Thoughts and Predictions on the Primaries

This election is gravy for the Democrats. Here are my thoughts.


  • John McCain - The old Maverick has tried like hell to shred the tires on the Straight Talk Express, literally embracing Bush. He's got Bush's institutional support sewn up, and that's far more important in the Republican Primary than in the Democratic, since the tendency for the GOP to nominate frontrunners is well documented. Unfortunately for him, the base still hates him, never having forgiven the original sins of campaign finance reform and having that black illegitimate child. Add in his position on immigration and the base will never trust him, no matter how much warmongering he engages in. Support for the Iraq War will, however, succeed in pushing away all independent support. It was the independents that made McCain in 2000, and they'll unmake him now.
  • Mitt Romney - There is already a dolphin following Mitt Romney around the country. His name is Flipper, and there's no shortage of material for him to work with. Poor Mitt Romney... it was inevitable. It'd be like Ben Nelson trying to get the Democratic nomination - no, even less likely than that. I mean, Romney was a Republican running for the Senate in Massachusetts against Ted Kennedy. The poor guy had to strenuously disavow everything he now has to embrace. That being said, he "looks presidential," rakes in the cash, and has spent it to create the best organizations in the early primary states. When the other candidates start spending money to tarnish him, we'll see if he can maintain his lead. If he's able to swing a victory in Iowa or New Hampshire he will immediately become the prohibitive favorite. Amongst the currently declared, he has by far the best chances of winning the nomination, cult membership notwithstanding.
  • Rudy Giuliani - When I saw this video of Rudy in drag, enjoying getting felt up by Donald Trump, I sorta stopped paying attention to his candidacy. What's the point? With positions like this he knows that his only chance is to win the nomination by decisive victories in the big blue states, notably California, on the Super Primary day, February 5th. Once again, I have to bear bad news... the way I see the psychology of campaigns working, with such a hugely extended process, the momentum from the Iowa/New Hampshire week wont hardly be dented in the two intervening weeks before February 5th. Rudy is sunk.
  • Newt Gingrich - Although the man gave the Republicans the great Revolution in '94, he also critically overplayed his hand, thinking the country at large hated Clinton the same way he did. Furthermore, we have in Newt yet another critically challenged marital history, with Gingrich's ultimate moment of shame coming when he pushed divorce proceedings on his hospitalized and cancer stricken wife. Hypocrisy abounds with the former Speaker of the House, and the Christian conservative base notices.
  • Mike Huckabee - An ordained Baptist minister with a story of personal adversity? Shouldn't this guy be the candidate of the religious right? Heck, where is the religious right? Or has David Kuo's call for a boycott of elections by evangelicals actually resonated? Huckabee would be a favorite any other year, but he just can't seem to raise any money or get any attention - sort of prerequisites for the job. Of course, when the electorate starts paying attention in the final month maybe they'll realize they don't have an evangelical candidate and make him competitive in spite of the party elders. In Iowa 40% of the Republicans are self-described evangelicals, so he could make serious moves in a short time.
  • None of the Above - Now here's the real star of the Republican nomination thus far. The poor GOP can't be happy with the bunch of serial adulterers and flipfloppers they've got lined up. There's not one of them that exemplifies the "family values" rhetoric that is so necessary for firing up the base. Remember, 29% of Americans still support President Bush, and 25% believe that the 2nd coming of Christ will occur this year. Something tells me these are the same people. It's difficult to imagine a path to the nomination that doesn't include them. There will continue to be dissatisfaction with the field until a conservative angel descends on the process. Who that will be, I have no idea, but if Romney doesn't own it in Iowa, None of the Above has my prediction.

  • Hilary Clinton - My primary problem with a second Clinton Presidency is that, were she elected for 2 terms, we would have two families controlling the Oval Office for 28 years. We are a country of over 300 million - I think we can diversify our leadership pool a tad. That being said, she's scary-competent. It would be awfully nice to see a Democratic campaign well run, leading to a well run White House. Both would represent a much-needed change. For realism's sake, I've got to put my prediction on Hilary.
  • Barack Obama - This man set me on fire at the 2004 convention. Admittedly, after hearing Kerry speak so extensively, I was ready to be disproportionately impressed by someone who could give a freaking speech. I remember George W. Bush's renomination speech distinctly. It brought tears to my eyes. I believe Obama has the potential to bring people together in a way that the historically divisive Hilary Clinton will find difficult or impossible. This has real value in my eyes. There is a substantial amount of healing that needs to be done in the country after what Bush has wrought, and Barack is the right candidate to get it done. I'll be rooting for Obama.
  • John Edwards - I know lots of people who really like John Edwards... I just don't really get it myself. I mean, sure, he's from the south and is therefore somehow more electable. My reticence about his candidacy is amorphous. Something about him makes me uncomfortable. I just don't feel, from his responses, that he's got the voltage I want to see in my President. When things start getting tight in Iowa we'll see if he opens up the rhetorical mains.
  • Joe Biden - Now there's a man with voltage. I don't care if, at times, he does go on. I myself have a torrid love affair with the comma, so who am I to judge? There may be problems with message discipline in the full national campaign, but ultimately I would rather have a gritty, less polished man as my President. It makes it easier to trust them, and I trust Joe Biden. With the celebrities at the top of the race, Biden doesn't stand a chance, but I'll push hard for him as VP.
  • Bill Richardson - I want to like him, but once again, he's not quite ready for prime time. I have a very similar feeling about Edwards.
  • Al Gore - The former Vice President will win the Oscar, of course, but that wont be enough to push him into the race. We'll see if winning the Nobel Peace Prize is enough to make him take on Hilary. If he enters the race he will be the Anti-Hilary candidate that the disaffecteds will rally to, and if enough others drop out of the race, he has a real chance.
There it is. Let's see how I do.

No comments: