Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Looking Ahead to Next November.

Now that the 2007 elections are over, we can finally devote our full attention to next year's presidential race. The primary season has been pushed up earlier than ever before. Iowa gets pole position on January 3rd. The reason for this early date is Michigan's decision to hold their own on January 15th. By the time Pennsylvania's primary rolls around, the contest will be all but decided. One can only guess how Montana and South Dakota feel about this setup, since they come last (on June 3rd). Chances are that their events won't even make national news.

Honestly, I feel that I could just about call the race already. However much I might want Barack Obama to win the Democratic nomination, it's looking more and more like he hasn't got a chance. Despite trailing only Hillary Clinton in campaign contributions, he is losing by approximately 20 points in all of the major polls. Clinton's lead has been growing steadily for the last six months. Barring any major scandal or revelation, it doesn't appear that Obama will catch up. That's a real shame (as far as I'm concerned) because he looked very inspiring as he announced his candidacy. If there's one single thing that Bill O'Reilly and I would agree upon, it is that Obama has made a big mistake in listening to his handlers. Whomever he's picked to be his advisers, they seem to have put him on a strict diet of "vanilla". Meanwhile John Edwards has distinguished himself as the true embodiment of a change in the nation's direction. Too little, too late... Johnny-boy.

On the Republican side, Rudolph Giuliani is looking like a good bet. He's been fighting Fred Thompson in the opinion polls for months, trading places numerous times. But many observers are saying that Thompson is looking lost and tired. His initial burst of enthusiasm upon entering the race looks to be waning, and he lacks the type of funding that a serious challenge for the nomination requires. Although he seems like he would be the ideal choice for the Christian right, the world of conservative punditry remains skeptical. He's also got some major skeletons in his closet. Before his most recent television fame, he served as US Senator from the state of Tennessee, garnering a reputation as a somewhat lazy lawmaker. Prior to assuming that office he lobbied hard for the deregulation of the Savings and Loan industry. Any moderate student of late the Twentieth Century can tell you that this led to one of the most costly financial boondoggles in the history of American government.

Even though he is the current leader of the pack, Giuliani is not an obvious pick for the GOP. He may have built his media reputation on the back of the defining event of the new epoch, but a close scrutiny of his reaction in the wake of 9-11 reveals a continuity of incompetence and indecision that extends backward into his time as NYC mayor. His campaign against urban crime was often overshadowed by incidents of police misconduct, civil rights violations and numerous conflicts of ego. Additionally, a number of his political appointees faced criminal charges as a result of their "loyal service" to the city (see Bernard Kerik). As symbolic leader of the self-described "values party", Giuliani has severe shortcomings. He played a significant role in protecting a childhood friend that molested children in his capacity as Catholic priest. This same friend served Giuliani by helping him annul his first marriage- just so Rudy could marry his new girlfriend. Unfortunately for this second wife, Giuliani had a series of affairs with other women (some of which were alleged to be his employees). When he left her, he moved into an apartment owned by two of his "gay friends". Since then he has become estranged from his own children.

When you consider Giuliani's avowed support for the public funding of abortion and gay marriage, you have to wonder whether these positions will inspire Christian leaders to help get out the vote for the Republican ticket. I'd have to guess that James Dobson and his cohorts are going to choke on their communion wafers when they are asked to throw their considerable influence behind such a character. They'd have a hard time with the waffling Mormon (also-ran Mitt Romney) as well. Ultimately I believe that, without Christian Conservatives in the coalition of the right, the GOP simply can't win a national election. And that means we have our first woman president.

On a Brighter Note: While trolling Wikipedia, I discovered an interesting fact- this is the first year since 1928 that no incumbents (president or V.P) will be running in the general election. No matter what else this cycle brings us, we can thank the fates that Dick Cheney has decided not to seek the presidency. Not that I truly believe that he would have had a chance in hell of winning... but somehow I feel heartened that I won't have to watch that fool out on the hustings. Every time I see his face on television I am awash in a wave of profound disgust.

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Blogger Dagrims said...

Pat Robertson's endorsement of Rudy is a blow to Fred Thompson, as well.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

I have to admit I was surprised when I saw the two of them smiling and standing together on the front page of the New York Times. If nothing else, it illuminates the hypocrisy of Pat Robertson. I heard someone on NPR attempt to explain it by saying that establishment figures tend to attract one another. It seems to me that there must be something more to it. CNN points out that are both prostate cancer survivors.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney has garnered endorsements from Paul Weyrich and Bob Jones III.

11:43 PM  

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