I've always liked Hillary Clinton. During an interview for Girl's State in high school, they asked me about a female being President. I responded with something along the lines of "I'd love to be the first female President if Hillary doesn't beat me to it." Oops, wrong answer for the uber conservative American Legion who runs Girl's State. I got over it.
It's funny to think 6+ years after that interview, this joke about Hillary running for President is actually happening. It's a little surreal.
I'm still not committed to a candidate yet. Though California's primary elections are ridiculously early in February, that still gives me a good 7 month to finalize my choice. Clinton and Obama are my top choices, but I would take pretty much any Democrat over any Republican.
I will say, however, that the more I read about Hillary Clinton, the more I like her as a person. I still have concerns about how polarizing she can be, but she's an oustanding role-model in terms of using a law degree for good.
In an article about Clinton reshaping her image to focus on her Midwestern roots, it mentions that Clinton was "working for poor defendants while studying at Yale Law School, turning down lucrative job offers to work at the Children's Defense Fund and chairing the national board of the Legal Services Corporation when she was 29 years old." She was also on the editorial board for the Yale Law Review of Social Action and wrote her thesis on children's rights. Simply knowing what great work the Children's Defense Fund and Legal Services do, and always having so much respect for these organizations, makes it even more impressive.
I haven't read up on Obama as much lately, but I know that he has done a lot of community organizing work and that's equally as admirabe. He was also the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, which certainly shows his intelligence.
I know that being the smartest person in the room by no means makes you a good leader, 5 minutes in law school will tell you that. However, it's not a bad place to start. Having a socially conscious background and rising through the ranks of those organizations is also a plus in my mind.
As an original midwesterner, maybe I tend to like candidates from the region. The breadbasket of America. (And yes, like Hillary, I will play up my midwestern roots when adventagous. Much as I am also Californian, I can't say that we produce good Presidents. Nixon and Reagan?)