Jumping in Pools is proud to present interview number 96 in our ongoing series. Today we're interviewing Joe C., one of our top writers for our blog. Joe's been with us for over a year and a half and was the second contributor to our site.
1. Would you vote for Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee over President Obama in the 2012 elections?
The short answer is probably not. Other than Mitch Daniels, the current governor of Indiana, I don't see any compelling Republican candidates for the 2012 election. I think the 2012 election will be for Republicans what the 2004 election was for the Democrats: a mediocre group of candidates trying to unseat an average President at best. In 2004, I supported John Kerry because I loathed George W. Bush and would have supported anyone who was not Bush. Although Obama has made a fair share of mistakes, I like him enough to vote him for a second term. That said, I would vote any Republican who I found compelling. However, at this stage, I do think Romney or Huckabee would gain my support for 2012. I will do my best to lay out my misgivings on both of those candidates below.
For Mitt Romney, I would state that his too much of a flip-flopper and a panderer. Earlier in his political career, he supported both abortion rights and gay rights. Now, he is pandering to the Republican base and is now against these positions. Even more damaging, the health care bill that he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts looks pretty similar to Obama's health care bill. He is trying to distance himself from Obama's bill, but that too will come back to haunt him. In passing, he seems to me like a pragmatic moderate passing off as the heir to Ronald Reagan
Huckabee is a more intriguing pick for the 2012 election. He seems like he is a likable person on TV. However, some of his statements concern me. He has made a couple of controversial statements on AIDS and gays. Also, Huckabee has called for the US to pull out of the United Nations. If he actually believes these statements, he cannot get my vote for the 2012 election.
2. How would you describe the Administration's response to the Gulf oil spill so far?While I am frustrated at Obama's response to the oil spill, I do not know what more the Administration can do to help the oil spill. While I would like the government to take charge of the oil spill cleanup, it does not have the equipment and the technical know-how to do so; BP does.
3. Do you approve of President Obama's handling of foreign policy?
Yes, I approve of Obama's handling of foreign policy. Obama has done everything he can to protect Americans. He has increased troop presence in Afghanistan and has only gradually drawn down the troop levels in Afghanistan. Drone attacks in Pakistan have also increased while his time in office.
I also disagree with many of the critics of Obama's foreign policy. I agree with IBM's handling of the fallout from the disputed election from Iran; he was right to not interfere due the fact any intervention on the part of Obama would have only enabled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the hard-line mullahs. Obama was also right to cancel missile defense systems in Czech Republic and Poland. These programs were not necessary and also gave the US more diplomatic standing with Russia.
I think the biggest national security and foreign policy blunder on the part of Obama so far has been his handling of the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt. That said, I think Obama has done a good job in his handling of foreign policy.
4. Has Obama been better or worse than you expected?
About the same.
5. What are some good political sites out there?
The two sites that most come to mind are FiveThirtyEight and Real Clear Politics. FiveThirtyEight has interesting analysis and projections of political races across the country. Although person running the site, Nate Silver, is a Liberal, he is fair in his predictions. Real Clear Politics is a site that provides links to articles on both sides of the political aisle and also provides poll averages for political races.
As for blogs and columnists, I think there some good ones out there. On the right, I would recommend George Will, Ross Douthat, Conor Friedersdorf, and David Frum. For a more orthodox and hawkish view from the right, I would probably go with Townhall. For the left, I would recommend Ta-Nehisi Coates, Glen Greenwald, Matthew Yglesias, and the New Republic site as a whole. Also, I recommend Andrew Sullivan, even though I think he is too harsh on Israel and pushes wacky conspiracy theories about Sarah Palin.
For pure political craziness, I would recommend World Net Daily.
6. Do you see the Korean ship crisis escalating?
Anything from the North Koreans would not surprise me. Kim-Jong Il is too crazy and irrational. Because of that, I have no idea what to expect going foward.
7. Anything else you'd like to add?
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