The caucus/primary season officially kicks off tonight, one day ahead of Iowa, when the Seattle chapter of Drinking Liberally holds its first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, 8PM, at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue East. Republicans and Democrats alike are invited to join us for this momentum setting event that will surely set the tone for tomorrow’s better known if Johnny-come-lately Iowa caucuses.
And when the caucusing kicks off, expect me to be firmly in the camp of Sen. John Edwards.
It wasn’t an easy decision, and it was a long time coming, but in the end, when I look closely at the campaigns of those Democratic candidates who have gained any sort of traction with voters nationwide, Edwards is the only one who appears to be running as a Democrat. Delivering a consistent message of economic populism at home and abroad, Edwards is the only front-runner who seems to know what he wants to do with the office, and the only one whose specific proposals on health care, regulatory reform and economic justice seem targeted toward addressing the real issues that ail our nation. While other candidates promise hope or experience or competency, Edwards is the only Democrat truly promising change… and change is what we’ll most desperately need after eight years of a Bush Administration that has left our nation balancing precariously on the edge of abandoning the core values that have long nurtured our democracy and our economy.
Don’t get me wrong, if Obama or Clinton (or Richardson, Biden or Dodd) go on to win the nomination, I will enthusiastically support them; each of the others has much to recommend them, and would be the clear choice over any Republican alternative. But it is Edwards who speaks to me and my vision of a more prosperous, free and just America for all our citizens.
Oh… and the fact that polls generally show Edwards as being the toughest Democrat to beat… that doesn’t hurt him in my book either.