Monday, January 07, 2008

Politics in the air...

It's January in a year that will see the summer Olympics. This means it's also an election year. With this in mind I thought I would contribute my own two cents and see if I can land a job as a talking head on CNN.

The Democrats:
Barack's victory in Iowa was a small earthquake for a number of reasons. First he is NOT the choice of the party big shots. Hillary is. Secondly he does not have the money. Hillary does. And thirdly he is black. Hillary is not. The fact that he not only won but that Hillary came in third(!) adds even more weight to this remarkable upset. It was humiliating for her and it has shattered her creditability as the nominee presumptive. John Edwards is not going to get the nomination barring a major screw up on the part of Barack. Even then I think people would gravitate towards Clinton before Edwards. His support seems to mostly come from some of the institutional base of the party like big labor. Looking forward...

If Obama wins in New Hampshire tomorrow and Hillary does not come in at least a close second she is going to be in serious trouble. It may prove to be a fatal blow to her campaign. No, she won't be dropping out of the race. But South Carolina then becomes do or die for her. And there is something worth noting about South Carolina as opposed to Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina does have a significant African American population. Finally look for most of the also rans to drop out of the race after New Hampshire with the likely exception of Dennis Kucinich (the anti war lefty).

The Republicans:
If New Hampshire is likely to be the beginning of the end for the Democratic nominating process it will just as likely blow open the Republican race. Mike Huckabee won in Iowa but I don't see a repeat performance coming in New Hampshire. Two of the GOP's heavy weight candidates mostly skipped Iowa. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani were largely absent. McCain has been stumping hard in NH and I expect him to win there where Huckabee does not seem to be showing nearly as well. In short Huckabee's win in Iowa may well have been a fluke or an anti-Romney vote by a lot of Protestant Evangelicals who are very uncomfortable with Romney's religion (Mormonism). Looking forward...

A McCain win in New Hampshire would be even worse for Romney than Obama winning will be for Hillary. This is Romney's back yard and people there don't typically vote on religious lines. In South Carolina they (at least the Republicans) do. In this respect New Hampshire may prove decisive. It could knock out the one time front runner. But it will otherwise leave the race wide open. McCain and Huckabee will both have one victory and Giuliani is expected to make a major showing down the stretch in the super Tuesday primaries which will involve many of the larger states with more moderate Republican voters. Fred Thompson's place in the race will become tenuous if he does not place at least a respectable third in tomorrow's voting. As with the Democrats, look for the remaining also rans to start dropping out after New Hampshire with the possible exception of libertarian/isolationist Ron Paul who has a small but remarkably dedicated following. Paul has zero chance of winning the GOP nomination. But his stable support and the remarkable amount of money he has been able to raise could allow him to force the major candidates or even the eventual nominee presumptive (once we get one) to address his issues.


David said...

In response to your comment that:

And there is something worth noting about South Carolina as opposed to Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina does have a significant African American population.,

You imply, I believe, that for the reason stated above South Carolina is going to go Obama. However, polls have shown time and again that Clinton is the preferred candidate amongst African Americans. The Clintons have a great reputation in the African American community. Remember that Bill has been called "the first black president" even by the National Black Caucus. I think South Carolina will probably go to Clinton, unless voters there decide to jump on the Obama bandwagon in the wake of his victory in Iowa and soon-to-be victory in New Hampshire.

Wordsmyth said...

I must confess I wasn't expecting Senator Obama to do this well in Iowa and New Hampshire. That said, I believe John Edwards would be the proper nominee if the Dems are serious about taking the White House. I don't know that Senators Obama and Clinton would prevail against Senator McCain. I can't really imagine how things would turn out if Giuliani is the Republican Nominee.

I say Edwards is the proper nominee for the Dems for a number of reasons. He's a white male Southerner, he's got a full head of hair (when's the last time we elected a President who didn't have hair?), and he's pretty affable. Senator Clinton is neither male nor affable, and Senator Obama, while half white, ain't quite white enough to be President in 2008 (sadly America isn't ready for that).

I'm also a huge fan of Edwards' campaign manager David Bonior, who quite possibly would have become governor of Michigan if he had been willing to make the pro-choice agenda part of his platform. Bonior strikes me as a person of integrity, and the fact that he's supporting Edwards carries weight with me.

Ad Orientem said...

I do actually think that if Obama wins in NH he will swing a large block of the Afro-American community to his side. He will have a very powerful momentum going into SC. Also remember that white voters in SC (including Democrats) tend to be rather more conservative. Many of them do not get a warm fuzzy feeling at the mention of the name Clinton.


Chris Jones said...

polls have shown time and again that Clinton is the preferred candidate amongst African Americans

It is my understanding that the most recent polls have shown a significant slippage in African-American support for Mrs Clinton. It seems that Mr Obama's win in Iowa has convinced many African-Americans that he actually is a viable candidate (unlike previous African-American candidates like Jesse Jackson and Shirley Chisholm). Many African-Americans will go ahead and support Obama once they come to believe that they are not "wasting their vote" if they do so.

Also, while I can see why Bill Clinton was regarded as an "honorary black man," Hillary Clinton looks like a white lady to me. Not quite like Queen Elizabeth, whom Bette Midler described as "the whitest woman I've ever seen," but close.

Of course, I'm just a white boy from New England, so what do I know?