Have you decided who you'll vote for in the primaries? I have to say
that I'm torn.
an online quiz at a site called Quiz Rocket -- I'm going
to try it out. Well, heck, DO NOT take that quiz. It
wasn't a bad quiz, but before they'd give the results you had to click
through all sorts of stupid "offers" -- and some screens you couldn't
get through without agreeing to get information on something. And the kicker? My dream candidate? Joe Biden -- WHO IS
OUT OF THE RACE.
OK, let's try another one at a site called Electoral Compass. This one is much better -- there are text ads on the site, but it doesn't
make you jump through any hoops. It's probably much more useful, too. You answer every question on a sliding scale: Completely Agree, Agree Somewhat, Neutral, Disagree Somewhat, Disagree Completely, No Opinion. When you finish it shows where you
fall on a quadrant and you can see little head shots of the candidates
whose positions are closest to yours. I'm in the corner where all the
Democrats are, am slightly to the right of all of them, but nowhere
near the Republicans. So, yeah, I'm a Democrat. You can click to see,
in percentage points, which candidate aligns closest to your answers.
I was in closest agreement with John Edwards, followed by Barack Obama,
and then Hillary, but all three were within ten percentage points. Or,
on the quadrant screen, you can click individual issues to see where
you and the candidates match up. And finally, you have the option of
saving your data by choosing a user name and password for the site. No
other information is required.
One more -- at a site called Politicalbase.com. All the questions for this one are on one page, with radio-style buttons to choose for each; essentially the same five option scale as in the prior one (I think that's called a Likert scale). These questions are less specific -- I'm not sure it will be as accurate at capturing my actual stance on the issues. Yup, I was right about that. I think the way the questions were asked made my positions seem more extreme than they actually are. I matched up with Dennis Kucinich (83% agreement), Bill Richardson (83% agreement), and Mike Gravel (79% agreement). Richardson is out of the race (which the site acknowledges). Is Kucinich still in it? And who on earth is Mike Gravel? This quiz takes a strong second place, though, because on the screen where they give the percentages it does a nice job of telling you why you matched with the candidates.
"In sum, Al Gore has been justly honored for highlighting — like no one else — the climate challenge. But we still need a vision, a strategy, an army and a commander in the White House who can inspire young and old — not only to meet that challenge but to see in it the opportunity to make America a better, stronger and more productive nation. This is our crucible moment." [Who Will Succeed Al Gore?]
This article in the Washington Post shows there are serious roadblocks to Clinton's election above and beyond the fact that she is a woman. (I'm sure there are people out there, even now, who would not vote for her just for that reason.) It's almost a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. If Hillary went on Oprah, wept into her tea, and shared intimate secrets, she'd win over some people who don't feel they "know her," but she'd lose others who don't want a chief executive who shows weakness. I would probably vote for her. I've never voted anything except Democrat in a presidential election and if she's the nominee that probably won't change (in the absence of an overwhelmingly compelling moderate Republican or Independent choice).
"Anna Shelley, a mother of three from Utah, says she is ready for a female president, and she is sure that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has what it takes.
But Shelley, a Democrat, is not sure she could ever pull a lever for Clinton. Her reservations are vague but unmistakable: Something about Clinton leaves her cold.
"I want to see her as a human being -- I can read a newspaper and see her agenda," said Shelley, 27, whose husband did a tour in Iraq and who is appreciative of Clinton's support of the military.
"I think she's a little hard," she said. "She may be strong, but at the same time, if you're driven sometimes you're perceived as not having sympathy. And perception is reality for most of us."
It is a reality that Clinton's advisers are confronting as they seek to position the former first lady for a possible 2008 presidential run. They expect that any campaign would begin after this fall's election, in which Clinton, a Democrat, is running for a second Senate term from New York.
Never has a politician stepped onto a presidential stage before an audience of voters who already have so many strong and personal opinions about her, or amid arguments that revolve around the intangibles of personality and the ways people react to it.
Clinton's assets are formidable: an unrivaled ability to generate publicity and money, and approval ratings that are notably strong, given her polarizing reputation and the controversies she has weathered over 15 years in the national eye. In recent public opinion polls, she handily leads potential Democratic rivals.
Beneath these positives, however, there is evidence of unease -- about her personal history, demeanor and motives -- among the very Democratic and independent voters she would need to win the presidency." [Washington Post: Beyond the Poll Numbers, Voter Doubts About Clinton]