Tuesday, January 15, 2008
My vote may actually matter
For the first time in my memory, the Michigan primary will not just be a formality, at least on the Republican side. All of the major Republican candidates have been inundating us with phone calls and mail for a couple weeks now. The only viable Democrat on the ballot is Hillary Clinton, since the others bowed to the party leaders and withdrew their names after Michigan dared ask that our primary not occur after the issue is decided.
So here are our choices, from a slightly cynical point of view.
Mitt Romney - son of former Michigan governor, businessman, savior of Salt Lake City Olympics and former Massachusetts Governor. Mr. Romney is noted for his malleability on positions of interest to the Religious Right.
Mike Huckabee - former Arkansas Governor (yikes), Baptist preacher and darling of the Religious right. Notable for his fondness for tax hikes and pardoning prisoners who later commit additional crimes.
John McCain - Vietnam Vet (not again), prisoner of war, Senator from Arizona noted for his ability to vote against President Bush's tax cuts, vote for fuel economy standards that will hurt the domestic automakers and passage of the incumbent protection act known as McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.
Rudy Guiliani - former Mayor of New York, September 11, 2001 icon whose personal life is a train wreck. He is avowedly pro-choice but a strict constructionist on judges. He was a tax cutter as mayor and cleaned up the porn shops and prostitutes in Times Square while dramatically lowering the crime rate in the Big Apple. Religious Right says he is not family-friendly, despite record of cleaning up city.
Fred Thompson - Former Senator from TN, and actor on Law and Order, The Hunt for Red October etc. He may be the most genuinely conservative candidate running, but his lack of "oomph" leaves many wanting more.
Ron Paul - Member of Congress from Texas and this year's Ross Perot.
So which of the seriously flawed candidates do I vote for? I won't tell you, but it isn't Hillary.
We are picking a leader to run our country for 4 years, and it is a 2-year process to do so. There are no easy choices this year. But at least my vote will mean something.