I had not intended to suspend posting until I had done some research on the governor of Iowa, but that is how life played out so here, after four days, is some insight into the endorsement process. I freely admit that, even as an independent voter, I am not free from bias. The first time I hear about a candidate choosing to run for president I will probably have an idea, based on their position and what I have heard previously, of whether I expect they will receive an endorsement from me. For example, with Governor Vilsack I had heard very little about him which suggested a lack of showmanship. The fact that he was a two term governor of a state which was not known to be particularly liberal or conservative suggested an experienced public servant who was not a polarizing force. I would initially guess that I would endorse such a candidate.
On the other hand, I will openly admit that most third party candidates are likely to have a harder time getting an endorsement from me based partially on the wacky ideas I have heard from a variety of third party candidates over the years. My experience suggests that the majority of third party candidates have an agenda or a specific issue and lack the propensity to work with others. On top of that, most of them don't honestly expect to have a shot at winning and it shows in the way they campaign to their niche supporters.
At these early stages of campaigning, my endorsements have the possibility of changing as a result of new information. That being said, I am not at all opposed to getting through the primaries with candidates in each party that I endorse. In fact, I hope that the candidates who win the primaries from each party are candidates whom I can endorse.
One final caveat, when I endorse someone it should not be construed as an endorsement of a party. I never vote for a presidential party, I vote for a president. If I endorse Governor Vilsack it says nothing about the Democratic Party. If I endorse Governor Bush it is an endorsement for Bush, not for the Republican Party. (Honestly I do not expect Jeb Bush to run. I used him as an example because I do not want to suggest an endorsement for a candidate who has not yet chosen to run. In the case of Governor Vilsack, I will be posting the results of my research presently.)