Yep, stop the presses. I'm pushing for one first-tier candidate and one second-tier. I think the second tier group has a very difficult row to hoe, so I'm compromising by both supporting one of them and supporting one of the candidates with a better chance of winning.
I think all six of the Democrats would do a good job (with the possible exception of Biden, and maybe I'm not being fair to him), and all of them are definitely better than Bush or the top eight Republicans. The question to me, though, is which candidates would do the most to fix the wrong direction we've taken, and which ones are the most likely to beat the Republican candidate.
Hillary would be good, but she'll move us the least in the right direction of the top tier candidates on Iraq and health care, and in the general sense I have of how she'll operate. And she'll attract the strongest opposition from nutcases and even from some normal humans that just don't like her, fairly or unfairly. As for Obama, he'd be good but needs more experience, and he won't push things as far as Edwards would.
Edwards is the candidate I know the best, and he was the first candidate I supported in 2003. His health care and environmental programs are excellent, his Iraq and poverty stances are good, and on all major issues he's as good or better than the other two in the top tier, while having as good or better chance of getting elected if nominated. I wish Edwards had more government experience, but no one's perfect, and he's the best in the top tier for 2008.
I don't know the second tier candidates as well, but I've been impressed with Richardson's resume and his debate performance, especially on foreign policy. He said that he would shift troops and emphasis from Iraq to Afghanistan, which I think is the correct policy and a winning political strategy. He emphasized pressuring China to fix the Darfur genocide in the Sudan. He'd get all the troops out of Iraq, and he doesn't talk up the idea that Biden and Dodd have, that an international conference is somehow going to fix things at this late date in Iraq. I like his forthrightness, and although his "Latino" style of touching women needs to be fixed immediately, he's also a diplomat so I think that can happen.
I don't see any reason right now to choose between Edwards and Richardson, although I'll give more attention and financial support to Edwards as the first tier candidate. His campaign website has a blog with diaries, and I plan to start cross-posting there.
Should be an interesting campaign!
Edwards' site is here, and Richardson's here.