Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The woman, the black and the senior

It used to be "the good, the bad and the ugly," but now the three characters in the nation's eye are "the woman, the black and the senior" (not necessarily in the same order). Hillary, Obama and McCain, what a choice! It couldn't be clearer, no young white males in this lot. Question, why has the primary process produced this particular crop of fruits?
It could be argued that eventually the Democratic Party, true to its liberal traditions, would throw up a woman or a black man, but both at the same time is embarrassing. You could say "an embarrassment of riches," but you can get sick on a very rich diet. Most people would probably agree that if one of them had clearly predominated from the beginning that would have been preferable. But, the fact is that they are running neck-and-neck, and although Obama has more delegates (ca. 2000), he has not yet reached the magic figure (2065) that gives them the nomination. Furthermore, Hillary, according to reports, has a larger proportion of the popular vote, because she won in more of the bigger states. The fact that she won in most of the large "blue" states (Ohio, New York, etc., that generally go Democratic) and Obama won in many "red" states, has been taken to mean that Hillary would be a better candidate to face McCain in the General Election.
But, why McCain? Presumably because he was the best of the bunch, and you don't expect the Republicans to put up a black or a woman, yet! As the oldest man to stand for election as President at age 72, McCain might seem a bit doddery, especially for the increased number of young people that have been attracted into the voting booths by the Obama phenomenon. Obama clearly speaks to youth (and women) with his emphasis on "change." But precisely what kind of change is not clear. In foreign policy it seems very risky.
Of course, facing a divided Democratic party is an advantage for McCain. There has been talk of Clinton as Obama's VP, but don't expect this to happen, since it would make nonsense of Obama's claim of "change."
McCain is a moderate or liberal Republican. That's why at first the right wing conservative Republicans would not endorse him. He has been running a careful campaign, maintaining his centrist positions while also trying to show conservatives that they have nothing to fear from him. However, McCain is definitely not Bush III. Apart from being on the liberal side of the Republican Party and not having the automatic support of the religious right, he has a long record of supporting liberal causes as a Republican. There is one thing that distinguishes McCain over Obama, McCain has a long record of electoral service that can be checked, while Obama has essentially none.
If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, as seems likely, then one can then predict that McCain will win the election for President. This is because either extreme, to left or right has never been popular in the US. When George McGovern ran in 1972 he lost in a landslide to Nixon, because he was too liberal for the American electorate. Things have changed, but not that much. This indicates that Hillary Clinton would be a better candidate against McCain, but don't expect that to stop the bright-eyed Democrats from committing electoral suicide.


Post a Comment

<< Home