Thoughts on the upcoming presidential primary

The Tenessee presidential primary is less than six weeks away (it’s on February 5) and I have no idea who I’m going to vote for. Early on I was a huge fan of Barack Obama. I appreciate his fresh ideas and I believe he’s the candidate most likely to use the presidency as a bully pulpit the way Teddy Roosevelt did. A few months ago, though, I swung back to Hillary’s side, believing her experience would be valuable on the world’s stage, and besides, it’s time for America to have a woman president. Now I’m back to undecided. I just don’t know.

As of right now, I think the environment will end up being the issue that determines my vote. I believe that 100 years from now, Bush will be seen as a president who sat by and did nothing during a crisis (the climate crisis) the way Hoover did 75 years ago during a crisis of his own (the Great Depression). I want to see a president aggressively implement the suggestions Al Gore and his group came up with, before it’s too late.

So between now and 2/5 I’ll be researching where Hillary and Obama stand on that issue, and if they make big promises, I’ll consider whether I can really trust them to keep their word. I haven’t looked into John Edwards much. I have nothing against him though. If anyone reading this is a big Edwards supporter and wants to make a case for him, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll read with an open mind.

Since voters don’t have to declare in advance for one political party or the other in Tennessee, I do have one other option if I can’t find a clear favorite among Hillary, Obama, and Edwards by February 5… I could cross over to the Republican primary and vote for Giuliani. Of the Republican candidates, he’s the only one I could be completely happy with as president. If he gets the nomination, I’ll give him serious consideration against the Democrat. In any other case, my vote in the general election will go to the Democrat for sure.

Trouble is, I wonder if a vote for Giuliani in the primary is a wasted vote in a conservative state like Tennessee.

I was very happy with Mike Huckabee’s performance as governor of Arkansas, and if he were running for governor I’d vote for him. As president? No.

I admire Ron Paul’s independence and his willingness to do what’s right as opposed to toe the party line. Several of my blog’s readers have e-mailed requesting that I give him a serious look. But the president appoints Supreme Court justices, and for that reason there’s no way I can support a candidate who is pro-life.Guess I’ll figure it out who I’m going to vote for sometime in the next six weeks. At least I can be encouraged by the realization that no matter who ends up in the White House on January 20, 2009, it’s going to be a huge improvement over the current occupant.