POTUS’08

While I do not really write on politics much anymore (the reasons for which I’ll save for another post, another time), I feel it necessary to make a couple of comments about the current make-up of things as we’re waiting for results to come in on the Super Tuesday primaries throughout the country.  For what it’s worth (not very much), I will provide my analysis and that will be it (but I do reserve the right to re-address).

First, let me say that this is one of the oddest elections that I have ever been around for (and keep in mind that I have been around politics since I was playing with GI Joes on the floors of campaign headquarters where my mom was running congressional races).  It’s odd because there is no one that I am really behind in this race.  Everyone is either mediocre or a disaster.  There’s no great candidate, in my opinion.  In some ways, this is good, because it isn’t getting my hopes up for anything great for the next four to eight years. 

While there isn’t any one candidate that I really like, there are some that I am genuinely scared of, meaning there are a couple of people who I think if elected, will not only be a disaster for the country, but because of these people, we will find ourselves having to pick up the pieces for generations to come.  So, with that, let me start with the negatives …

Barack Obama:  This man is single handedly the person that scares me most.  It’s not that I am just against his policies or don’t prefer him because of his Party affiliation.  I don’t even think his agenda is questionable or without merit.  I sincerely think that this man will outright harm our country.  Why?  Where do I begin?  First, his experience (or lack thereof).  He is a one-term State Senator and not even a one-term US Senator.  What business does this preverbial “kid” have running our nation’s military in a time of war (especially when he never served)?!?  That is probably one of the biggest concerns for most, but even if that doesn’t do it for you, I then have to question his policy stances.  Take his healthcare agenda for example.  He wants to require universal healthcare, which in case you don’t fully understand what that means (and most don’t fully), this would be the equivolent of socialized medicine (a la Europe, Canada, etc).  But,  taking that a bit further, even his bad policy stances aren’t even effective.  Unlike Clinton’s plan, mandates would not be apart of Obama’s plan, meaning he would not require people to participate.  If you’re going to create a policy, even if it’s bad, at least create it in such a way that will actually make it effective.  Not requiring participation would essentially be raising taxes that would not fund anything due to lack of participation.  However, all of this is bad, but I haven’t even gotten to the scary part.  The most important issue is not healthcare, taxes or the economy.  The most important issue at this time is that we are currently in a war and we are having to defend America from enemies.  The fact is, I do not (and you should not) trust a neophyte like Barack Obama to run our nation’s military, taking it over in a time of war.  He claims that he will end the War in Iraq; however, I do not understand how he figures he can do that when he has zero foreign policy or defense experience.  Some say he will get good experts to guide him, but that is not good enough.  The fact is, Barack Obama does not understand this issue; Barack Obama does not understand what is at stake; Barack Obama does not understand America.  Obama will be a failure for America and we will be the ones to pay for it.

Mike Huckabee:  I put him second because I am going from worst to best and no it is not a typo that Huckabee comes before Hillary Clinton.  My issue with Huckabee is similar to my issue with Obama – I am not going to elect a baptist minister (and I am a christian) to run our nation’s military in a time of war.  Even if we weren’t in a war, I still would not entrust our national defense and security to someone with absolutely no expertise in that area.  Further, I would not trust him to help our economy, when his stances on economic issues are to the left of Hillary Clinton and his record reflects as much.  Finally, I don’t like Huckabee, because he truly isn’t smart enough to be POTUS.  A lot of people think Bush is stupid because of the way he talks, but when it comes down to it, W is not an idiot (as much as you want to make fun of his Texas gooberishness).  However, for Huckabee, its just the opposite – he comes across like a smart talking, smooth operating orator, but when you get right down to it, he doesn’t understand the difference between fair trade and free trade, Iraq and Iran, or supply and demand.  Huckabee scares me as a presidential candidate because he is a baptist minister and nothing else.

Hillary Clinton:  This may surprise you, but she doesn’t scare me so much.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve had time to come to terms with her or the fact that she will likely be in the oval office has just sunk in so much that I kind of just think it has already happened.  Maybe I have been brainwashed or maybe its that when you compare her to Obama, she looks more like a Zell Miller conservative Democrat. So, this probably boils down to the lesser of two evils for me, but honestly, I think I have accepted that.  I will say that I am adamantly against universal healthcare, which she supports.  Its the type of policy that baffles me when I hear respected economists like Paul Krugman defend.  However, with her, I see it being more of a political move, which after she is elected will likely get either put on the back-burner or compromised so much that it becomes acceptable for both sides.  She is a political animal, much like her husband (perhaps better than Bill), and she is smart enough to know when something like socialized medicine won’t work.  Further, she isn’t dumb – let’s be perfectly clear on that.  She’s not dumb enough to jeapordize our role in international relations or the global marketplace.  She’s not moronic enough to put our economy at risk.  The key difference between Hillary and Obama is that Hillary is smart enough to know that she can campaign on some things, knowing politics will eventually get in the way and not allow them in the end, while Obama will actually push crazy policies and be dumb enough to actually try and enact them, in which case, he will fail and we will pay.

John McCain:  I’ve always had a disdainful feeling about John McCain.  I have worked in Congress and on numerous campaigns, and I know how much of a hot-head this man truly is.  Is he the worst thing for the country, though?  No.  His key negatives are that he doesn’t understand anything other than defense issues.  He’s a preverbial ameteur when it comes to the economy, taxes, healthcare and other domestic policy issues.  Conversely, he is a leader on defense and security issues and that is his positive and biggest value to the country.  He would be a good commander in chief, whom we can depend on in a time of war.  He has the experience to lead on these issues.  Hopefully, he will be smart enough to put someone like Greg Mankiw as Treasury Secretary and Newt Gingrich as Vice President or Secretary of State (or maybe HHS Secretary).  Still, since defense is my (and should be your) number one issue, he would be a good leader to represent us on that front.  One additional negative to look out for is that he will quickly move back to the middle/left after elected and I fear work more closer with a Democrat-controlled Congress rather than a GOP one.  The benefit there is that 1) the GOP won’t get Congress back for at least four years (so that’s a moot point), and 2) if elected, he would likely only serve one term.  When it all boils down to it, though, John McCain is the Bob Dole of the 21st Century, and just like the real Bob Dole couldn’t beat the Clintons, this version (I fear) might not either. 

Mitt Romney:  Like I said, there is not one candidate that I am just absolutely crazy about; however, my top pick is Romney.  I like Romney and honestly think he would make a good POTUS.  His experience at Bain & Co and Bain Capital show his ability working on economic issues, as well as his managerial expertise, which is extremely important (POTUS does manage the country after all as an executive, so someone with experience as a CEO of a large organization has many skills to apply).  His experience with the SLC Olympics shows his ability to overcome daunting (read major, overwhelming, etc) challenges to the benefit of the people.  And finally, his experience as Governor of Massachusetts shows that he has Executive experience and is able to work across Party lines to acheive the results that we need.  I also think he is a good man, from a moral, ethical and personal point of view, but this is not why I am voting for him (it’s definitely a plus, though).  One negative about Romney, which a smart person reminded me of, is that often times people that have been successful in the private sector do not make good leaders in government, because they can’t handle the ineffeciencies or they attempt to acheive such ambitious goals that just aren’t realistic.  Since Romney is no neophyte to politics, I don’t see that being a major problem, but it is something to consider.  I also cannot ignore the fact that Mitt does not have extensive experience with defense and national security issues.  I do believe he understands foreign policy and international relations; however, he would need a strong VP and cabinet/military leaders to help him on the War and national security issues.  Unfortunately, I do not think Romney will be elected.  He would be a great VP, but I don’t think he will be that either, because strategically it wouldn’t make any sense for a presidential candidate to make him a running mate. 

Overall, I am preparing to have a dissapointing November (and perhaps next four years).  Tomorrow, we will be able to tell a lot more.  My end analysis is that the General Election will be between Hillary and McCain and the winner truly is yet to be predicted.  Either could win – if it’s Hillary, I don’t think it would be the end of the world; if it’s McCain, also not the end of the world, but when it all comes down to it, I’m not expecting much out of the next four to eight years.

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  1. By POTUS ‘08 Revisited « Reiboldt.com on February 8, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    […] 8, 2008 POTUS ‘08 Revisited Posted by reiboldt under Politics   If you will recall, I reserved the right to readdress this subject, and I am now taking advantage of that.  It is now […]

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