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The Line Goes Down, Makes Sam Sad

CA Repub Debate Thoughts

Just a couple. I thought McCain hurt himself here. In the one big mixup with Romney, I thought he was clearly on the wrong side, trying to push a point that was somewhat unfair. There are plenty of things to hit Romney on. This was not the thing. Otherwise he just repeated a lot of things he’s said many time before (including the same jokes, gag). Romney didn’t look much better though.

I was once again somewhat impressed by Huckabee. I don’t agree with him on much, but he actually seemed thoughtful, serious and adult… which I couldn’t say for either McCain or Romney.

And of course Paul… despite his flaws, which are many, he continues to be the one candidate I agree with on the most issues. His approach toward the proper role of government is much closer to mine than anyone else in either party. Yes, I disagree with him on a few things, but at a far lower percentage than any other candidate. I really long for a serious candidates that shares these basic libertarian values, but is actually a strong candidate in other ways too, in terms of character and political savvy and experience and such. I agree with him on 90% of the issues. But can I imagine actually having him, as a person, as president? No. I have real trouble with that. Which leaves me conflicted. In 2004 I declined to vote for the Libertarian party candidate as they were a total nutjob (much more so than Paul). In this case I so much WANT to vote for the person who most closely represents my views… and that would be Paul. But individual policies aside, can I actually say Paul would be the best president of the people running? Even of the Republicans running? No, I’m not sure I can say that. Not that I have to worry about him winning, but if by some strange quirk of fate Ron Paul were actually to win the presidency, I think he’d be completely and totally overwhelmed and out of his league the day he was sworn in.

But I still feel tempted to support him, because he DOES represent many of my views better than anybody else. By FAR.

Sigh.

I think I’ve decided that statements I have to sign about being either a Republican or a Democrat aside, when we get to the Washington State Caucus, I *will* attend one of the two caucuses. Either the Republican Caucus to vote for Ron Paul, or the Democratic Caucus to vote for Obama.

Right now I am still somewhat conflicted on which direction to go.

I will decide after I know the Super Tuesday results.

Honestly though, I hope Ron Paul makes it easy for me and drops out after Super Tuesday makes it mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination. (It might not seal the deal on the #1 spot, but it might seal the fate of Paul.)

In that case I could caucus for Obama without feeling guilty about not voting for the person I agree with most closely on the issues. Why I would vote for Obama when I disagree with him on many issues will probably need to be the subject of another post at another time though.

Of course, the fact that I am somewhat hoping for Paul to drop out so I can feel good about voting for Obama should probably tell me something in and of itself about who I *really* want to vote for. And I guess it does. But I still feel somewhat conflicted here.

For now though, on this debate, I think Huckabee and Paul were actually the most compelling, but that won’t end up mattering, because it is really McCain vs Romney now. I stand by my McCain prediction. He’s got a seemingly huge lead right now in so many states it is a major uphill battle for Romney. I think this debate might hurt McCain and help Romney a bit though.

Hard to say though. I cheated and read a little bit of blog commentary before writing this post though (I usually try to write my own opinion before being tainted by the opinions of others) and there seem to be a decent number of people thinking Romney knows it is over and was phoning it in and hurt his cause here. That’s not what I saw. But we’ll see if there is any bump in the polls over the next few days I guess.

And tomorrow is the Clinton vs Obama debate. Obama really needs to crush on that to close the gap with Clinton in the polls in so many states. But he really sucks at debates. They should just let the two of them give side by side 20 minute speeches. Then he’d crush. At a debate? We’ll see if he can manage to hold his own. Clinton does much better in the debate format usually.