Thursday, November 06, 2008


For us, Tuesday was a mixed bag election. We are elated Obama won, and Democrats did well nationally. Unfortunately, Paulsen and Bachman victories are disappointing. The wait and see on Coleman-Franken bodes ill as well.

I disagree with my friend, as McCain lost, as any Republican would've because, well, they were a Republican. McCain was the best candidate of the bunch, but after 8 years of Bush, this country was through of the GOP and it's overhanded way of governing.

To say McCain was disappointing is understandable, but do you think he would've had any chance to win his party's nomination without lurching to the right. And do you think he would've gotten the typical conservative voters to turnout if he would've picked boring Tim Pawlenty as his VP. There's now way if McCain "had taken personal ownership of the tone" partisan GOP voters would've gone out to work or vote for him as they did Tuesday.

Scott's a very unbias voter, and looks very methodically at the candidates (perhaps he'd share his candidate choosing process with us). And if McCain had done what Scott asked of him, Scott probaby would've voted for him, along with the other independent voters of his sort. But McCain would've lost even worst than he did Tuesday.

I forgot to address your other question. How I address presidential candidates. I use a spreadsheet. Really, I do. I line up all the candidates, one per row.

(When I say "all", I mean Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, Ralph Nader, Independent. I don't mean Communist, the "Vote Here" party, or generally any party with the word "Socialist" in its name.)

I then put issues on top of the columns. I had about twenty columns this year. I weight each column by its importance to me as a voter. This year, "education", "foreign policy", and "economic policy" were weighted heavily.

Then I study each candidate until I can type a paragraph, without referring to notes, in each column for that candidate. Then I can assign points, using the weighting I described above, to each candidate whose stated policies lined up with my own opinions.

If it were to ever happen that a candidate came out of this process who I didn't believe had the leadership skills to succeed, that person would be disqualified. My vote in the 1992 election was a tough call for me.

I'll say this. The candidate I voted for in 2008 received my vote because of the weighting, and not because I agreed with him on more issues that I agree with the other candidates.

I think those of you who know me will not be surprised by my methodology. :)
Ack I see my original comment didn't make it.

So as to avoid retyping the whole thing:

1. I agree with GML4 that McCain was severely handicapped by his membership in the party of Bush 43. Anything is possible, but that made his election pretty darn unlikely.

2. McCain didn't need to get the conservative block of his party out: that was why he picked Palin. Neither McCain/Lieberman, McCain/Romney, nor McCain/Pawlenty would have accomplished that. I'm not saying McCain would have won if he had acted as a leader, and led according to his personal principles. All I'm saying is that it would have been closer - maybe much closer - if he had. It's disappointing that he didn't.

As to whether I'd have voted for McCain if he'd proven himself a leader... see my other comment for my selection criteria.

To all of George Matthew's readers: You'll find me blogging at my blog, and you can follow me on twitter as @scottmjohns. Matt and I have been friends since the sixth grade.
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