I watched as much of the Democratic primary debate last night as I could manage. Based on an hour or so of direct observation, here’s the impression I came away with of the candidates:
1. Clinton. It doesn’t matter what she says, every time I see her all I can think of is the fact that I’d most likely be sitting in federal prison if I treated classified material the way she did. It’s not a matter of whether the candidates think the American people care or not, it’s a simple matter of personal integrity and standards of conduct that I expect of a senior leader, especially one that would be king.
2. Sanders. I oppose almost everything this guy stands for, but for the most part I find him to be consistent about his principles. His platform seems to be “Free Everything for Everyone.” That’s fine I guess, except it all has to be paid for eventually. Even if he crammed through a 100% tax on the 1% it’s a budget buster. I could never vote for him, but I can certainly admire the fight he brings to the campaign.
3. O’Malley. As a Maryland resident, one raised in the West, who lived in the great suburban belt between DC and Baltimore, and now resides on the upper reaches of the Eastern Shore, any time this guy talks about respecting the culture of rural Maryland I throw up a little in my mouth. He didn’t give a tinker’s damn about rural Maryland when he was in office as governor and if anyone thinks he’ll do rural America anything but dirty as president, well, you can’t fix stupid.
4. Chafee. The guy seems nice enough but he’s a two-legged sleeping pill. If his fate wasn’t sealed already, he was done when he essentially told the world that as a new Senator he voted on bills without any clear understanding of what he was doing. That rarely plays well on TV.
5. Webb. I’m not sure this one was even at the right debate. He sounded a lot like a Republican.
The unsurprising result of viewing the debate is that there is no apparent reason I would consider voting for one of these candidates. They don’t speak to many of my issues, and when they do they mostly take the “wrong” side. I’ll have to do my candidate shopping elsewhere.