So for those of you who'd rather watch Spongebob than the world around you, here are the Top Ten candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties ... names you'll be hearing, a lot of, in the next two years ... and my take on them.
Today we'll tackle the Democrats (listed alphabetically):
Evan Bayh - Senator, Indiana. An up and coming star in the Democratic party. Two-term governor, former Secretary of State for Indiana, and son of a U.S. Senator ... all from a state that has not voted for a democratic presidential candidate since LBJ in 1964. I'd probably vote for him.
Joe Biden - Senator/Plagiarist, Delaware. Nobody wanted him in 1988 before the found out he lifted parts of a speech from a British politician without proper attribution ... I'm sure nobody wants him now, either. Granted he has a great "Unite Our States" concept, and perhaps the best plan to end the Iraq war, but he's old, and old news, as far as most Democrats are concerned.
Hillary Clinton - Senator, New York. While the Clintons are as close to royalty as the Democrats have in America, there are too many conservatives (not Republicans. The two are not mutually exclusive) to elect her. Despite what those from New York think, there are 49 other states in the US. Born in Chicago, moved to New York after leaving the White House because it was winnable (my comment). Still, she did offer the first universal health care plan in 1994.
Christopher Dodd - Senator, Connecticut. Considered too East Coast for most of the party, he's been in government since 1974 when he was elected to the House. Too much a life-long office-holder to connect with the people.
John Edwards. Wants five minutes of your time to make America better. Big fan of using technology to reach people and voters, gives him a nice niche among tech-savvy people. Seems like a nice enough guy, rags-to-riches, son killed in a car crash, wife fighting breast cancer ... hard to beat on paper, but when he opens his mouth ... ugh. I'm wondering what he's going to come up with in 2008 after his "Christopher Reeves would walk again if John Kerry was president" and the whole "baby crying to get out" malpractice case.
Al Gore. Art Garfunkel to Bill Clinton's Paul Simon. Can't stand on his own, even despite trying to distance himself from Clinton's shadow. Nice movie (out on DVD on 11/21) about the environment, but it doesn't register outside of the already existing liberal environmental democrat faction. Unfortunately.
John Kerry - Senator, Massachusetts. Regardless of what conspiracy theories you subscribe to, he lost in 2004. And nobody on the Democratic side really wanted him to win. He was put up against President Bush to find the holes in the Democratic party to allow them to plan for 2006 and 2008. It worked with Michael Dukakis in 1988, and it worked again in 2006. Still hasn't told us what his plan for America in 2004 was, but given his record it's probably changed a few times since then. Oh, and he recommends a 52k modem to view his official website. (Technically, if you still surf with dialup, you're probably a republican, or a victim of the Bush legacy and too poor to afford broadband.) And, surprisingly, no comment on his 'botched joke' from me. Really.
Barack Obama - Senator, Illinois. Another of the Democratic Party's rising stars, but is two years in the U.S. Senate enough experience? Me thinks not. And there are too many rednecks and racists (not mutually exclusive categories) to elect a black president.
Bill Richardson - Governor, New Mexico. Former Secretary of Energy under Clinton and GWB; former Ambassador to the United Nations; former Congressman. Nominated several times for the Nobel Peace prize; elected governor in 2002 by the largest margin of victory since 1964; big fan of clean energy; state has a balanced budget and one of the nation's highest budget reserves.
Tom Vilsack - Governor, Iowa. In the words of Heywood Banks, "Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn. Corn." Seriously, term-limited in Iowa, he'll be unemployed in January 2007. Big fan of ethanol (um, that's made from, uh, corn. See!) and universal heath care, looks a bit like Peter Griffn from Family Guy, which could be beneficial; his wife loves to wear hats and is a big fan of libraries and literacy and has a cool flash intro to her website.
Next time, the Republicans.