Which Democratic candidate should Europeans root for?
January 18, 2004 6:01 PM   Subscribe

A serious question: for which euro-friendly Democratic candidate in Iowa should we pro-American Europeans root for? Which one is less isolationist, less likely not to speak Spanish, French or Italian, more pro-EU, more cosmopolitan and, to put it mildly, more civilized?
posted by MiguelCardoso to Law & Government (34 answers total)
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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:18 PM on January 18, 2004

Dean is the only one I am aware of that is fluent in another language (Spanish).
posted by TimeFactor at 6:23 PM on January 18, 2004

Dean i'd think, but Edwards might be good (and surprising, like Clinton was for you guys), or Clark, who's not in Iowa, but everywhere else.
posted by amberglow at 6:30 PM on January 18, 2004

Response by poster: Agreed, Amberglow. Bill Clinton was probably, along with JFK, the best U.S. President for Europe, whatever our political colour. For us Portuguese, his decisive intervention on East Timor made our day. Intelligent; civilized; open; tolerant; genuine. It's a great pity he can't run. So : who is the Bill Clinton now? (And I'm conservative = very liberal in American terms).
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:48 PM on January 18, 2004

None of them, and pray for Hilary Clinton, Mario Cuomo or even Al Gore to rescue the party's (and the planet's) hopes this year. It's a decidedly mediocre field, with none of the candidates coming even within ICBM range of Bill.
posted by cbrody at 6:55 PM on January 18, 2004

Miguel, he was the best pres in my lifetime, IMHO : >

Clark is the Clintons' hand-picked guy, but Dean is only one with real chutzpah....I think all of them would be good for Europe (and compared to Bush, anyone would--and they're all promising a collaborative, international approach to world problems)
posted by amberglow at 7:06 PM on January 18, 2004

Kucinich. He's the only one out of the bunch that tries to be a decent human being.
posted by cmonkey at 7:14 PM on January 18, 2004

Miguel, he was the best pres in my lifetime

He coulda been, but the conservatives were rightfully scared to death of his capabilities (politically and telegenically) and so lashed into him from day one of his admin.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:37 PM on January 18, 2004

Wes Clark likes to bomb you guys. That's way more involved than any other candidate has been with Europe.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:45 PM on January 18, 2004

Why hasn't Bill Clinton ran for president of AllTheRestOfTheWorld yet? I'd bet he'd win.
posted by Space Coyote at 8:08 PM on January 18, 2004

kerry is our guy. he is the only candidate that can beat bush and will make a great president.

this coming from someone who would love to have a president dean (except for his pro-gun - pro-death penalty stances) or a president kucinich - or even a president sharpton.

i was very impressed by his conviction, command of the issues, and unselfish focus on helping the USA get back on track, when i saw him here in minneapolis.

"John Kerry’s liberal record in the Senate is remarkable in its depth and consistency."
posted by specialk420 at 8:21 PM on January 18, 2004

Kerry wimped out and never challenged Bush once in 3 years from the Senate (it's not just the war vote)--why would he suddenly be able to fight Bush now? I think him, Gephardt, and Lieberman all have a lot of explaining to do...They can't all of a sudden become the opposition when they had ample time to display balls but didn't. And history shows that Senators don't win.
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on January 18, 2004

to turn that into an answer for you, mig: Kerry is seen as the Democratic "establishment" candidate (and may still get the nomination)...good record, military experience, bla bla bla.
posted by amberglow at 8:47 PM on January 18, 2004

check his voting record amberglow. despite being in the midst of a presidential run - kerry voted against the 87 billion for haliburton, just a couple months ago. convince me any of the other candidates have a better chance at beating bush and ill join the team. i've looked long and hard at each candidate and decided despite imperfections - kerry is the guy that has the best chance of beating the money machine next fall. he'll wear well with indpendents and with suburban moms - he'll be tough to beat on the national security front, and add bill richardson as veep and the latino vote will tip him over the edge.

for me it's all about beating bush at this point. convince me anyone else has a better chance ...
posted by specialk420 at 8:51 PM on January 18, 2004

for me too, special=ABB : >
I'm not thrilled with or excited by Kerry, and I don't know anyone who is--and I think it's not about independents and soccer moms this time--we don't have to run to the center (we are the center (even Dean), and it's Bush and the repubs who are the extremists). Bush is again going to pretend to be a centrist and moderate, and we have to prove otherwise. Our base is bigger and it's about getting those voters excited and out while also winning over the millions unemployed and others damaged by Bush's policies. I think both Clark and Dean have a better chance at beating Bush than Kerry--they're not part of the Washington crowd that rolled over and played dead for 3 years (waking up when it was too late). This is all my opinion of course, but I believe many of us dems all over the country are sick of all the DC dems who did shit--we need a fresher face than Kerry (or Gephardt or Lieberman). I also can't think of the last time a Senator won the presidency. (was it JFK?) Someone like Byrd or Kennedy (who spoke out often and loud against Bush's policies) might be able to forcefully oppose Bush coming from the Senate, but not Kerry or the others. And how did Kerry vote on the Medicare bill? Seniors (who vote in much larger numbers than us) are still mad about that. Also, don't forget what Bush did to McCain in South Carolina--he's going to do worse this time, and I don't see Kerry fighting dirty tricks effectively. /end rant ; >
posted by amberglow at 9:12 PM on January 18, 2004

it's not about fighting Bush, it's about winning the election. If you win the election, there's no opposition president hanging around in the Senate as you might have in Europe or other parilment based systems. If Bush loses the election he would probably go into private industry, make a shitload of money, then go back and run for Governor or become the Commish of Baseball.
posted by chaz at 9:31 PM on January 18, 2004

I agree with specialk420.
posted by homunculus at 9:45 PM on January 18, 2004

I disagree with Matthew then : > (mobilizing a non-voter to the polls, which Kerry has shown no interest in doing so far (unlike Dean) has far more value than a former Bush voter imho, and value that pays off in party loyalty in the future. And non-voters outnumber by far both dems, and repubs, and swing voters.)
No Senator is going to convince a Bush voter to switch...why should they? What could any of the candidates say to them that would persuade them? They would have to decide for themselves that Bush has been bad for them personally, and then go look at who is on the other side, and what they're offering. We're an evenly-divided country, voter-wise, so it's essential that the base comes out to vote, AND new voters come in (on our side, of course) to break the 50-50 thing.
posted by amberglow at 9:45 PM on January 18, 2004

dont get me wrong amberglow - i will do everything i can to get help dean get elected if he's the candidate. i just think he's a long shot, kerry is perhaps flawed and less exciting but a safer bet.

the anxiety attack business is just the latest of my worries about dean.

think bush/dean or bush/kerry or any of the others in a televised debate next fall ... the undecided voters are going to go with a new guy if they feel they can trust him ... i feel like i can trust kerry.

i should be the easiest guy in the world to convince to jump on the dean ship - i don't think i trust the guy not to blow it (blow a fuse) in a debate or on the campaign trail next fall ... and in the end flush our chances to take back the whitehouse down the shitter.
posted by specialk420 at 10:26 PM on January 18, 2004

Edwards is a dark horse at this point, but after seeing his stump speech on CSPAN this afternoon I think he actually has a chance at the nomination. Especially if he can place in Iowa.
posted by bshort at 10:54 PM on January 18, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the enlightening answers, friends. I've gleaned from your thoughtful suggestions (and people accuse Americans of being isolated - I was truly amazed by your ability to put yourselves into a European's shoes!) that we should root, winnability-wise, for Kerry, Dean or Edwards.

I'm writing this thank-you note because the question has since been politely MeTa'd.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:03 PM on January 18, 2004

They would all be a great for the US and the world (can you imagine the global party the night one of the aformentioned is elected?). Even though I'm guessing you are a closet Lieberman guy ... heheheh... poor joe.
posted by specialk420 at 11:37 PM on January 18, 2004

Response by poster: Perceptive, specialk420? Mind-reader perhaps? Oh, who cares - yes indeedy, I am! Not that he's got a chance in hell, poor man.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:19 AM on January 19, 2004

if things are slow on that side of the pond tomorrow night ... you can watch it all go down live here:


or so they say. diebold won't have lot to do with the outcome at this stage... at the very least.
posted by specialk420 at 1:41 AM on January 19, 2004

I've been digging, and Clark is the only one who studied abroad (at Oxford in the 60s)...if that counts. He's also the only one who has dealt with all the NATO folks, so maybe he would be best for Europeans?

Either way Miguel, don't rely too much on our media (they're going to be especially harsh on any Dem) or our opinions here (we're still winnowing the field and making our own decisions, as you can see) : >

and special: I think the safer bet is not what we need this time (and Dukakis and Tsongas were all safer bets too with good resumes, in the past)--I trust Dean's people to train him and rein him in, yet still let his fire show thru (but i'd support Kerry too, if he was the nominee--ABB)
posted by amberglow at 9:52 AM on January 19, 2004

Either way Miguel, don't rely too much on our media (they're going to be especially harsh on any Dem)

And from the other side Miguel, I'd say not to ignore the media's opinion on Dean, who are no more biased than the crew here on metafilter.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:59 AM on January 19, 2004

Josh Marshall endorsed Kerry some time ago:

"Kerry is intelligent, knowledgeable on policy, attractive and articulate". For what it's worth ... Kerry is not Tsongas or Dukakis ... or Gore for that matter. "And maybe a little unlike Gore, he's got flair."

We'll see if Iowa and New Hampshire agree soon enough.
posted by specialk420 at 10:49 AM on January 19, 2004

Scornful cracks like this aren't helping him at all, special: While campaigning in Iowa Sunday, Kerry was asked how he differed from Edwards. Kerry touted his foreign policy experience and said that when he returned home after serving in Vietnam in 1969, "I don't even know if John Edwards was out of diapers."--from here
posted by amberglow at 11:24 AM on January 19, 2004

Kerry's wife - while outspoken - seems like your kind of girl Miguel.
posted by specialk420 at 11:29 AM on January 19, 2004

Clark is a supporter of the School of the Americas, btw.
posted by homunculus at 3:48 PM on January 19, 2004

Also, don't forget what Bush did to McCain in South Carolina--he's going to do worse this time, and I don't see Kerry fighting dirty tricks effectively.

Bush had nothing to do withg that. You're referring to Rove tactics, and at this point in American history, such tactics are expected, if not returned in kind.
posted by Fupped Duck at 5:15 PM on January 19, 2004

boom - Kerry buries the pundits, predictions and Dean in Iowa.
posted by specialk420 at 6:24 PM on January 19, 2004

Response by poster: You were right all along, specialk. I like to think that his Mozambican-Portuguese wife played an important role. It sure makes it easier for us to decide who we want to be the next President of the U.S. - for which much thanks to you and everyone else.

Imagine a Portuguese-speaking, Portugal-loving First Lady... Yup, I've happily switched camps and ditched Bush! :)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:32 PM on January 19, 2004

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