I guess I’m sort of surveying myself here – it’s way too early to know for sure who’s going to win, and it’s also not quite clear as to who the best candidate might be. I’m ruling out the Republicans – I can’t really foresee circumstances whereby I’d ever vote for a Republican. Moderates like Giuliani and McCain may have something about them, but Rudy’s constant ‘Reagan, Reagan’ and ‘9/11’ clamours make him look cheap, and McCain’s support for the Iraq ‘surge’ is preposterous. Does that then mean I should rule Hillary out? Her foreign policy is pretty neo-Conservative to put it mildly – it’d almost be like voting for David Cameron wouldn’t it? Should I then though rule Obama out, with his neo-Conservative (and repeated) claim to be willing to bomb Pakistan?
I’m confused. I don’t want to vote for a neocon – I made that mistake in 2001 when I voted NuLabour for the first (and only) time. I also don’t want to vote for candidates who (also like late-stage Blair) hedge on equality. By that token Hillary and Obama rule themselves out. But does that make a vote for Edwards a good move? It’s not as if Edwards is even going to make it to November as the Democratic candidate, although he might easily be Obama’s VP candidate…
For me there’s almost nothing in it between Obama and Clinton at this stage. He represents marginal change as a brand new face, to contrast with the years of Clinton/Bush dynastic battles, infidelities, inexcusable pardons and illegal, preemptive wars. She represents what was good about Bill’s years, alongside a brain and character far stronger than her husband’s. She’s also right in saying that her years of experience are as a change maker (we’ll overlook her healthcare failures shall we?). Oh and we’d also get him back into front-line politics, without much doubt, conceivably working alongside former soulmate Tony Blair again in the Middle East? Obama as a black President however would be a vital, transformative symbol, regardless of the actual substance he could bring to the role. And she as the first female Commander in Chief would be perhaps an even more transformative symbol. She voted for the Iraq war, he supports preemptive strikes within Pakistan.
There has to be better than this.