Ryan Chartrand

I’m excited that Hillary Clinton is running for president. Really, I am. Do I think that she would lead this country in the correct direction if she were elected?

Nope.

Her continual triangulation on the war in Iraq, resistance to any Democratic proposal to stop Bush’s proposed 21,000 troop escalation in the region, and her refusal to apologize for her vote authorizing what has now become one of the biggest military and diplomatic blunders in our nation’s history tell me that much.

Do I think she has the best chance of being elected if she becomes the Democratic nominee? Negative.

Although she may well be the most prolific fundraiser in American political history, Sen. Clinton is going to have one heck of a time shaking the stigma of being the wife of one of the most goaded and targeted presidents in history, and the lack of enthusiasm she inspires amongst progressive and grassroots voters.

That being said, I’m excited that Hillary Clinton is running for president. And Barack Obama. And Bill Richardson. Why am I excited? Because for the first time in history, we have a woman, an African-American and a Latino all running for president.

And it’s not solely based on the fact that these candidates have these traits. These three candidates are running serious campaigns for the presidency, and have legitimate chances of winning. It is entirely possible that we will have someone that isn’t a white male sitting in the White House in two years. Isn’t it refreshing? Add into this mix John Edwards, whose outspoken stance on poverty in this country is a refreshing change from the endless stream of politicians who have continued to ignore the plight of millions of Americans that go hungry everyday, and you have some of the most exciting presidential candidates ever.

Where is all this excitement coming from? The Democratic Party, which is providing fresh faces, fresh ideas, and most importantly real solutions for America.

Let’s compare the field of Democratic candidates to that of the Republican Party. We have a candidate who thinks Christian law should govern this nation in Sam Brownback; a candidate who thinks a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border is the cure to America’s ills in Tom Tancredo; a candidate who can’t seem to keep his positions on abortion and gay marriage in one place in Mitt Romney; and a candidate who thinks that the only way to solve to the Iraq quagmire is to send an additional ever-changing number of troops to the country in John McCain.

In short, you have one of the most bland and unexciting Republican fields in quite some time. Let’s just say that Republican voters all over the country are far from stoked about whom they have to choose from.

So what will the next two years bring us? It’s hard to say. The fundraising war is already in full swing, and it will be a long 11 months before the first caucuses in Iowa. This race will certainly be an ugly one, with the mudslinging and name-calling already underway.

This will be one of the most exciting presidential races in history, and it will be Democrats who provide that excitement. Americans are sick of Republican rule in this country, and the outcome of the 2008 presidential election will be the product of that sickness. So buckle up: the next 2 years will be a wild, bumpy ride. with one great Democratic destination.

Zach Austin is a political science junior and the Mustang Daily’s new political columnist.

Patrick Molnar will no longer contribute due to personal reasons.

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