I was ambivalent about voting for George W. Bush in 2004. He did not seem to have a firm idea of how he wanted to conduct the war on terror after an initial promising start in Afghanistan. Although nominally conservative, he was not really reducing government spending in any meaningful way and was erasing the surpluses of the Clinton years. Although he seemed to gain substance after 9-11, there was still the lightweight snarky character that seemed to have spent a lot of time "lucking into" the next level of his life.
But considering the stentorian drone of his opponent, a man whose entire campaign seemed focused on what he had done when he was 25 rather than long years of government service in the United States Senate, and the sack of smarm that drone would have placed a heartbeat away from the presidency, I felt I had little choice. And there was the fact that whatever electoral votes my state could
muster hadn't gone to a Democrat since LBJ and they weren't going to
now, so how I voted didn't matter much. Figuring at the very least the years of mediocrity might end after four years instead of stretch for eight should Senator Kerry win and then also win reelection, I held my nose and marked W.
Today, I retroactively un-hold my nose and tell my 2004 self, "It's OK. You did the right thing."