:: Sunday, January 04, 2004 ::
Being a Democrat
I love being a Democrat. Specifically, I love being an Iowa Democrat. I love that the primary season starts with the Iowa Democratic caucuses.
I'm watching the Des Moines Register debate with the Democratic presidential candidates, and it's the best run debate I've seen so far this season. A real debate, with good questions, including questions submitted by Iowa Democrats.
I'm not a Deanie, or whatever those people are called, but of these Democrats, the only one that is vaguely presidential is Howard Dean. Of course, he's not presidential in the traditional sense, but the rest of them I'd have a hard time voting for. No question, I'll vote for the Democrat, and will never vote for George W., but jeez, you've got Gebhardt, who's so 80s. Lieberman who is such a wimp. Kerry who is such a politician. Carol Moseley Braun is good, but she'll never be President. Edwards is too young. Kucinich (I think I misspelled his name) has a good heart, but his idealism, as much as I agree with his statements, needs some pragmatism.
What's interesting is that all these candidates... it's like they are there so that a complete, clear picture of the issues can be drawn. By debating and airing their positions, they are creating the Democratic platform which the final candidate will run on. And, if the candidate can integrate those positions and articulate them well, the Democrats will be giving George W. a run for his money. I'm not sure a Democrat can win, but this collection of candidates can create a platform that will finally give the Democratic party some definition again. This they will need in 2008.
And, I think the Democratic candidate will be Howard Dean.
Best line of the campaign so far: the topic was balancing the budget and it was Dean's turn. He ran through some arguments and positions and ended by agreeing with Kerry that balancing the budget won't happen right away. Then he said "but by the 6th or 7th year of my term..."
I didn't see reactions of the other candidates. the DMR moderators looked stunned then amused. The audience laughed. Dean paused, looked around, and said "What??" and gave a look like he'd been joking.
But, I don't think he was joking! I think he got caught up in the moment and came out with what he'd really been thinking, and only after backpedaled to make some comedy of it.
Honestly, I loved it. It really is refreshing to see someone playing the game and still having some truth underneath.