Thursday, November 09, 2006

Our first presidential candidate for '08

Inspired by the result of Tuesday's election, we have our first presidential candidate for 2008: Tom Vilsack, governor of Iowa. After reading his website and listening to his video blog, I think Vilsack will make my choice in the primaries quite a bit harder (as I also like several of the other potential Democratic candidates).

It was difficult to choose which excerpt to use in my blog, but after some deliberation I decided that this passage summarized what I like best about Vilsack so far:

"Under Governor Vilsack's leadership, the state has a record number of employed Iowans, has made significant investments in Iowa's education system, has increased the number of Iowans with health care coverage, and is a national leader in renewable energy. The governor has achieved these results while eliminating three state departments, reducing the total number of state employees, and providing targeted tax relief to working families without raising overall taxes."

I don't know about you, but I'm impressed. It really sounds like Vilsack has his priorities straight: he's doing what's best for the people (jobs, education, health care, etc.) while minimizing what's not best for them (unnecessary government departments, tax increases).

If Hilary Clinton also runs, who to vote for in the primary election will be a very difficult decision for me! Ultimately, my decision has to do with who will best support what's needed for the people without sacrificing the people's freedoms. For me, the first category - what's needed for the people - includes more higher-paying jobs, better access to health care (and less expense associated with it), better public education, more renewable energy and less dependence on oil (and, therefore, countries who hate us), and an end to the war in Iraq. The people's freedoms that need to be upheld include the freedom to choose one's own religion (or no religion), reproductive freedom (i.e. free access to birth control and abortion), and the freedom of speech (a freedom that has been severely compromised by the Patriot Act and the recent phenomenon of the conservative press).

The results of Tuesday's election have me very excited about the new direction the country is headed in. I hope the trend continues well into the presidential election.

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