05 February 2008

Super Tuesday

My vote today in the New York State Republican Primary went to Senator John McCain.

I haven't been the most avid follower of presidential candidates campaigning for the 2008 nominations--quite on purpose.

Today, with the candidate pool narrowed down to essentially 5 candidates, I settled in for a familiarization with each.

Barack Obama. Motivational Speaker. This guy just wants everybody to get along, both domestically and diplomatically. Proponent of universal health care. A nice thought, but a heavy weight on employers. Overall my feeling is that Senator Obama is a contemporary fluffster. I do like some of his energy policies, especially tax breaks for those who produce renewables.

Hillary. Another Clinton. She wants to reverse the past 8 yrs. of the Bush Administration and calls for a return to Clintonian politics. Not that that is a bad thing--just not the right time. I very much do like her health care proposition of a public-private partnership, with tax breaks for small businesses providing health coverage. I totally disagree with her hard-line on the immediate U.S. troop draw-down for January 2009.

Mitt Romney. The CFO. He is a smart man, with SMART goals. A self-proclaimed Economist, I believe he has the Hillary-can-do on the Republican side. I agree with his open trade policy with China and see the wisdom in his call for troop strength to seek stabilization in Iraq. I applaud the magnitude of an "energy revolution" which Romney demands. He would be a good president, but does not make my final cut. He does not leave me with the feeling of "direction" that I am seeking.

Mike Huckabee. The minister. The Huck does give an absolute direction to his future presidency, however it's a little bit of a clean-sweep for me. Too much, too fast. Eliminating federal income and payroll taxes? Are you serious? I would be interested to see how things would play out for this guy as Mr. President--but for now, only on the big screen. His high reliance on the collective decisions of generals is not what I am looking for in my Commander-in-Chief, either. I love the Huck's stance on health care, and hope he does bring it to the national stage: "the real challenge is not health care, it is health." Y'all know that I have a personal barometer for lifestyle, right?

John McCain. War Hero. He is here and now. John McCain has a strong grasp on foreign policy and is prepared to personally lead our country's Soldiers to success in Iraq. This is a man who realizes that things have not been done right in the past, and will continue George W. Bush's determination to propel the righted-ship onward. Senator McCain is not afraid to let U.S. troops do their job. He has a great belief in what "going Green" will mean to this country, including the creation of countless jobs. Opening health care markets across state lines is extremely appealing to me, given my own first experiences finding coverage for myself and my wife. The more real options for a health plan, the better. He'll have smart economic advisers and people like Romney to propose good economic packages along the way. Soldier Care--currently the center of my professional existence--is something this veteran candidate understands and speaks for. McCain, at 70, is the president we need for 2009.


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