Monday, December 31, 2007

My voting history

By Edward Copeland

My state won't get to vote until Feb. 5, so who knows how the Democratic field will look then. With the approach of Iowa though, I'm in a reflective mood since 2008 will mark 20 years since I first voted for president.

In 1988, my state's presidential primary was in March. By that time, my candidate, Sen. Paul Simon of Illinois, had suspended his campaign but not dropped out, meaning he could still accumulate delegates. I voted for Simon anyway. I worked for Dukakis during the summer and voted for him proudly in November.

In 1992, Paul Tsongas was my guy. Unfortunately, the success of his candidacy seemed to have surprised even his campaign, who neglected to get him on my state's primary ballot. Still leery of Bill Clinton's ability to beat Bush 41, I voted for Jerry Brown with the dim hope of a brokered convention. Thank heavens for that mad dwarf Ross Perot, who enabled Clinton to win twice. I voted for Clinton in both 1992 and 1996.

Since there was no Democratic primary fight in 1996, I switched my registration to GOP and voted for Buchanan, just to screw with Dole.

2000 was incredibly depressing. I was a Bradley man, having despised Gore dating back to Tipper and the PMRC. I was moving between states, but Bradley's candidacy was already over, so I registered GOP in the hopes of helping McCain stop Dubya. In the fall, faced with a choice between two men I despised and living in the reddest of red states where Nader wasn't even an option, I voted for Harry Browne, the Libertarian.

In 2004, I wasn't sure how to go. At first, I felt John Edwards was an empty suit, but after seeing him in person, I was sold and voted for him in the primary, though he barely lost the state. In the fall, I gladly voted for Kerry and his loss led me into a funk that led me on the path to blogging.

This year, Edwards is still my first choice, but if he's out of it by Feb. 5, I'm going to vote for Obama to try to stop Hillary's ego from costing the Dems an easy November win. The Democrats are blessed with a field of worthy contenders, but the only serious candidate (not counting Gravel, entertaining as he is) with a worse chance in November than Hillary is Kucinich and I still like him better than her.

Every election, we like to say is the most important ever, but it's very true about 2008. The Democrats and the country in general can't afford to blow this one.

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