In the Daily Kos Straw Poll thus far. John Edwards is in the lead, with Barack Obama and Wes Clark in a close 2nd and 3rd. Richardson edges out Kucinich, and Hillary trails the pack of contenders.
I consider Richardson’s lead over Hillary more of a headline than the fact that Dennis Kucinich beats Hillary. Richardson is a former member of the Clinton cabinet. One would think that the pro-Clinton forces would gather to Hillary, but clearly there is room even within that circle for a Clintonish candidate, even one not named Clinton.
I’m inclined to think that Obama should run and will definitely do well. I’m incredibly enthusiastic about the slate of prominent candidates. The comparison of the Democratic slate to the Republicans is fascinating. We have a racially and sexually diverse group from across the nation and of all ages. They have a group of old white men.
Our candidates are running on a range of deeply held views, views shared by America. They have all spoken forcefully about the dangers of our increasingly stratified society. While John Edwards is rightly famous for speaking about the Two Americas, I’ve heard Obama speak passionately about economic inequality as well, and about the importance of creating an America that truly gives everyone an opportunity to succeed. On a range of issues from environmental policy, health care and foreign affairs, the leading Democratic candidates appreciate and represent the views widely held not just by Democratic activists, but by America.
As our friend The Anti-Sam observes, the only Republican candidate currently displaying any consistent set of political views is Sam Brownback. McCain, Giuliani and Romney are all desperately trying to force themselves into whatever contorted position their previous comments allow and the vagaries of Republican primaries require of them. Sam Brownback’s flip-flop on abortion many years ago will probably go down a lot smoother than Romney’s because Brownback experienced a religious conversion at the same time. That’s the same loophole that got people to ignore George Bush’s alcoholism and drug abuse, surely it’ll keep Brownback out of the doghouse.
The situation we have, then, is a Democratic field dominated by a range of leaders who have demonstrated a consistent set of values throughout their careers, values shared by America and by primary voters. On the Republican side, the field is dominated by equivocators, with the only consistent candidates so far from the mainstream that they are barely in the same watershed.
I’m going to enjoy 2008.