Tuesday, February 05, 2008

What I'm hoping for out of Super Tuesday

I don't have a vote in the US presidential election, and I doubt I'll be filling this blog with speculation about it over the next nine months, but here, for what is worth, is my take on each of the five candidates left in the race.

Barack Obama simply isn't ready to be president. Sure, he's got charisma, sure, he says the right things about Iraq, but he's done nothing of note in US federal politics and his election to the presidency at this stage of his career would represent a triumph of style over substance.

Hillary Clinton is a good social democrat and if she were anyone else but Hillary Clinton I would be rooting for her. But as I have explained before, the greater health of US democracy requires that the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton era is brought to an end.

Mitt Romney is a very right-wing version of Jed Bartlett. Enough said.

Mike Huckabee is a good Christian and a man I agree with on many issues, but his selection as the Republican candidate would simply be too divisive and open the way to an Obama-Clinton landslide in November.

So, almost by a process of elimination, it's John McCain for me. I think he is the right person to restore some credibility to the White House after Dubya and, as Ken Clarke said (although not in so many words) on Question Time last week, electing a 71-year-old to the presidency would give new hope to old gits everywhere.

I'm hoping he will achieve a clear win tonight, with an inconclusive result on the Democrat side that will cause Obama and Clinton to go on fighting while McCain can concentrate on being statesmanlike. And before any of my leftie friends accuse me of letting the side down, I am at least being consistent.

  • Agree? Disagree? Take part in my quick presidential poll HERE.

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    Anonymous said...

    "I think he is the right person to restore some credibility to the White House after Dubya"

    Maybe, but I predict Hillary to be the next President. Good or bad? Dunno. Worse than Dubya isn't possible anyway anymore.

    btw, interested in joining in a political forum? Then stop by at www.discusstheworld.com


    skipper said...

    Can't expect me to support a Republican president but at least McCain is a rational decent man who wouldn't be at the beck and call of any vice president or loony advisers. Me? I'm still going with Hillary, but Obama seems increasingly attractive; re his 'readiness', how ready was JFK in 1960? Bit of a gamble,yes, but everything is a kind of gamble in politics.

    Vicarious Phil said...

    McCain does have a certain appeal, after Bush he's so much more like a grown up (which at 71 is not really a surprise) but then as I haven't got a vote I'll stick Obama, it's the romantic in me.

    Stephen Rouse said...

    I could live with a President McCain - just wish the Republicans had done this eight years ago.
    But what on earth was wrong with Ged Bartlett?

    Anonymous said...

    The problem with the 'he's not ready' argument is that I think Obama's moment is now or never. It would be hard for him to run again and generate such a ground-swell. For me it's Obama first, Hillary second. As long as the GOP is out, I'll be satisfied.

    Matt Buck said...

    That's a thoughtful piece Paul. I am most interested in who the race is going to be between. I think we will get the best 'debate' about how to run the country between McCain and Clinton (despite her husbandly baggage.) I worry we will get Obama v McCain which might end up being a visual referendum on age (I recall what happened to Bob Dole). I hope I am wrong on the last thought.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes Paul I too am interested in why comparing Romney to Barlett ends the argument??

    Paul Linford said...

    Sorry Bartlett fans...it's no more than a comment on the fact that Romney looks like the kind of identikit president who might have been dreamed up by the writer or producer of a political drama. It wasn't meant as a comment on whether or not Bartlett was a "good" or "bad" fictional president.

    Anonymous said...

    Hilary for me. I have always admired her intellect and humanity and she has been an excellent Senator. I cannot warm to Obama despite his rhetoric and I find it difficult to believe that someone with two years political experience can be President.


    Pete Phesant said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    Cyberleader said...

    What are your thoughts on Ron Paul, Paul?

    Surely the most liberal (in an English sense of the word) of the candidates.

    Is he just an internet fad or has he made a real impact in the campaign?

    Out of all the candidates I'd vote for Obama purely because he's the only real candidate for change.

    Cyberleader said...


    this video (Barack Obama on religion and politics) might interest you Paul..

    scott redding said...

    McCain was singing "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb-bomb Iran," to the Beach Boys at a rally a few weeks ago. He doesn't need loony advisors, he's already there!