purely on the issues (check them out here http://www.2decide.com/table.htm) for me the choice for candidates is between Mike Gravel, Barack Obama and Hillary (Billary?) Clinton. On paper, looking strictly on the stark yes/no support of the issues, they are all very similar or the same (although all but Gravel support possible military action against Iran, which I don’t necessarily agree with), so it makes it pretty tough to decide without the constant bombardment of TV commercials, interviews and news shows, which I probably wouldn’t watch anyway.
I would have to say that at the moment I’m an Obama fan. I never listen to speeches and whatnot but what he said after the South Carolina win was mostly pretty good (part 1 and 2). My only concern with him is his experience. Compare him to someone like Ron Paul, who’s introduced or signed loads of various bills, and the shimmer starts to fade. But he does have the hopes and dreams and ideals of a huge number of people (like Caroline Kennedy) on his shoulders. I just hope he can live up to them.
Mike Gravel matches me more closely on the issues, but Obama has far more support and is more likely to win the candidacy.
I have to say that I can’t believe that I ever ‘big upped’ Ron Paul, though – he says what a lot of people like to hear in video clips and has been the media underdog by being shut out of debates, but his stances on the major issues are appalling, IMO. He’s basically pro-ANWR drilling, anti-Kyoto treaty, pro-gun lobby, for the border fence (which all the other Dems I mentioned above are for, boo on them!)…at least he’s anti-Iraq/Iran war and pro-healthcare. I do like that he says he’d get rid of the IRS though! I did an online candidate/issues check to see who would match me, and Paul came up close to my views last year. Now, though…he’s quite far from my ideal.
I’m not really for or against Hillary Clinton – I voted for Bill the first time and I think the second time as well, because he made the effort to reach out to young people (he even answered face to face questions on MTV, for Pete’s sake) when Bush Sr. couldn’t be bothered (must have been all the oil money flowing his way). I think that Barack seems to exude a lot more charisma and character than Hillary, and this is the sort of thing that is going to decide the Democratic candidate for President. Hillary’s early support of the Iraq war isn’t going to help either!
For me, the issue is not ‘first female president’ or ‘first Black president’ – it’s about ‘who the people think will do the best job and fix the fuckups of Bush Jr & Co.’ And unfortunately for the Republican candidates apart from Dr Paul (who is quite unlike any of the other candidates), in the minds of most people that means ‘no more Republicans’.
Check out an online ‘candidate calculator’ here: http://www.vajoe.com/candidate_calculator.html
It gets your views (yes/no/unsure) about all the major issues, lets you assign how important you think each issue is, and gives you your best and worst matches. It is very very helpful, and perfect for someone like me who doesn’t get (or want) to see daily news shows, debates and speeches. Just cut out the clutter and give me the facts, man!
You can also get a simple chart to see how each existing candidate feels about all the major issues: http://www.2decide.com/table.htm There are also links to each candidate’s official web page.