How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:27 pm

With less than 60 days remaining until the election, I am interested in how you make the important decision on who will get your vote? I think it is the most important thing we do as citizens & the decision should be a thoughtful one, not a knee jerk decision/reaction.
I'm sure most of you are tired of my constant ranting against Bush, McCain & the Republican Party itself, but this thread is ...."not intended to go there. It is meant to be a thoughtful, serious & quiet discussion of a thought process that is at the core of our country's very existence!

Before I make my main point, let me just say this: I just posted these words in another thread but they apply here as well:

...."There are many things I find attractive about Ron Paul. His honesty & guts at the forefront (Contrary to what people think here, I have not ruled out voting for Ron Paul in November. The only 2 I have absolutely ruled out are Bob Barr & John McCain.)
Barr for his cheerleader role during the partisan Clinton impeachment proceedings...Unforgivable

McCain for promising to be GW Bush's third term....Unforgivable
(his speech last night was written by Bush speech writers!)

I admit to leaning towards Obama, especially with Biden's fgn. policy experience to help him, but...He hasn't totally made the sale yet due to his lack of great experience. My mind is still open, but closed to Barr & McCain

I re-posted that to save myself some typing & it is absolutely true. I think you all know my reasons for ruling out John McCain but I'm sure most of you think I'm a strong Obama supporter.....I am not. I have some real reservations about him &, if you go back through all my posts, you will find a ton of anti-Bush, McCain & Republican rants, but very little pro-Obama ranting.
This is not to say that I am not leaning his way, but it is to say that my mind is still open to alternatives.........Except for Barr or McCain.

How I Make My Decision:

I watch every network I can: MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ABC, etc.....almost all of them
I listen to allot of talk radio, almost all from the right: Michael Graham, G' Gordon Liddy, Howie Carr, Laura Ingram et al
(I won't listen to Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly as I find them just boring egomaniacs!)

I might read the Boston Herald or Globe occasionally, but most of my news is electronic.

I take as much info as I can gather & then make some snap/easy decisions first. This year is very easy for me as I have quickly ruled out Bob Barr & John McCain. I will not bore you all again with my reasons for quickly & vehemently ruling out John McCain, but i think they are very valid. In all the posts I have read here & on other forums, no one has articulated a real liking for John McCain. All I hear repeatedly is a fear of B. Obama & an almost resignation to vote for McCain as the lesser of 2 evils. I find that an unacceptable reason (for me) to "throw Away" my only voice as a US citizen to display either my support or rejection of the political stance or character of any candidate. I will not allow some "talking head" to herd me into any voting line based on fear! The only vote I will ever cast is one for someone I truly support & want to see in office!....Otherwise I will stay home & not vote at all.

My daughters are all non-political but none would dare to not vote at all or they know their father would be all over them! :)
They can vote for anyone they choose, but I have always instilled in them they better know why they are voting for that person & typically be able to articulate that reason to their Father!!.....& there will be questions!! :lol: :lol:

Anyway, back to the topic: (see staying on topic Richard!! :lol: ....I was even wandering off my own topic! :lol:

After I Rule Out The Easy Negatives:

I then gather as much info as I can, from all sources (including this forum!) & make my final decision, usually close to election day.

My point is we should all take voting very seriously as U. S. citizens. It is a privilege many men have died to preserve & one unavailable to a majority of other people on this planet!

I'll jump into this thread from time to time to add things but....that's enough typing for now! ;)

How do you make your decision?
Last edited by Devil505 on Sat Sep 06, 2008 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: chabbo On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:41 pm


I'll take a stab at it:

I try and assess what the most pressing issues are likey to be that will effect all Americans during the next 4 years and then I look at what plans and priorities the candidates have to address those issues. I then will cast my vote for the person who is more likely to get America closer to where it has to be to resolve those issues over the next 4 years. Simple, but I am sure that is what most of us do. I think we get confused because "others" are framing those issues for us rather than listening to the American people to determnie what their real issues and priorities are. Sometimes I think there should be some kind of multiple choice questionnaaire on the ballot to help the candidates understand what was important to the voters in casting their votes for or against them.

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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:49 pm

Thanks for your response Manny. in regards to this:
chabbo wrote:I think we get confused because "others" are framing those issues for us rather than listening to the American people to determnie what their real issues and priorities are.

What I often do is watch CSPAN, where there are no talking heads from either side telling you what you just saw or what to think! Additionally, is a great resource to watch gavel to gavel coverage of many news events, prior Senate & House hearings & other events....with no commentary from anyone & no commercials! (they will typically open their phone lines to the public after an event, & have separate tel #'s for pro-Republican, Democrat & Independent caller views, which they select alternately .)
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: orvis On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:44 pm

Pretty easy, really. I look at what the Dems want and do the opposite. For example, if the Dems say a black candidate is not "black enough" or a "Uncle Tom", that is an endorsement. If Dems say that a woman should be barefoot and pregnant while working in the kitchen, instead of running as VP, that is an endorsement. If Olbermann or Moore or Soros or Chomsky hate something/someone, then that thing or person has merit. When hillary rants about the "right wing attack machine" she is not only projecting, she is letting me know that repubs are doing something right. I am really indebted to the Dems for finding worthwhile causes for me to support.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: CoaLen On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:31 pm

What a great question/thread.

How do you make your decision?

Character: moral and ethical makeup of a person.
I will admit I’m not an expert on all issues facing our next President. I don’t think any of the candidates are either although it appears to me that the media likes to pretend it’s a job requirement. I feel that the job is much bigger than any one man can handle, so I’m thinking I’m voting for the man that can best organize and lead a cabinet that will attempt to respond to the many challenges that are in our future. I will vote for the person that I believe has the best character and the best leadership skills to do that job.
I believe character is the basis upon which good decisions will be made. A good leader creates a team that will be able to present all the alternative viewpoints a President. Good character will enable him to make the right decision. I believe good character is more important than experience, more important than being highly intelligent and more important than being well known.
We desperately need a President that stands up for what will make this country stronger and that keeps this country great. We need someone with a backbone that isn’t afraid to lead, isn’t afraid to make tough decisions. We need someone that puts the country first, over personal gains, or those of close friends.
We certainly don’t need an amoral genius or an uninterested party-boy to further manage the downward spiral.
Bottom line, I’m trying real hard to see through all the spin (political parties are sooooo good at that anymore), all the misdirection and hype, looking for a candidate that stands for something and won’t waver, a candidate that gives a dan about the future of this country. I’m sick of the pandering.
One last note; I’m really not impressed by our choices….
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:40 pm

orvis wrote:Pretty easy, really. I look at what the Dems want and do the opposite.

While I appreciate your honesty orvis, with a flip attitude like that & for the sake of our country, I certainly hope you are too busy on November 4th to make a mockery of your voting privilege by actually voting. I have a feeling you will be.

Edit: I see that you are a brand new member. Just to clue you in a bit, most members here really try to help each other out with coal heating questions/problems. There are a great bunch of people here & I just hope that you aren't as sarcastic & caustic when it comes to what we are all really here for........serious heating questions.
Last edited by Devil505 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: billw On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:47 pm

I'm not as thoughtful as the rest of you. I put each candidates name on a piece of paper and tack it to a wall. I then turn away from the wall and whip a dart behind me. Whoever's name the dart comes closest to is my candidate.

Just kidding.

I look for someone who believes like I do, the less government the better. When the republicans were the minority party I truly believed they could operate our government more efficiently with less expense. Needless to say they turned out to be the worst thing this country has seen in a generation. The only candidate that comes close to my views is Ron Paul. He has the right message, unfortunately he doesn't have the charisma to influence enough people. This cycle I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. Either vote for McCain so power stays split between the parties or write in Ron Paul. As disgusted as I am with national politics I cannot just stay home. I've voted in every election since I became old enough. It's not a privilege, it's our duty.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: traderfjp On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:06 pm

I wait for the debates and then make my decision. Universal healthcare, not wanting to drill for oil, higher taxes for the rich and lack of experience may be Obamas downfall. Obamas cry was for change. Well MCcain is using the same lines. In his speech he actually said that he would create jobs that would be there for your children. How can MCcain be sure? He cant' - It sounds like BS to me. He even touched his nose after he said it. There is only one way to be sure about a candidate and that is to give a lie detector test to each candidate. Then we could find out who was full of BS and who was being truthfull. Words are hollow and meaningless.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: gaw On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:48 pm

Very simple. As a third generation Republican whoever wins the Republican primary will get the vote. Never say never but there would be very few exceptions to this method for me.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: coalkirk On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:51 pm

I'm sure you've heard the old saying, how can you tell if a lawyer is lying? His lips are moving. It's the same with politicians. In presidential races, all sorts of promises are made which they know damn well cannot be met. So you can't pay too much attnetion to that. I look at the character of the canididate, who he has surrounded himself with and how has he conducted his life and career.
McCain showed me his strength of character in enduring his 5 1/2 years of captivity and not giving in to his captors. I'm no expert on who has voted with whom over the years but most politicians vote the straight party line. Devil I've seen you post a couple times that McCain has voted with Bush 95% of the time. I'll assume that is correct which means he hasn't voted with Bush 5% of the time. His best friend in the Senate is Lieberman who is a Democrat. So he has shown some ability to work across the aisle and get things done. The only scandel I'm aware of was the Keating 5 thing and every thing I've read about that says McCain was completely exonerated in that investigation. He supported the surge which has proven to have been sucessfull. He did so at the risk of his political future.

Obamas political life was started in the living room of Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dorn, two domestic terrorists who bombed federal buildings and advocated the killing of policeman. Yes Obama was only 9 at the time they commited these acts and was not involved. But he later chose to associate himself with these scum bags. And when questioned about it he said they was just neighbors, he barely know them. It was an obvious lie. I can tolerate alot of character flaws in a person but lieing is one I cannot. I don't need to drag up the whole rev. Wright thing but that was another huge example of poor judgement and then betrayal of his "mentor." I don't think you can point to one example of Obama working in a bipartisan way with republicans as McCain has done with the Dems. He's voted, the few times he actually voted, 100% with his party and infact is credited with the most liberal voting record in the senate. To my knowledge he hasn't written a single piece of legislation.
Prior to being elected to the senate he was a small time Chicago politician and a community organizer, what ever that is. He's smooth as silk and a great orator.

As president, you can't do much to change things without the cooperation of Congress. I don't believe Obama has shown any willingness or ability to work with republicans to get things done. McCain has shown he has been abnd is willing to work with Dems to get things done. My choice will be McCain. Having said that, I would vote for Ron Paul if he had a snowballs chance in hell of being elected. There are a number of reasons why we are years off from having a viable 3rd party candidate and I won't get into that now.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:42 pm

coalkirk wrote:Having said that, I would vote for Ron Paul if he had a snowballs chance in hell of being elected.

I thought I made it clear Terry, that only anti-McCain posts were welcome here!! :mad: (Just kidding!)

It is the decision making process that interests me more than the decision itself. I find it interesting, if a little disheartening that many people just seem to have "I'm just going to vote for the party I have always voted for" kinda attitude. (that being said, habits are often hard to break & I'm not putting anyone down for whatever process they go through & I appreciate the honesty) Being from Massachusetts (the only state in the nation to not vote for Richard Nixon in 1972!), we are a very heavily Democratic state & I typically will vote that way too.....BUT....I will always look at the individual candidates & try not to just vote along party lines if I like a particular candidate. I voted for Ed Brooke (R) who was our junior Senator for many years, Ed King (R) & Bill Weld (R) for Governor & a few other Republicans along the way, whose names escape me right now. I would consider myself an independent (or "un-enrolled" as they call it now) with Democratic leanings. :P (although, the older I get the more the Libertarian Party attracts me)
I graduated Northeastern University in 1969 (loved our "69" T-Shirts :lol: ) with a BA in Political Science, but was always more interested in "Government" (which is what B.U. calls that major) than politics.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: gaw On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:23 pm

Devil505 wrote:It is the decision making process that interests me more than the decision itself. I find it interesting, if a little disheartening that many people just seem to have "I'm just going to vote for the party I have always voted for" kinda attitude. (that being said, habits are often hard to break & I'm not putting anyone down for whatever process they go through & I appreciate the honesty)

After looking at the topic "How Do You Choose Your Candidate?" I see I made a small oversight. I thought the word "Presidential" was in there. See what happens when we assume. My first response is valid for Presidential elections, barring some very unusual events, as I said never say never. In other races I have voted for Democrats on occasion. Bob Casey got my vote for governor the year he ran against the lady who's name I can't remember. I was not a huge Casey fan but he got my respect for sticking to his guns on abortion when his party thought otherwise. It showed me he had some moral beliefs that he would not sacrifice for his party's sake. It is kind of a simple little thing but it resonated with me. I voted for Tim Holden once or twice but now he had his chance and it is time for "change" I vote for the other guy (woman this year) from now on even though Holden is not a "bad" guy. Senator are usually party line. Local and county races have more to do with knowledge of the candidates than anything else. Party lines do not mean as much for locals and county politicians because I have pretty good knowledge of the people running. The locals can't BS you as easy.

As an NRA life member and Golden Eagle their endorsements also carry a lot of weight with me.

I hope this clears up some of my thinking.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:54 pm

I pretty much listen to what the canidates have to say.. If they speak in political double-speak,, I usually won't vote for them.. When you listen to a 20 minute speach or read several pages of a person's writing,, or the message they are trying to deliver.. And at the end of it I have to scratch my head and say 'what did he/she say?? what did He/she mean?? If the message is not simple and clear,, I'm not impressed. And rarely will my vote go for this candidate..

Even though I didn't like a few of Ross Perot's ideas.. I absolutely loved his simple message, and his simple discussions.. He was made fun of for this simple approach.. but his foresight has, to a great extent, proven to be accurate. He got my vote,, which unfortunately actually helped get Bill Clinton elected.. :mad:

I also listen to what plans they offer for current problems..and even if I don't agree with a plan, if the HAVE a plan, often that will get my vote.. The mumbo-jumbo of a silver-tongued orator that actually says nothing, but manages to imply that he/she did say something.. this really scares me.. I won't give this type of person any additional power with my vote..

As stated several times above, it's about character A person who is genuine and not a fake will show this in their character, both past and current, and in the future, [we hope, but this is pure speculation]..

Greg L.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: beemerboy On: Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:23 am

Just to put my two cents worth in.

I used to be a registered Republican. my parents, brother, aunts and uncles, grandparents are Republican. One day at work about ten years ago, one of the engineers and I got talking politics (mostly I listened). He was telling me his opinions of the Republican party and when I said I didn't think he was right he told me "just pay attention and you'll see" I said "ya ok , sure" and went back to work. But, I did start to listen and read.

Probably five years later I was on my way home from work listening to a conservative talk show and he was telling his listeners how terrible liberal Democrats were and it was time to to take a stand and do what's right. So, I turned around and went to the town hall and changed to be a registered Democrat. Somehow I don't think that's what he had in mind.

I find that the Democratic philosophy is more to my beliefs.

And to those that believe Obama has done nothing in the Senate please follow this link. ... lishments/ an excerpt follows:

Senator Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored 570 bills in the 109th and 110th Congress.

Senator Obama has sponsored or co-sponsored 15 bills that have become LAW since he joined the Senate in 2005.

Senator Obama has also introduced amendments to 50 bills, of which 16 were adopted by the Senate.

His record is in fact quite impressive for a junior Senator from Illinois.

Most of his legislative effort has been in the areas of:

* Energy Efficiency and Climate Change (25 bills)
* Health care (21 bills) and public health (20 bills)
* Consumer protection/labor (14 bills)
* The needs of Veterans and the Armed Forces (13 bills)
* Congressional Ethics and Accountability (12 bills)
* Foreign Policy (10 bills)
* Voting and Elections (9 bills)
* Education (7 bills)
* Hurricane Katrina Relief (6)
* The Environment (5 bills)
* Homeland Security (4 bills)
* Discrimination (4 bills)

And the full details including bill numbers? Keep reading.

I understand that there there are many people that disagree with my choices and I accept that as long as they understand that I may disagree their choices.
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Re: How Do You Choose Your Candidate?

PostBy: Devil505 On: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:24 am

Since this topic is about the decision process rather than the decision itself, I thought I'd re-emphasize an earlier point about CSPAN I was making to Manny. For anyone not familiar with it, CSPAN stands for Cable Satellite Public Affairs Network & is a non-profit, public affairs network that has no commercials, commentators, opinions, biases & is not affiliated with PBS in any way. If you have cable TV, then you have CSPAN. (if you are still using "Rabbit Ears" or a roof antenna.........It's 2008!!....Wake Up!!! :lol: )
I will often watch events, like the recent political conventions, on it to be able to watch the entire event without having to listen to the biases of any network or commentator who tend to "filter" the events through their particular bias. Typically, I will then flip through the usual networks to hear their "Read" on what I just saw.

MSNBC-I watch a bit of this to get the liberal view from Keith Olberman & Chris Matthews. (Matthews at least attempts to be fair to most guests & his questioning is always tough. He actually listens to the answer given & makes them answer his question if they try to dodge it.. He worked for Tip O'Neil, so there is very little doubt as to his biases, but I think he is usually pretty fair & balanced)
Olberman can be entertaining but is definitely a liberal advocate & I am somewhat offended by his hijacking of Edward R. Murrow's sign-off....."Good Night & good luck".

Fox- I then switch to Fox to get the Republican view of things. (we can turn this into a debate on the various news biases but I am simply stating my opinion here & why I watch a certain network & what bias I see) I think Fox is no more "Fair & Balanced" than is MSNBC or other liberal outfits on the other side. What angers me about Fox is that they try to pretend they are something they are not, but I guess all the networks do that to some extent. On Fox I like Brit Hume & Chris Wallace, but find many of the others, like Sean Hannity just total conservative advocates. Bill O'Reilly , IMO , is really there just there to hear himself talk, sell his many products & vomit his BS all over the viewer! :lol: (I love it when he's trying to browbeat a guest & says " I'll give you the last word.".....& then proceeds to pontificate for 20 minutes after cutting off their mic!!...No guts at all!

Talk Radio- Almost exclusively conservative, at least in the Boston market.
I will often have it on in the background & have yet to find a liberal show that I can stand listening too! They are all so boring!! (there is a PBS radio station broadcasting from BU (Boston University) that mainly seems to talk about how bicycling through Cambridge is good for the environment, & similar crap! :D )
Of the conservative talk shows, I like G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame. The man is crazy....but very intelligent, a great story teller & has more guts than anyone else on talk radio! ( He is a former FBI Agent &, as such, he & I share much in common) He lets callers, with opposing views, have full access & never cuts of their mic! As a convicted felon (Watergate) he cannot legaly own a firearm anymore, but Mrs. Liddy has quite an armory! :lol:
He's a real gun enthusiast & very knowledgeable about them. His radio show "Bumper" music is often Richard Rodger's "Victory At Sea", my favorite symphony & best TV show of all time! (I pay my 14 & 16 year old grandsons to watch it! :D )

Back to the topic......I hear you Richard! :lol:

There are obviously many other media sources, but none without a bias.

I have a little game I like to play: I'll watch an event, let's say the recent conventions, on CSPAN.........Watch a speech......form a quick opinion about it & then flip through a few networks to hear the "Talking Heads" take on things.
Try this yourself sometime.....It's amazing!! I'll almost guarantee that you will feel that you watched a totally different event than they did!! (don't ever let yourself fall into the trap of trying to get real info on a speech/event/whatever by just listening to a "Talking Head's" analysis afterward........You'll get nothing but "Spin" from either side! If you must listen to any of these networks, flip through a few to get a more accurately "Fair & Balanced" synopsis....No one network will give it to you!)
Suggestion: The upcoming debates will be an excellent time to try this game out. (I I think the first one is scheduled for 9/29 but I'm not positive) Watch the debate on CSPAN, think about who you think won or lost & what good bad/points where made by each side & maybe even jot down on paper some points that strike you, as you hear them. Then......flip through a few commercial networks to see what they saw & heard. I think you'll be amazed!! :lol:

Anyway, just something I like to do & recommend it highly.
I'd love to hear any similar tactics/suggestions that you may use in your decision making!
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