Before my son was killed in Iraq, the determining factor for any political candidate was their stance on abortion or choice. If a politician didn't think I deserved a choice about what happened to my body, they wouldn't be getting my vote. It really wasn't difficult. If I got past that, I would examine their platform on taxes, education, the environment, their character.
Unfortunately, the field of candidates hasn't passed on all of their platforms, and certainly not those on the national level, so you hold your nose and hope the ultimate "winner" will not be that bad.
Obama & Clinton both pass the "choice test". But, now in the 6th year of the occupation in Iraq, the determining factor is foreign policy, or even more narrow, how soon does a candidate plan on ending the occupation and bringing the troops and the subcontractors home from Iraq? While both Clinton & Obama said that as Commander in Chief, they would change the mission in Iraq and withdraw the troops, their timetable doesn't come close to what I think should happen. So, maybe Obama gets a B-, Hillary gets a D- (her hawkish attitude with regards to Iran should give her a failing mark, but her current statements on Iraq save her from an F, even though I don't think she means them), and bringing up the rear with an F for his comments that 100 years, or more in Iraq would be okay with McCain. He said he didn't really mean that, but he I think he did, so he gets an F on his foreign policy.
McCain does not pass the "choice test" either- another F. Back in 1999, McCain spoke to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco saying "I'd love to see a point where [Roe v. Wade] is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force x number of women to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." Not bad for a centrist. But wait, fast forward to 2006 when the senator declared that he does not merely favor overturning Roe, but supports a constitutional amendment that would ban abortion in almost all circumstances. I guess the Straight Talk Express left the station because when McCain recently appeared on "Meet the Press," he claimed that he has "always been pro-life, unchanging and unwavering." I wonder why he cannot keep track of his stand on such an important issue.
Frankly, the thought of John McCain as the 44th president of the US scares the hell out of me, possibly even more than the last 8 Bush years have.
Note to the voters who say that if their Democratic candidate (generally Clinton) is not nominated, they will vote for McCain. Please think again and reconsider the repercussions of the 3rd term of Bush policies that McCain will ocntinue. The US and the world cannot afford it, not in blood, not in treasure and not in standing.