Not ashamed to admit that I am having a great deal of trouble deciding between Hillary and Obama. Hillary's bonuses in my mind are that she comes pre-attacked by the Right Wing Howler Monkey Media Chorus (what else could they accuse her of? Eating babies?) and she knows exactly how brutal, vicious and unscupulous they can be. Her negatives are that she is basically Bill without the charm or the politicul acumen. There might even be something to the suggestion that she is so loathed by the Right Wing that their turnout will increase in Pavlovian response (something like a Four Minute Hate). Obama's main positive is that he inspires people. A lot. In a battle for turnout (which John Kerry spectacularly lost in 2004), a dynamic candidate can make all the difference. And he seems well plugged-in to both money and people. He even has an office, with a staffer, here in Cleburne, of all places in the universe. On the downside, he strikes me as naive, both about the brutal realities of governing and about the buzzsaw he'll be wading into. His only campaigns so far have been in comfortably Blue Illinois, where he faced such electoral juggernauts as Alan Keyes. Already, the Howler Monkeys have gone from claiming he is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate to speculating that his parents must have been commies, because that's where all mixed-race couples met back then. Seriously. The McCain campaign, fortunately, is being advised to attack Obama essentially by screaming "liberal!" and running away. That, plus the fact that McCain is about as far off beam in terms of the public mood (both for foreign and domestic policy) as possible can only help whoever gets the nod. I just wish I could be more assured that Obama can both take it and dish it out. This campaign is going to be the nastiest (and most expensive) in recent memory; I want the leader of my party ready for it.