Minor Ripper, in response to my post on John Edwards' 2008 presidential candidacy announcement and the point to Bob Geiger's post on the topic ("Why John Edwards Changes Everything"), submitted a thoughtful comment here. In answering, I figured I should share with the "rest of the class". Let me also point you to Minor Ripper's blog post on Edwards ("John Edwards: Leader or Lightweight") as well.
Here's my reply:
I do think Edwards has matured. He's been a consistent voice on poverty and other issues that have grown phenomenally during the Bush years. But I like Gore, too, and I think he stands a better chance now than he did in 2000 when I feel the vote was indeed robbed from him and handed to Boy George.
I'm infinitely more comfortable with Edwards and Gore than with Hillary or with John Kerry. I like what I see of Barack Obama, but I don't feel I know enough yet to say I would definitely like to see him run except that it's way past time we have a credible black candidate (of which I do not feel either Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton qualifies). It's also time for a very credible woman candidate, but Hillary is not the woman or the Democrat or the president we need in 2008.
Kucinich is principled, but I doubt he can win the Dem nod, much less the election. Vilsack? Well... jury isn't in session quite yet on him.
Who would I throw my support behind? Waaaay too early to tell. But of those announced or rumored to run among the Dems, my principle excitement leans on Edwards, Gore, and possibly Obama right now. On my definitely NOT list, Kerry and Hillary.