal level than I used to think. He has come up with some of the best one-liners of the campaign in the debates and elsewhere. I think his previously very radical stances have softened somewhat, as well as his rhetorical style. He's still every bit the preacher, but he's smoothed out the rough edges. I honestly don't really know much about what he claims he would do for the country, mostly because he has no chance of ever winning the nomination or the presidency. He's good for comic relief though, and he is a brighter than I used to think. 

Dennis Kucinich - I'm not sure why he isn't in the Green Party. He's a vegan, which is of course fine, but much of "middle America" is going to find that very odd, if they knew. I just found that out yesterday myself. He apparently is for looking into reparations for slavery. I'm sure that won't open up any old wounds. He's doomed to get just a few delegates, mostly from his home state. Good riddance. Not that looks should mean anything either, but is it me, or does he always look like he's pickled? He needs some color in his cheeks. Maybe he needs more meat??? 

George W. Bush - How have you screwed us, George? Let me count the ways. He cut taxes for everyone, but heavily tilted the cuts toward the wealthiest Americans. Sure, the economy needed a boost, but give the cut to those that whose lives would be most significantly effected for the least cost! I'm tired of hearing the people that have done the best in our economic system whining about paying taxes. I have nothing against rich people. Hell, I hope I am rich someday! Why do they need an assist though?  I don't see Democratic Congressmen complaining about how much they pay in taxes. They say it's for businesses. OK, fine, then put it all toward businesses, giving them incentives to hire American workers. Consumer spending is 70 percent of the GDP, and so the more middle class we can get from the working poor and those earnestly looking for employment, the better! Bush is also a social conservative, who has done more to hamstring science than any other human being in the world when it comes to paralysis research work done with stem cells. He only wants to give to abstinence-only programs for sex education. It's all heavily based on ideological conservatism and not on practicality or reality. The Patriot Act, disrespecting our friends, and on, and on. There's much more I have to say on this, but I will incorporate some of it into my personal political positions page.

Lyndon LaRouche - The one guy I would fear as President more than "W" again. Many outside of DC have never heard of this guy. He is insane. He says Cheney is part of the Fourth Reich, as well as Ashcroft. I'm not a big fan of them either, and the Patriot Act is certainly scary, but Nazis? Also, he thinks that a "visionary idea" would be to build a national railway system. Yes, that would have been a good idea say...a couple hundred years ago! I have no idea what he's talking about, and most others don't either.

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