The First Vote

It's really difficult to say why we land on a certain candidate. For me, it's rarely about one or two specific issues, but rather about the person in general. I look for the candidate who exhibits intelligence, passion, honestly and some sort of intangible.

In 2000 I fell for Al Gore. But I wasn't as into politics as I have been the past six years or so.

In 2004 I was with John Kerry well before the first primary. I was so passionate about that race that I left my day job and voluteered full-time for the Kerry Campaign in New York. I remember going to watch the Iowa Caucus returns with fellow staffers at a bar in New York. The rush when hearing the returns was absolutely thrilling. We subsequently went out together for all of the primary returns. The crowds got bigger, the enthusiasm louder and we watched as Kerry stormed towards the nomination.

This summer I did some volunteer work for a grass-roots organization looking to enlist Al Gore to run for president. When it because apparent that Gore was going to sit this one out, I started to pay close attention. I watched every debate. I read hundreds of articles. I knew fairly quickly that John Edwards was my candidate. I love his fire. I love his willingness to stand out from the rest. I love that he openly calls himself the "progressive" candidate.

This may sound odd, but I may have a tough time sleeping tonight. I realize that Edwards' candidacy likely rides on the outcome tomorrow. If he finishes third or below, he is most likely out of the race. If he finishes second, he still has a chance. If he finishes first, he's then on equal or better footing with Clinton and Obama, and he likely moves from about 14% in NH to about 25%. It all comes down to tomorrow.

A John Edwards presidency will make me proud to be an American again. Let's see if Iowa agrees.