I got a chance to discuss Philip Atkinson's Bush should be president for life commentary Wednesday on the Peter Boyles Show, a talk radio program that's huge in Colorado. As a former Denver resident, I had to fight the urge to do shoutouts to my old coworkers at Zing Systems (failed interactive TV company) and DiveIn (failed city portal site).
To get it out of my system, word to Jonathan Bourne, Phil Weinstock, Don Wrege, Lev Lawrence, Stefanie Lerner, Meg Cardamone, Andrew Borakove and Jeff Pinkner! Let's do lunch at Tattered Cover! Phil's buying!
I tried to prepare for the interview, but Boyles quickly shot that to hell with questions I wasn't expecting, such as what do you think of President Bush and who is going to be the next president?
My answers, edited to make me sound more coherent than I did at 7 a.m. Mountain time:
We're in a tough position under President Bush because he refuses to recognize when it's time to change course. A true test of leadership is knowing when things are going in the wrong direction. Nearly a year has passed since the report of the Iraq Study Group, which was set up to give Bush constructive advice in the most sympathetic way possible. We're still stuck in Iraq.
Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States. I'm troubled by the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton pattern, but I don't see her losing with the lead she's built over Barack Obama and John Edwards. I told Boyles that Edwards will be her running mate, but it might be wishful thinking on my part. I like how he's made poverty a focus of his campaign. Despite my prediction, I gave small donations to Edwards and Obama, and neither will let me forget it. Every few days there's another make-or-break fundraising milestone that has to be reached. And Obama keeps hinting that I might get invited to dinner.
I didn't say this on the air, but my big concern with Clinton is that we'll get eight years of triangulation -- poll-tested solutions that keep her approval rating up without taking chances on hard solutions. The next president will inherit the Iraq war, global warming, illegal immigration, millions of retiring boomers and an Al Qaeda that's a strong today as it was in 2001. This is no time to make incremental improvements and declare victory.
I couldn't anticipate the reception I'd get from Boyles, whose show is touted for being "neither left nor right." He's a vocal critic of U.S. immigration policy and supporter of labor unions who broke stories on Ted Haggard and the JonBenet Ramsey murder in Boulder. In our conversation he sounded like a fan of the hell-raising, freewheeling world of blogs, telling me that he's a reader of the Drudge Retort, Drudge Report, LittleGreenFootballs and other sites across the political spectrum.