I'm going to try something here at The Debate Link. I'm a Democrat. And I will almost certainly be voting Democrat come 2008. But in this space, I am going to make a serious effort to say something nice about all the major Republican contenders for the Presidential nomination (assuming I know more than a cursory amount about them). I also challenge other bloggers--conservative and liberal--to do the same for their political opponents on the 2008 ledger. We'll say the big name conservatives are McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Brownback, and Hagel. And the big name liberals are Gore, Clinton, Edwards, Obama, and Clark (obviously, personal biases infect this list, so feel free to add or subtract based on your own knowledge). Compliments have to be serious--no backhanders ("he's not as psycho as Pat Robertson!").
John McCain: I do believe that, once in office, he'll be the principled character that ran in 2000 (and was floated as a Kerry running mate in 2004). He's expressed willingness to take on the base, and I believe that as President he will act because he thinks what he's doing is right, not because he thinks it will be to a political advantage.
Rudy Giuliani: Obviously, his 9/11 leadership was important. I also think he is a geniune social liberal, and will reverse the GOP's propensity towards anti-gay demonization (among other issues) as President.
Mitt Romney: The stances he's taken on gay rights while running in Massachusetts are textbook what I want to see out of Republican. Hopefully, that will translate to similar moderation once he's through the GOP primary.
Chuck Hagel: He's one of the few Republicans I still think has credible foreign policy instincts, which is important and something I respect. He was one of the earliest GOP Senators to really step out of the Bush administration line on Iraq.
Sam Brownback: No brainer. Sam's work on human rights issues and genocide has been nothing short of spectacular.
Any conservative (or fellow liberal) blogs going to take me up on this offer?