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If Not Obama, Buffett?

Warren Buffett for President? That's Barack Obama's favorite non-candidate. Over the last few months in interviews at its offices, the Des Moines Register has asked the 2008 candidates from both parties a series of the same questions, including such off-beat inquires as what contemporary person, other than themselves, they think would be a good president and what country they would live in if not America.

Obama said Buffett, who has raised money for both the Illinois Senator and Hillary Clinton but not chosen which one he will back, "has a wonderful gift of analyzing a lot of complex information." Other candidates made even more surprising choices, naming some of their campaign rivals. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani named Colin Powell, but said if he were not running, he would back John McCain. Sen. Joe Biden praised Sen. Chris Dodd and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, two of his rivals, along with former Senator and 2000 Democratic candidate Bill Bradley.

The man famous for "straight-talk," McCain, wouldn't name anyone (though he did express admiration for Ronald Reagan), nor would Clinton or former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Dodd didn't return the favor to Biden, instead going with an answer that sounded like a pander to Iowa voters, the state's long-time Sen. Tom Harkin. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney all but admitted he would not be his party's first choice if another man had a different last name, Jeb Bush, who Romney called a "fabulous governor."

Clinton, who in recent weeks has deemed even questions about federal policy as too "hypothetical" for her to answer, wouldn't budge on which foreign country she would live in. She said all her life she had been "obsessed" with American and wouldn't do well in another country. Obama, McCain and Giuliani all named Great Britain, although the latter also named the homeland of his ancestors, Italy. If Giuliani does indeed set sail for England, he must have a plan to get his health care elsewhere--he has called Britain's system "socialized medicine" and promised to stop anything similar from coming to the United States.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  October 26, 2007; 6:12 PM ET
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The scariest thing about this whole election cycle is that no one can passionately get behind any of the "big 7" candidates (Hillary, Rudy, McCain, Obama, Edwards, Thompson, Romney). All anyone can do is shoot down all but one. That's really sad that voters literally have no inspiring candidate to get behind. The closest thing I can find are the backers of Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee, and without traction and major press coverage, they will probably be gone by super Tuesday.

Posted by: tonyjradco | October 29, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Jeb Bush? A fabulous governor?

Well maybe for a brief period of time, before he started down the Rovian path.

I am one of many Florida Democrats who think our current Republican governor, Charlie Crist is truly fabulous.

Posted by: warecornell | October 29, 2007 4:15 AM | Report abuse

I have no interest in her as a candidate at this point. I can't respect, let alone trust someone who can't answer a question until 2 days later, after conferring with her advisors and studying some polls, no doubt. By that time, you know anything coming out of her mouth is a cold, calculated lie or twist of what she actually thinks or will do if elected.

Maybe there might have been some hope for her having a backbone and being slightly honest and open if she'd run before Bill hit the White House, but she's a lost cause by now.

I just wish that people could get past the personality contests and whatnot. If she's elected and I have to listen to people talking about her hair and "the cackle" for the next 4 years, I might have to leave the country myself.

Posted by: allupons | October 29, 2007 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Oh no!!! Hillary is not being honest and forthright!!! You may not have noticed this, but she's a politician, which is to say if your looking for honesty, your looking in the wrong spot. She's not honest, none of them are. If you think your favorite politician is honest than the adjective that best describes you is "sucker". They all have their axes to grind, they all have their campaign debts to pay, they all have those slimy backroom promises to keep, so if they actually told us what they were going to do if we elected them president, we'd probably hang the lot of them.
If I might suggest, this time we should all vote Democrat, because it's their turn to screw things up.

Posted by: dijetlo | October 28, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

What puzzles me the most about the news media coverage of the ongoing 2008 campaign, is the utter lack of analytical insight and courage by most of the so-called veteran journalists in the major media markets in the country! Take for instance, while moderating the recent debate by Democratic Presidential candidates, Tim Russet asked Hillary Clinton to name some of the policies to which she contributed, during Bill Clinton's presidency. Hillary Clinton dodged the question, and could not name even, a policy. The usually, prosecutorial Mr. Russet, could not follow-up, to extract a meaningful response from Hillary Clinton. During a similar debate, moderated by none other than George Stephanopolis, he asked Hillary Clinton to clarify one of her many contradictory policy positions. Hillary Clinton evaded the question. In other instances, when she had been asked pertinent policy questions, she conveniently dubs each question she does not want to answer, a "hypothetical" question.

By her lack of candor and direct response to pertinent questions on the campaign, here comes another presidential candidate, in the person of Hillary Clinton, who wants the American people to just trust her with the presidency! If there is anyone whom the American people ought to just take by their words, several million people would tell you, that person is not the polarizer-in-chief of American politics, Hillary Clinton.

Another issue that bugs me about the 2008 campaign is the fact that, some of the most educated people in our country are as politically illiterate as the really, illiterate ones amongst us. Unfortunately, the cowardly and pandering press corps we have, can neither summon enough analytical insight, nor courage to force these candidates to give us honest and substantive answers to questions on their positions on the issues. This does not bode well for the strength and future of this republic and its democracy.

Ignatius Anyanwu
Folsom, California.

Posted by: ICA2101 | October 28, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I just watched Bill Clinton on video belittling a heckler. He was so smug... I guess that side to him we don't get to see very often. Match him up with Hillary's belittling someone who dared ask her a tough question on Iran, and I am seeing a not very pleasant couple who I hope does not get to the White House again. Why are they so insecure that they have to belittle people? Of course, the Repubs are even worse, but I wish we could have a Democratic candidate I could be proud of and inspired by. I used to like Bill. I don't anymore. And the more I see of Hillary, the less I like her. It will be the same old, same old if she gets in... fight fight fight and gridlock.

Posted by: goldie2 | October 27, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Bitter religious nuts posting here. Too bad, Hillary is going to win next year. Get over it, you religious Frauds. Ask Pro-Life Mission Accomplished if real Christians don't kill?

Posted by: wgee | October 26, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't mind having a woman president. But I do want to elect someone that is competent. Hillary Clinton has been a lousy senator. She has not acheived any major successes for the American people as senator.

She has however managed to help send our troops to Iraq. She has the blood of our troops on her hands.

Hillary Clinton has also managed to get rich from filling her pockets with the money of special interest groups and lobbyists.

Plus, how can she run this country if she can not teach her husband how to keep his zipper up?

Posted by: AndreaT1 | October 26, 2007 10:18 PM | Report abuse

If you're worried about why "she" can't answer straight questions, then read a few articles by Dick Morris on the honesty, integrity and truthfulness of either "she" or her husband. However, we must be willing to "wait and see", that's the American way. America lived through the Civil War. America and the world at large lived through the threat of Hitler. So let's hope that America will outlast "her", just in case she is unfortunately elected. 10/26/2007

Posted by: telmewy | October 26, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Clinton can't give a straight, unambiguous answer to these questions, what makes anyone think we'll ever get a straight answer on more serious questions concerning her foreign policy positions or Social Security?

Shame on us, as voters, if we accept Senator Clinton's kind of evasiveness from a candidate for President.

Posted by: efadams_53 | October 26, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

If Senator Clinton can't give a straight, unambiguous answer to these questions, what makes anyone think we'll ever get a straight answer on more serious questions concerning her foreign policy positions or Social Security?

Shame on us, as voters, if we accept Senator Clinton's kind of evasiveness from a candidate for President.

Posted by: efadams_53 | October 26, 2007 6:30 PM | Report abuse

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