The Rip Van Winkle Method Of Candidate Selection

Washington Irving imagined a Rip Van Winkle who fell asleep under a tree only to wake up twenty year later. Imagine for a moment that you fall asleep tonight and wake up on the morning after next year’s presidential election, November 5, 2008. Now, honestly, try and imagine how happy you would be if you picked up the morning paper on that day and read “[blank] WINS ELECTION”. Substitute the current candidates for [blank] and rank your level of happiness to the news. Be sure to NOT base your decision on what you think is the probability of that person winning, or on who you are currently supporting, but on how happy or unhappy you would be after being asleep from now until after the election and awake to the news.

I took the test on myself and here are my results (on a +10, most happy, to a -10, most unhappy scale). And I was surprised at how this point of view helped me adjust my choice of whom I should really support. It is a bit like the concept of following your bliss.

+9 Barack Obama
+7 Hillary Clinton
+6 Joe Biden
+5 John Edwards
+4 John McCain
+4 Mike Huckabee
+4 Bill Richardson
+3 Dennis Kucinich
+3 Chris Dodd
+2 Ron Paul
-3 Mike Gravel
-4 Sam Brownback
-5 Duncan Hunter
-5 Tom Tancredo
-6 Rudy Giuliani
-7 Fred Thompson
-7 Mitt Romney

I challenge you to test yourself using this method. And more than that, I challenge you to, after taking the test, to put your money where your bliss is and support that candidate.


J.Scott said…
Its been awhile since your last post,Welcome back. Hope your summer been going well.
This was fun to do. Given I have as many Dems as Reps in the top six the conclusion I draw is I am a virtual independent. I look at people in terms of ideology and visions not parties. Bottom three scorers Tancredo, Gravel, Clinton.
Bill Garnett said…
I'm curious to know the top three.
J. Scott said…
I had it come out with Huckabee, Biden, Romney, Obama, Hunter, and then Edwards as the top six. This concludes me to believe the election day will not bring me much bliss.
Anonymous said…
I arrived at your site via the strength of your commentary on Mike Rodger's Blog. Kudos to you.
Also, I really enjoyed your notion of awakening the morning after the election was over and then finding the result. The thought, however, occurred to me - what would you have been feeling if it had been the year of the Gore/Bush debacle? Just a vague, transient, sort of humorous thought.
Bill Garnett said…
well drbehavior, I hardly remember what I felt like when I woke up this morning -- but, recalling that the Gore/Bush election wasn't settled the morning after the election, I think I might had been holding my fingers crossed

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