My main take-away? I don't trust Mike Gravel for squat! I know that's not particularly a useful "overriding impression" from the proceedings, but there it is.
Most of the others were your "typical" L.P. sorts, one guy who you suspect has a large collection of mint Star Wars figures, another who probably got audited once and has blood feud with the government, another who's #1 issue is the 2nd Amendment (not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you), etc. However, of the 7 candidates participating, Wayne Allyn Root hit most of my hot buttons.
I hate to say that I'm not going to vote Republican in November, but when it comes right down to it, John McCain is simply the least unsavory Democrat running. I'd really like McCain if he was the Democratic nominee (I wouldn't vote for him, but he wouldn't disgust me the way that Clinton and Obama do), however, I'm with Ann Coulter on just not being able to get behind him.
I'd had a number of questions about Root, but if the Wikipedia entry on him is accurate:
... he sounds pretty good.He is a fiscal conservative in the mode of his heroes Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater. He is socially tolerant, believing that most social issues should be determined on the state and local level.
I still don't know, however ... the prospect of doing something (not voting for McCain) that in some small way would lead towards having either another Clinton or an Obama presidency would make me feel so tainted, when I'd so obviously (10,000 times over) prefer to vote for somebody like Root. At least I didn't have that problem in the G.O.P. primary, when I could proudly vote for Ron Paul with no regrets.