Greetings, and welcome to 59 days and counting. 59 days to what, you ask? Well, as of today (November 5, 2007) 59 days to the Iowa Caucuses, assuming they actually get held on January 3, 2008, and not on Boxing Day, or some other date in early December.
What is the purpose of this blog? Well, this is simply my journey up to the caucuses. That needs a bit of context, so here goes.
I am an immigrant to the United States. I came here, from the United Kingdom, with my wife and some of my children, in 1984, originally intending to stay for one year while I did a post-doctorate at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College. That one year turned into three years at Dartmouth, followed by a move to Iowa in 1987, where I have been ever since, working as a professor of civil engineering at the University of Iowa. My wife and I became citizens in 2001 (it is a long and not particularly easy process, but one that we are very glad we took) and the first day we had a chance to vote was 9/11/2001 - not a day we will forget any time soon.
I did attend the caucuses in 2004, but because I am registered as a republican, there was no choosing of candidates at that caucus. Of course, this time around is different! And, I want to both record and share my thoughts as I go through this process.
What will I record in this blog? Well, it will be primarily my thoughts on the various republican candidates as I make my selection of who to support on January 3. I will comment, I am sure, from time to time on the democratic selection process, but since I do not have a dog in that hunt, I will leave that side of the race to others!
I will include my thoughts on what I think the major issues are for the election (and why!) and will try to examine the candidates in terms of those major issues. I should state now that my choices are between only five of the republican candidates at this time: Guiliani, Huckabee, McCain, Romney, and Thompson. I know there are other candidates (Brownback, Cox, Hunter, and Paul) , and I know that other folks support those candidates very strongly but I cannot imagine myself supporting them.
So, that is the site - welcome. I hope that you enjoy making this journey with me. Comments etc. and links are most welcome. Oh, and if you are eligible to vote, please make sure that you have registered, then get informed and vote. Lots of people in the world do not have the privilege of voting - those of us who do should use it!