The field of presidential candidates is down to four. Well okay, probably three, but Huckabee’s still in there pitching. And I find myself in the upside-down situation of the more I like each candidate as an individual, the less I want them to be President. I don’t think these two factors are necessarily related. That is, I don’t want them to be President because I don’t like them. But the fact that it turns out this way concerns me.
First, my personal popularity finals:
Mike Huckabee – far and away the most likable person in the race. He’s funny, self-deprecating, down to Earth, caring, and just seems like a good all around Joe. If you missed his participation with Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, and Stephen Colbert on which of them “made” Mike Huckabee, then you should look it up on YouTube. I’d gladly give up any of my neighbors to have him move in next door. Unfortunately, as President he scares the hell out of me. His policies (social, foreign, and economic) are woefully misguided. Not to mention that he’s pretty well promised to promote his view of Christianity as law.
John McCain – a straight talker, an affable guy, and a man of opinions and convictions, who can entertain and discuss both sides of an issue. I like listening to him, and I’d love the opportunity to just sit and kick ideas around with him. He should own the adjacent cottage at the lake so I could while away a summer afternoon on his front porch with a couple of beers. Unfortunately, his foreign policy and military policy is just more of what we’ve been suffering through for 7+ years. I can’t abide any more of that.
Barack Obama – an eloquent speaker. He knows how to turn a phrase and work a crowd. It would be entertaining to go and watch him speak. However, I can’t say I’d want to spend time with him personally. I get the feeling it would be like being caught in a 1-on-1 infomercial. He’s a great salesman. Unfortunately, he lacks a product. To the extent he has any policies, they are pale rehashes of programs proposed by Clinton and Edwards. And while I think these are directionally correct, it’s not clear he’s the one to implement them.
Hillary Clinton – a smart, savvy, and politically astute player. She has solid policy positions, a keen intellect, unbounded ambition, willingness to compromise in the name of progress, and many other qualities that make her the best choice of the field to be President. But in honesty, I don’t like her. I don’t hate her. But I don’t find that I enjoy her talks, and I’m not anxious to suffer a dinner with her.
All of this matters little I guess. But I think it is interesting how my gut and my head are in almost diametric opposition to one another. That doesn’t happen to me too much. Fortunately, my gut doesn’t vote,