Weekend Assignment #231: Over the years we've had a number of oddball candidates for public office, from cartoon characters to a live pig, from comedians to tv stars to an ex-wrestler. But it's only in recent years that a candidate who doesn't fit the usual profile can run for office and actually expect to win. Who is the most unusual political candidate you have ever supported, either seriously or in jest?
Extra Credit: Present politicians excepted. have you ever regretted voting for a candidate, in light of later events?
Hmmmm . . . at first thought, at least, this one's a bit of a stumper. I've never supported a political candidate in jest . . . it's simply never occurred to me to do that. I've a feeling it was a good deal more common to do that sort of thing before I was of voting age . . . why that would be, I have no idea, but there it is. Then again, the California recall that brought us the Governator was really just a few years ago, and given what a circus that was, I may have to take the first part of this paragraph back. Still, even then, I didn't voice any support for Gary Coleman, the Porn Star, the Sumo Wrestler, or any of another 130+ candidates. I quite seriously voted against the recall, and quite seriously voted for Pete Camejo should the recall happen against my wishes. Obviously, things went really well on both counts for me there (not).
I've definitely supported candidates whom some people around me thought were real weirdos, especially on the local (i.e., City Council) level, but I just thought they were right. And courageous enough to stand for their real principles. Go weirdos!
As a member of the Green Party, I cast one of the votes that selected Cynthia McKinney as our party's official 2008 Presidential Candidate. I suppose she could be considered an unusual candidate for being both African-American and female, but those aren't good reasons to be considered unusual. Although I'm glad to see her make it this far, I do fully intend to vote for the Democratic ticket in the general election, largely because the only realistic alternative is far too frightening. Even though I live in a blue state and could most likely get away with voting for McKinney without risking anything for Obama anyway, strange things happen in this state sometimes (see above).
I'm kind of glad I didn't have to choose between Hillary Clinton and Obama, because, frankly, I couldn't. Now that that's been decided for me I am, like Hillary, behind Obama all the way.
Honestly, no, I've never regretted voting for a candidate. Usually, my candidate hasn't won anyway, so there's nothing to regret. I could write about the one time I voted for a Republican, but that was such a freezing day in hell I wasn't able to make it to the polls (ha!). Narrowing it down to Presidential elections, the first one I was (barely) eligible to vote in was Bill Clinton vs. Bush Sr. in 1992, and I'm glad my candidate won. In 1996, I voted for Ralph Nader because it was already abundantly clear that Clinton was going to take that one over Dole, so I don't regret voting my conscience in that one. In 2000 I voted for Gore and words cannot begin to express how strongly I feel that one should have worked out my way. In 2004 I voted for Kerry. Not that he's my favorite guy in the world, but I was/am very dismayed to see the Bush administration last four more long years.
On another note, which doesn't really fit the question but I'll write about it anyway, I expressed mild disappointment that Barack Obama picked yet another middle-aged white man to be his running mate. In most regards, Joe Biden seems like an acceptable choice, but I couldn't help thinking: after Hillary's concession, we have to go right back to the old boy's club? I thought that cinched it. It didn't even occur to me that John McCain would pick a woman for his running mate. He picked one with some of the scariest political stances I've ever seen, certainly not a woman who is any friend to the environmental and animal rights issues I deeply care about, and the idea of McCain winning the White House just became about a billion times more ominous to me. I clearly need to be more careful what I wish for.