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Dean falls flat in Iowa, showing a disappointing 3rd place. I can't say I'm upset. He's an interesting candidate, and I find nothing in his credentials that would make him a "bad choice" in my estimation, but there's just something about him. I can't put my finger on it, but a lot of his policy plans just sound like Apple Pie in the Sky, and not very realistic. And then there is his presence. I'm sure it's not the basis for making a sound decision in voting, but for some odd reason, looking at Dean and hearing him speak just gives me the creeps. He just doesn't look very presidential. All the still shots in the media seem to capture him smiling, but his smile comes across all wrong. He looks more like a person who read a government report on smiling and tried to figure it out from there, but had no actual practice in it. I think the way a person carries and portrays themselves is an important part of the package when seeking high office. There's just... something ... about Dean that doesn't sit right with me.
Kerry took the most delegates from Iowa. Kerry isn't my first choice, but I have no serious problems with him if he is the candidate. I need to keep reminding myself that right now, Job Number One is to get that maniac Bush out of the White House, and the name of his replacement isn't as important as it might otherwise be. The cartoon dog Snoopy would be a far better choice. Kerry seems to be a fine man, though his proposed Tax plan doesn't sound very realistic, and I don't see it getting through congress in any form close to what he proposes. He also reminds me of Jay Leno every time I look at him. That's a horrible reason to not pick somebody for your candidate, but hey. I'm only human.
In the aftermath of the Iowa primary, I think I was most pleased with Edwards' strong showing. I really like Edwards, and he seems to have a sound vision, along with a definitely powerful presence. He just looks presidential, and in some ways, reminds me of a young JFK. He also has a sense of humor about himself, as evidenced by the fact that he initially announced his candidacy on The Daily Show with John Stewart on Comedy Central. I think having that sort of grounded mentality, where it's acceptable to poke fun at yourself, is an important attribute in a candidate.
I'm still pinning all of my hopes on Wes Clark, though. He wasn't in the running in Iowa, but now he'll be on the ballot for the remaining primaries. We shall see if he can muster the required following. I'm not sure what I like best about Clark or where my questions for him lie. Is he really a very conservative Democrat? Or is he a very liberal Republican in Democrat's clothing for convenience? I don't think it matters. He has the whole package for me. Not such a liberal that he'll be a horror to my basic Republican nature, but not a blazing war Hawk like Bush, either. I think with the right advisors (and he seems to have some good ones) he could do a fine job as president.
All of this, unfortunately, still begs the question of whether or not any of them can actually beat Bush. I have growing doubts that any of them can pull it off. The only two people that I would envision solidly beating him would be Al Gore or Hillary, and neither are inclined to run at this time.
We shall see.