Breaking radio silence to suggest to my American readers that for the primary elections, y'all vote for Barack Obama if you're a democratic and John McCain if you're a republican. My advice is naturally based on my values, YMMV. Slightly more detail:In this election, as the parties I would like to see elected are too far on the margins to count (those being the Green party, the Socialist Party, and the Socialist Workers Party), given those in the running I believe the Democratic party is most in line with my values and hopes.
On Barack Obama, I believe him to be more principled than Clinton (but not in a weak way like Carter was), and trust him to comprimise his principles less. I believe he has a more broad background than Clinton, given his upbringing, and I respect that he's written two books (one of which is not autobiographical). I believe Barack Obama to be of a moderate-liberal political persuasion - not as far left as I might like, but the best possible person on that regard. Not directly tied to him as a candidate, given the experience I have (tied to private conversations with my family in the south) with seeing old boys networks, I am thrilled at the possibility of a black man becoming president (although Colin Powell, if he had run, would've served this equally well) because it would help shatter glass ceilings. The one thing that troubles me about Obama's record is that he's shown a tendency not to show up for votes where he'd lose out in the short term voting one way and in the long term voting another.
I don't think Hillary would make a bad president, she's just not particularly exciting because she's a centrist. I think a lot of the criticism of her is overblown, partly because much of America's culture has issues with a strong woman. Hillary has done a lot of good for the nation with a number of her programmes, and, like Obama, has a good career history behind her. I believe Bill Clinton was a surprisingly good president, and just as political marriages tend to become partnerships, I don't think a return of Bill and Hillary would be bad for the nation. I prefer Barack Obama, but would be ok with her. A female president may help shatter glass ceilings too (although probably not as much as a black one, in my opinion)
John McCain is the only person running on the Republican ticket that I respect. Much, but not all, of this is that he appears to have a lot of integrity, being a kind of conservative version of Russ Feingold (with whom he has worked on campaign finance reform, and who is, in my opinion, one of the best people in American politics). His clear stance on ending US use of torture is very important to me, as have been the other instances where he went with his conscience against the Republican party line. On some level, while I'd still prefer Barack Obama be elected president, I would regret that McCain not win because McCain could be part of a shift in the dynamics of the Republican party back towards the centrists (away from both the Neoconservatives and the Theocrats). All this said, McCain, like all Republicans running, is very far from most of my positions (although his ideas about political reform and a handful of other things are really exciting).
I suspect that if it were possible, McCain would like to run with Schwarzenegger as a ticket partner (as they seem to be in the same faction of the republican party, and given the existing ties between them)...
Jayne is gone, back to 2 cats, job ended, still in a mentally ugly place.