I know you've been waiting for my presidential endorsements. I'm sorry for taking you up to the last minute, so I'll get it out of the way quickly.
But first, this sidenote:
If I was caucusing in Iowa today, I'd find my self standing with the Kucinich people first. It is impossible to ignore the fact that on every survey I've done I end up matched with DK. Every debate I've watched, I find myself not only agreeing with DK, but actually shouting my agreement. He goes tragically, hilariously wrong at times, but he gets it right, so sweetly right, so many other times that it would be hard for me to not throw my support his way, at least initially. Then, after the first round...
I'd be standing with the Edwards people.
I can't say Edwards won my support as much as Obama lost it. I love me some Obama when he is giving a speech. I agree with his positions on most things. If he got the nomination, I'd gladly knock on some doors for him. But...he has underwhelmed in the debates. And I am very much not in love with his tendency to use Republican talking points when jibing at his rivals for the nomination. But most of all, I can't do the "we must end partisanship" vibe he is putting out there. Yes, we have gay friends in the red states, but the red-staters shun our gay friends. Yes, Republicans and Democrats must learn to work together, but we have been attempting to walk arm and arm with our Republican friends, only to find the knife planted deeply in our backs. If Obama has not learned by now that the Republicans have no interest in making common cause with us on the issues near and dear, I don't think he's going to learn it. A few months back, the rap on Obama was that he was naive for wanting to reach out to world leaders who are not friendly toward the US. I worry much more about his apparent naiveté about our "friends" across the aisle. What really seals the deal for me is that I have been unable to bring myself to wear my Obama shirt these last few months; the magic is gone.
Edwards has the hard-charging realist rhetoric I am looking for. I am still only 87% sure this is genuine, as he just comes off as a smarmy lawyer-politician. At least in the debates he does. His Christmas message seemed very genuine and, fortunately, our presidents don't too often engage in formalized debates or trials where the more unflattering side of Edwards would be reveled.
I wish I could say that there was some more meaningful policy points that make me go with Johnny E., but I look at policy positions at this point as mere talking points. Nothing any candidate has proposed at this time will become reality in a year or so. There is something called a Congress, or more pointedly a filibuster, so plans will have to be changed. Edwards has staked about as far left of a position as a mainstream candidate can and that's where I tend to swim.
Quickly: For the Republicans, I recommend Mike Huckabee. Seriously, too. He's a crazy, crazy Christian, but all the Republican candidates either are crazy Christians or will throw a bone to the religious right on relevant matters. But Huckabee is also a Christian who somewhat gets the whole compassion side of Christianity, not just the condemn thy neighbor part. He's befuddled enough to not know the "right" answer to every question, which opens the door to the possibility that every now and again he might actually do the decent thing.