Judging a presidential candidate is a lot like assessing the hookers who stand on street corners, displaying their wares. You see only what they want you to see. They don't tell you if they're likely to give you a terminal disease or of their $200/day coke habit. They don't mention that their pimp who just out of stir for aggravated assault. Instead, they put on their best smile, pose themselves seductively and hope you'll buy the goods.
You are only allowed to see a politician's best side. That's why I've never appreciated sound bites. I like context. I like to look at the candidates' personal history. What have they done, how have they grown over the years? Are they petty, malicious, have a tendency to lie when then truth would work just as well? Are they there for themselves or for us? At the core, I'm looking for a decent human with a sharp mind who understands that this isn't all about them.
So what those Democrats? For Hillary Clinton, it's business as usual. She would probably make a fairly decent president. She knows how Washington works and she has Bill to soften her sharp edges. Still, she is part of the problem and right now we don't need any more insiders. Sorry, Hillary, I'm not there for ya, though I do respect your achievements.
John Edwards continues to show his commitment to the have-nots in this country, whose numbers grow with each passing week. That earns him brownie points in my world. Still, I don't really get a sense of the man. However, if it came down to Edwards vs. Clinton, I'd go with John.
As to Mr. Obama, his lack of experience in Washington's shark pool would be a detriment. Still, it might not be a fatal flaw. Washington would probably try to isolate him to prevent "contagion" from new ideas, but Obama has overcome others of that ilk. He would be a fresh voice willing to sit down and talk rather than charging off like a half-cocked cowboy. Whether he would be capable of making progress with the sharks, I'm not sure. If it comes down to Edwards vs. Obama, it would be a tough choice for me.
Or perhaps an Edwards/Obama ticket. Possible, but I don't know if Barack would go for second fiddle. Frankly, I think it would be a smart move on his part. On the job training that might lead to him securing the presidency down the line. For America, having two young(er) and open-minded males might make a helluva difference. They'd have the energy to take on the Old Guard.
I'll continue to ponder the options. Much like making that choice at the street corner, you never know what you'll get until they take that oath of office.