"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Survey results

For those who cast their vote in my straw poll of potential presidential candidates earlier this month, I thought you might like to see the results:
A total of 132 people voted -- which I thought was a fairly respectable number. Considering that readers of this blog are likely to be, on average, a bit more liberal than the general public, the results are not unexpected: Al Gore and Barack Obama top the list by a sizeable margin. Senator Clinton's distant third-place showing did come as somewhat of a surprise to me, however, given my poll's largely female constituency. Hillary is currently the top-ranked democrat nationally, although you must admit that she is a very polarizing individual; you either love her or hate her with a passion.

Interestingly, Colin Powell did just as well in my survey as Senator Clinton. I think this reflects the considerable bipartisan respect for Mr. Powell among voters-at-large for being virtually the only moderate and diplomatic voice among the rabid choir of the Bush administration. However, the chances of him running are virtually nonexistent. He has stated on several occasions that he doesn't have the "fire in the belly" for a shot at the White House, and I believe that a serious, in-depth scrutiny of every minute detail of his life which would result from his candidacy might possibly reveal things that could hurt his standing in the public eye. Let's face it, everyone has a few skeletons in their closet.

As the poll indicates, Barack Obama has a high buzz factor right now but I don't believe he will ultimately get the nod for the top job. He just doesn't have the experience, especially in foreign policy, that voters will feel comfortable with during these uncertain times, although it's worth noting that John F. Kennedy had just as little experience and was two years younger than Obama at the time of his election. Obama is intelligent, articulate, and a dynamic speaker, but my prediction is that he will become the vice-presidential nominee on the democratic ticket. Should the dems win the general election, that "on-the-job" experience will put him on a solid track to be America's first black president in 2012 or 2016.

As for Al Gore, his passionate stance on the environment, along with a sympathy factor from the 2000 fiasco in Florida which many still feel robbed him of the presidency, make him what has been described as "a still-rumbling volcano". In addition to winning this informal survey, he is my personal choice as well, as his stand on the issues most closely matches my own. However, I am afraid he is perceived among the general public as being "old news", a relic of the past with little real chance to win in 2008. In a recent CNN poll of possible democratic candidates, Gore came in tied for third place with John Edwards, far behind Senators Clinton and Obama.

Thanks to everyone who voted. Somehow, I have a feeling we'll be hearing more about this whole "election thing" in the months ahead.

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