Not that it does or should matter...voting is an individual act and how
one person votes should not have influence or bearing on anyone else...but
I plan to vote for Clinton. For my money, Dole has shown himself to be a
mean, venal little man who thinks that he should get the job because he
earned it in the Senate. He doesn't have any real plans for it, he just
wants the pointy hat; he thinks he deserves it. Feeling you're next in
line for promotion, for me, isn't sufficient reason to be given the
mandate to run the country.
The only thing he's ever put on the table was the 15% tax cut, which
strikes me as nothing more than a bribe.
Frankly, my gut -- which has almost always proven correct around election
year -- tells me that Dole is gonna get whomped *badly* come November. It
may be the most punishing loss a republican has taken in years.
Which, I suspect, will not be a surprise to the republicans. I think they
figured, on some level, that Clinton would probably be re-elected -- very
few sitting presidents have been booted out of office while running for a
second term -- and they decided to hold off on their big guns until the
2000 election, rather than fritter them away in 96. "Dole wants the
nomination so bad, let him have it and get pasted; we'll be over in the
bar, wake us when it's over."
In 2000 you're going to have Gore running hard on the democratic side,
again with an "I deserve it" attitude, though Veeps have traditionally not
done that terribly well when going for the Big Chair. He'll likely get it
unless someone comes charging out of the corner with a dynamic program and
personality, which is, of course, always a possibility, though he'll have
the democratic establishment on his side.
On the republican side, you're going to see Kemp and Pete Wilson
scrabbling for the nomination for certain; who else, we'll see. (Don't
laugh re: Wilson. Lemme tell you a story I heard back when I was a
reporter in San Diego, at a time when Wilson was just mayor. And an
unpopular mayor at that. One day one of the other reporters came into a
restaurant we used to hang out at, and he was...well, he wasn't plastered,
but he'd been knocking them back. Very quiet. Finally, we got him to
talk. He said, and this is pretty much verbatim, "Wilson met with the
kingmakers today," he said. "They're going to run him for senator, then
they're going to run him for governor, and they're going to run him for
president." This was the most absurd thing we'd ever heard, and said
so...again, he was barely holding on for *mayor*; prevailing logic was
that he'd be lucky to be elected dogcatcher next time around. He shook
his head. "They'll run him for senator, then governor, then president."
And after they ran Wilson (and won) for senator, then governor, and
started poking him out the door for president (stopped only when his
throat went out)...I stopped laughing.)