Sunday, October 14, 2007

The 2008 Presidential Elections: An Early Look at the Democratic Candidates...

With this spectacle of the 2008 elections already heating up. I figured the Political Thunder Blog should analyze each candidate and then announce which one we here at PT support. This first edition will analyze the Democratic candidates.

Democratic Candidates:

Hillary Clinton...
Hillary Clinton, although the first woman from a major political party to ever run for President, is the Establishment candidate. She's played the game of politics all her life. She is intelligent and well spoken. And although she brings out the worst in pundits of the Right-Wing, she would be a fine President. Unfortunately, the possibility of her winning the 2008 Election is slim. She has a strong base of voters, however that base won't likely grow very large given the other candidates. She does not appeal to moderates. And that is because of the conservative hit machine that does its best to bring her down. This campaign is led by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, and Glenn Beck.

I wish her the best, but I think her campaign will be a difficult one to sell. "Love her" or "hate her" ones always are. If nothing else, her campaign will decide if America is ready for a female President.

On the Web...

LINK: (Official Website)

LINK: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Senator from New York (Senate Website)

LINK: Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign, 2008 (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Hillary Clinton" (Google News)


Barack Obama...
Jon Stewart once described Barack Obama as the first black man to ever "have a prayer" of becoming President (which is ironic because Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are both reverends). Barack is the people's choice for President. He is man of popularity. His charisma wins over huge groups of people and it doesn't take much effort for him to convince people that he is a good guy. Unfortunately, his amount of experience in national government is limited. This is his biggest weakness. Also, he can be an easy target for the media. In Mid-December of '06, CNN ran a story on his name alone. Racism is also a factor. Rush Limbaugh dubbed him a "Halfrican American" and "Barack, The Magic Negro". Glenn Beck said that Obama is "colorless ... he might as well be white".

All this is just the beginning of the smears. They go on and on and on. The media has overblown every story with even a hint of controversy -- from Sen. Joe Biden stating that Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy” to the "Hillary 1984" attack ad.

I would love to see Barack Obama as President, for he is a breath of fresh air in the world of politics. He doesn't fight dirty and he believes strongly in bipartisanship. Hopefully, the smear campaign against him won't defeat his cause.

On the web...

LINK: Obama '08 (Offical Website)

LINK: Barack Obama, U.S. Senator for Illinois (Senate Website)

LINK: Barack Obama (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Barack Obama" (Google News)


John Edwards...
John Edwards is a man with a lot to offer. He is strong supporter of unions and he will fight for the working class. Ann Coulter hates him enough to call him a "faggot", so he must be doing something right. Unfortunately, his campaign was struck with the sad news of the return of his wife's cancer. I salute them for pushing on with the campaign, and I hope Elizabeth has a swift recovery. I also salute her for her brave confrontation with Ann Coulter.

I met Sen. Edwards in September of 2007 and saw him give a speech. I have a video of his performance that I hope to get online somewhat soon. He truly came across as very Presidential. And this suprised me quite a bit. Before I saw him talk, I thought he came across as lackluster, but that is no longer my belief. In fact, when I started this analysis, I intended this to be the announcement of the official PT Blog's endorsement. However, after meeting him in person, I could not hold back my support for Edwards. And I officially support Senator John Edwards for President.

Now, unfortunately, with the release of this embarrassing video, the "Breck Girls" nickname, and news of his $400 haircut, he is already an easy target by the brain-dead media and immature Right-Wing. All in all, I wish him the best.

On the web...

LINK: John Edwards for President (Offical Website)

LINK: John Edwards (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "John Edwards" (Google News)


Bill Richardson...
Governor Bill Richardson is another "first [minority] to run for President". Although one of the most experienced and qualified candidates of the whole group, his nomination is unlikely. He's not as mainstream as Hillary, Obama, or Edwards. He does have chances to be a VP, however. With the way this election has ALREADY become grandiose and, quite frankly, ridiculous, Richardson will probably be swept under the rug by the mass media. He is one of the few candidates to promise immediate withdrawl from Iraq, something I personally disagree with.

I admire the man's career and I wish him the best, but unfortunately, I see his campaign a difficult one to pursue.

On the web...

LINK: Bill Richardson for President Exploratoy Committee (Offical Website)

LINK: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (Governor Website)

LINK: Bill Richardson (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Bill Richardson" (Google News)


Chris Dodd...
The head of the New Hampshire Democratic party said Dodd told her that he wasn't "going to do the exploratory thing, I'm going to plunge right in." And he did. Unfortunately, it was on the recently disgraced Don Imus' show, Imus in the Morning. I don't really know why he is running for President. He doesn't seem to have much of a chance. I know very little about him, only that Dodd and Sen. Ted Kennedy once formed a "human sandwich" with a female waiter. Oh, and something called a "Dodd Pod".

His chances are minimal, so I only hope he brings some relevant discussions to the campaign. However, when I saw his performance on Real Time with Bill Maher, I was impressed.

On the web...

LINK: Chris Dodd for President (Offical Website)

LINK: U.S. Senator Christopher J. Dodd | D-Connecticut (Senate Website)

LINK: Christopher Dodd (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Chris Dodd" (Google News)


Joe Biden...
I am not much of fan of Biden. Even thought he apologized, his comments about Barack Obama were irresponsible and stupid, even if they were misinterpreted. However, some believe the what he said wasn't important at all. What was even more irresponsible was his comments about Indian-Americans, when he said, "I've had a great relationship. In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian Americans — moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

To his credit, The Biden-Gelb Plan for Iraq does make a lot of sense. In fact, it makes the most sense of all plans for Iraq. It is very reassuring to see that some Democrats do actually have a plan for Iraq.

The bottom line is that I really believe that his 2008 bid will end on something embarrassing, as it did in 1988. Biden, hopefully, will drop out soon because he nomination is incredibly unlikely and his election is even more unlikely.

On the web...

LINK: Biden for President '08 (Offical Website)

LINK: Joseph R. Biden, Jr. U.S. Senator from Delaware (Senate Website)

LINK: Joe Biden (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Joe Biden" (Google News)


Mike Gravel...
Former Senator Mike Gravel was a name unknown to me. After doing some research, I found that he was instrumental in ending the draft and releasing the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War. So, he's a pretty cool guy.

Apparently, in 1972, he ran for Vice-President. In 1980, he was ousted in the Democratic primary by the grandson of the man Gravel had defeated in a primary 12 years earlier. Oh, the irony. However, he didn't take it to well. "I had lost my career. I lost my marriage. I was in the doldrums for ten years after my defeat," was what he said regarding the 1980 election.

He made a major error in judgment in 2003 when he gave a speech that was co-sponsored by Holocaust deniers (the Barnes Review). At least, he made a point that he did not share their view when he stated that "You better believe I know that six million Jews were killed. I've been to the Holocaust Museum. I've seen the footage of General Eisenhower touring one of the camps. They're [referring to the Barnes Review] nutty as loons if they don't think it happened".

His positions are very liberal (he supports legalizing marijuana), and he has been ignored by the media. Add that to the fact that only about 0.5% of Democrats support him, his candidacy is all but dead. Although his chances are nil, I hope he can bring some important discussions to the table and be a strong voice for the far left of the Democratic Party.

On the web...

LINK: Gravel 2008 (Offical Website)

LINK: Mike Gravel (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Mike Gravel" (Google News)


Dennis Kucinich...
I don't care what anyone says -- Dennis Kucinich is cool... to an extent. I don't have too much to say about his current campaign. He is, potentially, undermining black voices by not boycotting the (now cancelled) FOX News Democratic debate. And, after missing the point of the boycott, he is taking potshots at the other Democratic candidates.

Kucinich is an odd character. He was named "among the ten worst big-city mayors of all time" by Melvin G. Holli. In 2003, Kucinich was the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award, an annual award bestowed by the Religious Society of Friends-affiliated organization Promoting Enduring Peace. In more recent times, he started impeachment proceedings against Vice President Dick Cheney.

Unfortunately, he is ultimately just the punchline for the joke that is his own campaign. Even though he has laid out a plan for Iraq and put together a very nice liberal campaign platform, everyone already knows his campaign will go nowhere. Hopefully, he will be able to bring some good discussion to the campaign.

A part of me wishes he would win -- back in 2003, he was the only candidate who promised (and is currently only one of two) to close the School of the Americas, a cause that is very personal to me.

On the web...

LINK: Kucinich for President 2008 (Offical Website)

LINK: Congressman Dennis Kucinich (House Website)

LINK: Dennis Kucinich (Wikipedia)

LINK: News Results for "Dennis Kucinich" (Google News)


Well, that is it for the official Democratic candidates. However, I find it important to analyze the two major potential Democratic Candidates, Gen. Wes Clark and Al Gore.

Wesley Clark...
Although the Draft Clark movement was pushing for a Clark candidacy, it seems that he has entirely rejected the chance to run for President in 2008. And, along with other ex-Democratic Candidate Tom Vilsack, has given his endorsement to Hillary Clinton. Which, some think, will make him a possible VP choice.

On the web...

LINK: Wesley Clark's WesPAC -- Securing America (Offical Website)

LINK: Wesley Clark (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Wesley Clark" (Google News)


Al Gore...
If the latest Nobel Prize laureate were to enter the race, he could easily thunder into the primaries and steal a lot of votes from the Clinton campaign, but, in all reality, he will not. Gore loves his work for the environment and is doing a fantastic job at it, so there is no reason for him to enter. And, unlike the Republicans, Democrats are mostly satisfied with their choice of candidates; so if Gore were to enter, it would have mixed responses.

I must admit, up until I met Sen. Edwards, Al Gore was my hope for the White House. But, I have to face reality and understand that he has no reason to enter and he, most likely, will not. However, if he actually does enter, I will give him my utmost support.

On the web...

LINK: An Inconvenient Truth -- (Offical Website)

LINK: Al Gore (Wikipedia)

LINK: News results for "Al Gore" (Google News)


So there you have it, the 2008 Democratic Presidential Candidates, and my endorsements -- Sen. John Edwards or (if he enters) Vice President Al Gore.

-Mr. Joseph

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