As the US gears up for the first major presidential election events of 2008 in Iowa and New Hampshire, we asked a panel of six Iowans to tell us who they will be voting for in their state caucus on 3 January, and why.
John F Buse
Student | Democrat
Will America slip further into mediocrity, debt and idiocy or will someone pull it up?
"This is the first election that I'm participating in, and to engage in conversation and debate within the caucus system is... intimidating and extremely exciting.
JOHN F BUSE
Last election voted:
Too young to vote last time
In 10 words or less: Optimistic student, loves honest politicians, neighbourhood communities and polar bears.
I think America's losing hold of its ability to help lead the world with other countries. And thus, this election is huge. Will America slip further into mediocrity, debt and idiocy, or will someone pull it back up?
I used to be apathetic towards Iowa's caucus. I saw only the creation of political fervour a year before any actual election. The caucus seemed inconsequential in the long run. I figured whoever received the Democratic nomination, regardless of why or how, would be good enough for my vote in the coming election.
But I changed; Obama's speech at the Jefferson Jackson dinner sparked an interest within me, and his record of courage in politics fanned my flame. He had gone against the tide by cleaning up an unethical state government, and had chosen a far less popular road by voting against the Iraqi war, a choice proven wiser every day. The list of his actions for the better goes on and on.
Obama's past decisions and future commitments distinguish him as the candidate of progress and integrity."
We want to hear what you think, so send us your comments using the forms at the bottom of the panel's updated views.
The readers' panel has been selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible and may not be representative of wider US public opinion.
Good for you! I was the same way, apathetic, until I heard and saw Dennis Kucinich, and not to be missed:
Elizabeth Kucinich. Now Dennis is endorsing Barrack so it looks like all of us are leaning Obama. PS My Mom and Grandmom are from Des Moines.
John Vee, Santa Monica, CA
Of course John Buse has caught the 'bug'. We all do at some point of our lives. But he's young and naive, and easily inspired by a good talker.
When he gets a bit older, he will see through it all as rhetoric.
We must all remember what Winston Churchill said. "If you're not a Democratic (Liberal) when you're 20, you haven't got a heart. If you're not Republican (Conservative) by the time you're 40, you haven't got a brain." No one has ever described politics in a nutshell so succinctly.
All young people are so idealistic, and so it should be.
The joy and irrepressible enthusiasm of youth, though ignorant and with no experience of 'real life' under their belts, must never be taken away from them. Barack Hussein Obama is THE perfect candidate for the youth in our world. Then we grow up, learn to read and write, and really think through, intelligently, what most of the Democrats propose. And it then comes to a screeching halt in the face of the real world. Hopefully John will grow up one day, and smile at how he used to be.
Jacqueline Williams, Edmonds, WA USA
Right now I think that Dennis Kucinich holds the most honesty of the current Democratic candidates. John Edwards also, but his vast wealth is what I question. Hillary is too much of an establishment candidate, and Obama is just an object of sensationalism. He's too weak of a fighter and too much of a compromiser. I don't see him getting anywhere in the elections as the year progresses. Hillary has a chance due to her association with former president Bill Clinton, Edwards has fought in the courtroom many a time in his career and he seems to have what it takes to be president. Same with Kucinich, he speaks the truth and is not afraid of the media or public opinion.
Christopher Vera, York, Pennsylvania, USA
I too am an Obama supporter in my mid-40's. This man Obama is grabbing votes in all age-ranges! My 72 year old Dad and 23 year old niece are also caucusing for him. He's dynamic, intelligent, and something we haven't had in a long while... direct and honest... I'm thinking there's going to be some shocked people come Jan. 4th as he sweeps Iowa!
Dennis Endicott, Ankeny, Iowa, USA