My current ranking of leading presidential candidates, BTW, is as follows:
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 :::
1. Thompson. Yes, that's kind of new for me, though I was leaning toward McCain for a while and I don't think I ever mentioned that here. This is a weak preference, and is probably based largely on the fact that I have no particular reason not to support Thompson except for the fact that it's barely clear that he's running. The next three have more obvious weaknesses than he has, but also stronger strengths. The others also have more relevant experience, but he clearly has some good policy thinkers. I wasn't really giving much thought to him or McCain until a month ago; if you haven't given him a chance, I encourage you to do so.
2-4. Romney, McCain, Giuliani - I could probably pick among them if I had to, but it seems less necessary than picking a top choice, and I'm not really committed at this point. I ruled out McCain for a while largely based on McCain-Feingold, but I've come to realize that if I'm going to be a single-issue voter, that probably can't be my one issue. I wasn't a fan of the immigration plan he was pushing last year, but his recent conclusion that people want enforcement first satisfies me completely; if he can get immigration laws enforced in his first year, and keep them enforced in his second year, and in his third year he pushes a plan to make a deal with whomever remains along with the other things that were in his plan - moving toward accepting skilled immigrants and away from lotteries and third cousins of citizens - I may well back his plan. Also, he did call for the surge, and I give him points for its working.
Romney's biggest failing was pithily explained by Thompson recently. I do think he's solid on the issues that I care most about -- which are, conveniently, not the ones he's running on -- and he's probably the best manager running. I would not bet against his being the best manager in the country. I think he leaves something to be desired in terms of inspiring leadership.
Giuliani is absolutely the best pro-gun-control, pro-rent-control, adulterous mayor that New York City has ever had. I really believe that. Also, I think his having been divorced twice, once within the last decade, suggests a lack of stability and judgment, I'm not sure a third divorce would reflect particularly poorly on his judgment.
5. Hillary Clinton - I'd rather let her run my health care than let al Qaeda run it, and I like her odds.
6. Barack Obama - I'd rather let him run my health care than let al Qaeda run it, but I don't like his odds.
7. I suppose I lean toward Huckabee over Edwards, but I'm not sure I can articulate a reason why. I guess I'd probably prefer his position on gun control, even though he'd probably justify it with a nauseatingly simplistic sound-bite.
::: posted by Steven at 12:07 AM