(Originally posted to Politics at EraBlog on Thu, 12 Jun 2003 06:47:24 GMT)
I detest George W. Bush and his administration. The war, the economy, the environment, the judicial battles. I loathe just about everything that comes out of the White House. I want that man gone.
I’ve been following the Democratic presidential candidates with some interest for the last few months. Right now, I feel like I’m a yellow dog Democrat. I don’t care who wins in 2004, just so long as it’s a Democrat.
That’s not really true, however. I’d much rather have a candidate that I have some enthusiasm for, rather than the lesser of two evils: such as Holy Joe Lieberman or Bob Graham. It’s not enough to be against Bush; I have to be for someone. Of the electable candidates, I like Howard Dean the best.
Dean was the Governor of Vermont for nearly twelve years, winning re-election five times. He positions himself as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. He’s an MD, who managed to bring in health insurance for almost child in Vermont. He also balanced the budget every year, and signed the only civil unions bill in the nation, which almost gives marriage to gay people. He has also attracted a fair amount of attention for opposing the Iraq war.
I got to hear him when he spoke to the Microsoft Political Action Commitee during his visit to Seattle a couple of weeks ago, and I found him to be forthright, personable, and refreshing. He spoke off the cuff and he gave reasoned responses to difficult questions. Compare that to Bush’s scripted responses. For example, when asked about a report that he had felt uncomfortable about signing the civil unions bill in Vermont, he replied that like most heterosexual male Americans, he wasn’t comfortable around gay people, but he didn’t let that blind him to the injustice of the situation.
I just watched his appearance on the Charlie Rose show that I recorded on the TiVo last week. Dean has built an enormous following on the Internet, and he’s appealing to a lot of people who’ve never been involved in politics before.
Dean will be formally declaring his candicacy on June 23rd.