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.
Administrator | Democrat
I support Barack Obama because of who he is and who he isn't.
Occupation: Administrator in local college
Last election voted:
In 10 words or less: Tall, loud, smart, proud and doesn't hold still
Obama opposed our disastrous invasion of Iraq from the start, which demonstrates both courage and intelligence on his part.
He wants to make healthcare available to everyone in the United States without making it a mandate, a stance that combines compassion with our national tradition of independence.
He taught constitutional law for years and it's about time we had someone in the White House who understands the constitution. Barack Obama is the best candidate in the race.
He also isn't Hillary Clinton. Whether or not Clinton would be a good president - and I'm not impressed with her - her nomination would unite American conservatives just when they're fractured and weak.
Not only can Obama defeat any Republican in the race, he'll be able to govern afterward without having to return to the battles of the 1990s."
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.
Obama understands the Constitution? Where does the Constitution say that taxpayers need to subsidize ALL abortions up to the day of delivery, and where does it say that sex education should start in kindergarten, also paid for by tax dollars? Obama is a socialist who would overturn American values (but, so would all Deomcrat candidates).
David, Groton, USA
While I think Clinton would probably make a good president (and we'd get her husband back, who was a good president), I think it unlikely Americans are ready to elect a woman president. As fond as we are of believing that, as a country, we are at the forefront of progress and enlightenment, the UK had its Maggie Thatcher long before Americans would even consider a female president. I think Matt is right about the conservatives banding together--no matter their differences--if Clinton is given the Democratic nomination. Her gender aside, she is too unpopular with too many Democrats and Republicans.
As for me, I, too, like Obama. He may not be experienced in Washington politics, but that's probably why I like him. He doesn't seem like he would govern with the mindset of "business as usual."
Michell, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
One of my biggest complaints against Senator Clinton is just that - her administration and her opponents will be involved in mud slinging and will take all political discourse back to the 90s. Moreover, if Sen Clinton got elected President, there'd be a Bush or a Clinton in the White House for 24 years by 2012. People should not encourage Political Dynasties. It's time for young blood to take over in the White House. Obama is good and I only hope he keeps getting better.
Ananth, North Aurora, IL, USA
I think Obama means well, but I wonder if Oprah Winfrey will halter instead of help. I personally will not vote for celebrity pushed candidates...not so sure Obama likes it however.
Eddie Callicutt, Winston Salem North Carolina,USA