I now have a voting strategy I can live with.

If by the Washington, DC caucuses Howard Dean is still in the race, I will caucus for him. If Dean is out and John Edwards is still in, I will caucus for Edwards. Although Edwards is more conservative than John Kerry, he is -- I think -- more electible. There’s something compelling about his “two Americas” speech, and the fact that he -- like me -- is a working class “Straddler.” I have to support him if Dean is out.

Now, if Kerry is the only one still in the race, I’m afraid I’ll have to sit out the caucus, which will no doubt devolve into cheerleading for a man I think has no business being president.

I will only vote for Kerry if he is the Democratic candidate in the general election. As much as I despise him, I’m waking up to the fact that I dislike George W. Bush even more. Kerry is an aristocrat, a patrician who believes he deserves the Presidency -- I hate that about him, just as I despise all blue-blooded elitists who pretend to be liberal for political gain. But we can’t let Bush continue to be President -- even John Kerry would do a better job than he has done. I’ll do my best to help Dean or Edwards derail Kerry before the general election, but I will grudgingly vote for him if he gets the nomination.

I’m not including Wesley Clark here because although there are many appealing things about him, I’m not sure he’s ready to be president. He’s such an unknown quantity, I can’t help but wonder if he’s just a political opportunist, banking on the fact that his military credentials will carry him through to the nomination. Dean, Edwards and even Kerry are all lifelong Democrats. When the stakes are as high as George W. Bush, I don’t think we can allow ourselves to run a newcomer inexperienced in politics.