I am painfully torn as I try to decide whom I want to see as the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.
Before I continue though, let me make it clear that I am not and never have been a Democrat.
While throughout my political life I've been infinitely more comfortable with Republicans than Democrats, I'd have to classify myself as a conservative, a Constitutionalist, and a Libertarian. If it weren't for my differences with them on a few social issues - not to mention their lack of electability - I'd vote consistently Libertarian.
In 1980, I was proud to cast my first presidential ballot for Ronald Reagan. In 1984, I was happy to do so again.
In 1988, I voted for the elder George Bush, but without much enthusiasm. Keeping Michael "Do-cock-us" Dukakis out of the White House was my primary motivation, even though I knew the outcome in my Hoosier State of Indiana was assured even without my vote.
In 1992, I was not in the best of health, and I didn't vote. Laziness was my only excuse for failing to cast a ballot in 1996. But Dole carried Indiana anyway. (I would have been much happier with Jack Kemp!)
In 2000, I was reenergized, and I voted for George W. Bush with much hope. Despite my continuing differences with him, I was so happy to have him after we were hit by terrorists (yet again) on September 11th.
In 2004, I was happy enough with "W" to reelect him. And of course, one should be loathe to change horses midstream or while at war.
But really, who in their right mind could have welcomed John Kerry as the leader of the Free World? Unless of course we could have amended our Constitution to allow for the office of Dork in Chief... *shudder*
Whenever I go to the polls, I always wear a black NRA cap adorned with a 1980 Reagan campaign button featuring him in the famous cowboy hat pose. Thusly dressed, I briskly stride into my local polling place, and the various competing campaign volunteers surrounding the entrance to my town’s civic center rarely accost me. Coincidence? I think not...
But I digress...
As much as I would love to see Hillary's political future crash and burn ala McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry, I truly do fear an Obama candidacy. At least Jimmy Carter was old enough to have a few wrinkles... Get my drift??
But Obama has become a phenomenon. While I don't think for a minute he could fully withstand the heat of a general election campaign and debates against an old warrior like McCain, that actually may not matter.
Casting ballots is still what wins elections, and facts, history, experience or principle will not sway many of Obama’s followers. They will respond only to emotion.
So as distasteful as it is to say, and as anxious as I am to rest assured that Hillary will never again occupy the White House, I think it may be better for us if she wins the Democrat nomination.
Not only will her party have been battered and bruised, but also much of its enthusiasm will have faded. And many if not most of Obama's new registrees will become disillusioned and will sit out this election, and maybe even all subsequent elections. This can only be good for the country.
So maybe I'm ready to reluctantly endorse Hillary Clinton as the Democrat Party’s nominee.
Now the most exciting decision might be who McCain will pick as his Vice Presidential nominee.