I'm just starting to feel really good about this upcoming presidential election. With the Republican nomination all but decided, we have three front-runners whom I rank as follows: (1) Obama; (2) McCain; (3) Clinton. And while McCain has disappointed me in the past and I have certain issues with Clinton, all of these candidates seem worthy and none of them make me feel as though I would want to flee the country if they became president.
At this point, the thing that really concerns me is McCain's running mate. Sometime last week I was in the break room, and the TV was tuned to one of the 24-hour news networks, as is its wont, but (as is less often its wont; mostly only in the PM hours) it was tuned to Fox News. That being the case (and also as I was trying to make use of the down-time to do reading for class so I wouldn't have to use as much of my precious hours spent away from work) I wasn't paying much attention to it, but they reported the factual information that Mitt Romney was to endorse John McCain. At first I didn't understand the significance of this; I just thought, "Oh, that's sporting of him," but then the Fox News people were speculating (and, as they're the mouthpiece of the Republican party, this seemed at least plausible) that Romney was angling for the vice presidential nomination.
This is...worrisome to me. As I've said, I wouldn't particularly object to McCain being president, but if he were to be elected and if, God forbid, something were to happen to incapacitate him, I certainly wouldn't like to see some conservative (Romney or someone like him) take his place. So I would hope that McCain would choose someone like-minded to him, but as I think about it, I would imagine that it would probably be a better strategy for him to pick a more conservative running mate in the hopes of reassuring conservative bastions of the party.
So I guess, once the nominations become formalized and finalized, it would behoove me to take running mates into consideration before I make a FINAL decision as to who to vote for because if, for example, it came down to McCain and the female Clinton, and McCain picked a really scary running mate and the female Clinton picked a decent one, that might tip the balance back in her favor.
I still support Obama, however, and it's getting really frustrating to hear people criticize his "lack of experience". On the one hand, it is fair to say that he doesn't have a lot of experience on Capitol Hill, so at least it's not a spurious or disingenuous claim. But on the other hand, as I've said before, I don't think that "inexperience" is necessarily a bad thing. I think our democracy is languishing, in part because of career politicians who are too entrenched in a bloated, corrupt, and ineffectual system, and I see Barack Obama as someone who hasn't yet had a chance to be corrupted by that system. Moreover, if the executive branch was meant to be strictly a one-person show, then yes, the person seeking that post would ideally have a bit more experience in national politics, but the president gets to seek and appoint advisors. I think Barack Obama is smart enough and humble enough to recognize the areas where he is weak, figure out who would be best to help him in those areas, and seek those people out, regardless of partisanship or other less pertinent or more petty considerations.
I have to say, though, I think one of the best decisions I ever made was registering as an independent, because if I still belonged to a party I would have felt compelled to pick a horse in the primaries, and in the past when I've done this, said horse has always dropped out before South Dakota's laughably late-season primaries. Being ineligible to vote in the primaries has been much less stressful for me, and much better for my mental and emotional well-being. I only wish I'd done it years ago. I've never felt any particular allegiance or affinity to any political party anyway.