Where I Stand
Ok, assuming anyone is interested, here it goes. This comes from me by the way, Cliff Schecter, not cliffschecter.com. I have been accused of shilling for virtually every candidate so far, so why not share my thoughts.
First of all, I am on nobody's payroll. You got that trolls who like to send me J'accuse emails? I consult for Working America and have accepted a position at Brave New Films. You will find that neither has endorsed a candidate (or if they have, they haven't told me).
So now we are past that. So far, for being the strongest on a variety of progressive issues, from Iraq to habeas corpus, John Edwards and Chris Dodd round out my first tier. That does not mean this won't change.
My second tier is occupied by those with whom I disagree strongly on a substantive issue (Richardson and gun control) or haven't found to have spoken out strongly enough yet on important issues (Obama). But these are people I could enthusiastically support for President, were they the nominee.
Finally, there is the rest of the field. Let me get to the elephant in the room. Hillary Clinton. Here is my problem. I worked for Mark Penn during her husband's reelection in 1996, and quite simply find him to be one of the most detestable human beings I have ever met.
I could go into personal gossipy stuff about how he treated people, but why bother? Suffice it to say he's a scumbag with a capital SCUM. He is the anal leakage his client Olestra caused.
He will hurt our party, much like his old friend Dick Morris did, if he has the President's ear. He has run a union-busting outfit. Toiled for Big Oil. Worked with neo-Fascist Silvio Berlusconi in Italy, and advised Mike Bloomberg to switch parties and run as a Republican for Mayor of New York. He has advised Joe Lieberman. I could go on, but just read Ari's piece and you'll get the important stuff. Oh and there is this:
Lots of people are understandably curious to know what sort of messages Hillary pollster Mark Penn is testing on behalf of her boss right now. Well, we've got some answers to that question.So Penn wants to reinforce right-wing attacks on our candidates. Wonderful. So here it is. Not only can I not support Senator Clinton in the primary while this man is by her side, I frankly will have a hard time pulling the lever for her against a Republican. And I live in Ohio.
Penn's pollsters have been testing various negative messages on both Barack Obama and John Edwards. The messages tested on Obama were that he's inexperienced and that he's voted to fund the war at certain junctures.
A bit more surprising: Penn's firm polled on Edwards' $400 haircut, a line of inquiry that would seem more likely to come from a GOPer than from a fellow Dem's campaign. Penn has already created controversy for Hillary with his anti-union corporate clientele.
Hopefully, that makes where I stand clear. Who I support could change (which by the way, might include Senator Clinton if she would dump that anachronistic, 90s ass, as Al Gore did in 2000). But for now it's Edwards and Dodd leading the charge. That is assuming Gore and Wes Clark don't get in, which would make me rethink things.
Now you can get back to accusing me of all manner of things :)