Ok, I've shared my notes from the book, it's time to wrap it all up. First, thanks to all of those who stuck it through. I've shared emails with a few people about the book and have been promised a deep discussion with the person who loaned me the book. I'm looking forward to it.
I'm not sure the book changed my mind on anything. I think it clarified a lot of things and has influenced my thinking a great deal. But no major changes. I'll also have to say that the book wasn't a great work of art. It was informational and interesting, but I had to slug my way through it. I will say, it was worth it.
About the candidates - McCain really seemed like his heart wasn't in it. He would have accepted if someone appointed him president, and he would have made a good commander-in-chief. But he bent with the wind too much on other subjects. Without the right people around him, he wouldn't have helped us through the financial crisis. And I'm not sure he knew who the right people were.
Palin has always impressed me as a bright lady, who wasn't ready for the job of VP. But then I'm not sure any person is ready for that job (or the job of president). Her selection seemed so haphazard that she never had time to prepare. Like a student cramming for an exam, she failed to grasp everything. It wasn't her fault, but she certainly could have said no. Everyone is pushing her to 2012 and she'll certainly be more ready. I have serious concerns however, about her lack of persistence with her job as governor. To me, it seems she left that job to make money. That's ok, but it has consequences.
Edwards - I can't see how anyone can trust him. He repeatedly lied and his main goal was to get into the White House (as President or VP). He could care less how he did it. I will restate something I've said many times, anyone who donated money to his campaign should ask for a refund (Warren Buffett said it first).
H. Clinton - she really seemed like she thought deserved the nomination. However, once the decision was made, she tucked it in and worked for her party. I have respect for her attitude and her methods.
B. Clinton - the book did nothing to make me trust him anymore. I've always felt he would lie, cheat and steal at any chance. In fairness, the book didn't make me trust him any less.
M. Obama - The book didn't say a lot about her. She seems a stand-up-for-your-man kind of lady. The only thing I think I learned about her was that she still doesn't see how her "proud of my country" comment hurt a lot of people.
B. Obama - Overall, my opinion didn't change much. There were a couple of mentions of him playing the race card and I've always felt he was beyond that - that he wants to move beyond the distractions. I'll tuck away this new information and use it in my future thoughts about him.
I've always felt that President Obama was a very bright man, who found some strong people to put in place around him. He's a fast learner and knows where he wants to go. He either knows, or finds out how to get there.
The election in general. I'm more convinced that no Republican could have won the race and that no Democrat could have lost. It seemed like the perfect storm. First, McCain was the strongest Rep and he was very weak. Second, Obama was very strong and the country was ready for change. Change away from Bush. It seemed like he had been in office for 20 years, with a short recess for Clinton. Call it malaise, call it anything you like, the country was ready for something different, anything. His primary battle with Clinton seemed to bolster his style, and his chances.
More than that, I'll go to a Hillary Clinton quote - "God wants him to win." Many on both sides will have problems with that statement, but I'll stand by it. The question is, why did He want it? Sometimes, God gives us what we need, sometimes gives us what we want in order to show us what we really need. I'm firmly convinced that President Clinton was put in office to give Americans an idea what would happen when we traded our morals for good economic times. I'm convinced that Bush was put into office to have a strong person there for 9/11. Why is Obama in office? Only time will tell.