PossibilitiesDespite my busy schedule this week the goings on in Iowa did not escape me. It's exciting! For the first time in decades we have an embarrassment of riches among the Democratic candidates. And more than that, Iowans turned out to caucus for Democrats over Republicans two to one. Quite surprisingly (or not, depending on your perspective) Barack Obama walked away with a comfortable lead among the Democratic contenders and in an upset of quiet victory Edwards came in second over much touted one-time front runner Hillary Clinton.
This has set off an email exchange in our family of mostly Obama and Edwards supporters as to who the best candidate is. (No one seems to be all that enthusiastic about Hillary, but if she got the nomination everyone of us would vote for her.) My brother (who has his 3 year-old son chanting "O-BAMA" in the car on the way to pre-school) and mother are staunch members of the "coalition for change" in support of Barack's visionary hope for the future citing his victory speech the other night as one of the most inspirational since Bobby Kennedy. As for the argument that he is all rhetoric and no substance, they point to his book "The Audacity of Hope" which outlines his positions on all the major political issues of the day.
Two of my sisters are in the Edwards camp pointing out his steadfast perseverance in continuing to talk about issues that no one else seems to discuss, namely the plight of the poor, the selling out of our government to big business and the disappearance of the middle class. Also the fact that no matter how well he does in the race he seems to get the least amount of media coverage has not escaped them. (No one seems to be talking about his second place finish, but rather, Hillary's shocking third place finish.)
The funny thing about our family is despite our debating, we're all essentially on the same side. One friend who spent a Thanksgiving dinner with us during which a heated political discussion ensued noted "they all argue with each other but they all agree on everything!"
So where do I stand among the three Democratic hopefuls? Undecided. Truth be told I'm probably leaning more toward Edwards at this point, (and mourn the loss of Biden from the race whom I have always admired) but find much about Obama promising and admirable. As for Hillary, I love my senator and would be proud if she became our president, but there is something about her that makes me think she'd sell me down the river the first chance she got if it was politically advantageous to her. I don't know--maybe it's "Don't ask, don't tell" that's left a bad taste in my mouth. But the difference this year is that I'm trying to decide on the best of three extremely smart, qualified, electable candidates rather than the lesser of all evils. Can't wait to see what happens in New Hampshire.