Had you asked six months ago (and some of you did), I would have said that the Republican party didn’t have a prayer of winning the 2008 Presidential election. That was six months ago.
Three months ago, I would have told you that their only prayer was Hilary Clinton winning the Democratic nomination. That was three months ago.
That was then; this is now, and as the title says, Things Just Got Interesting. Somewhere in the last 3 months both Clinton and Obama seem to have forgotten they still have to run in the general election. They’re not just not pulling punches, they’re all but sabotaging one another and making themselves look like…er…politicians in the process.
Let’s face it, when this whole thing began everyone knew the Democrats had a clear path to the White House. Bush’s approval rating is the lowest in the history of Gallop, and for some totally unknown reason the RNC still has him campaigning for their candidates. There’s a war with no end in site and an economy that the Chicken Little media says is collapsing around our ears. Realistically, the Dems could have run Daffy Duck and beat whomever the Republicans nominated.
But they didn’t run Daffy Duck…they stepped it up with a jab to Republican kidneys by offering a female and a black candidate. With the independent/undecided voters locked into the novelty of voting for the “First Woman/African American President,” Democrats should have been able to coast onto Pennsylvania Avenue.
So what happened? Well, evidently, John Edwards was the playground monitor that kept the two popular kids from pulling each other’s hair and calling each other names. Without him to temper things, they’ve chosen to battle each other rather than fight over issues. Until lately, neither of them could argue that the other couldn’t win the general election – the little (D) next to the candidate’s name would assure victory. Instead, they’ve battled that the other “shouldn’t” be president, and that has resulted in calling experience, character, and credibility into question. Universal health care has deteriorated into drivel over flag pins. Long gone are the optimistic “Yes, We Can” speeches and commercials orchestrated by Will.i.am; welcome to attack adds and campaigning using the face of Osama Bin Laden.
They’ve shot so many holes in one another that John McCain doesn’t really have to fire a shot when it comes time to run in the general election. He’ll get to stand on the side and say “look, a hole” as the Democratic nominee sinks into the pit he/she has dug for him/herself.
The longer primary season continues, the more independents and undecideds move back to the middle or the right. TIME polled Clinton voters after the Pennsylvania primary and 43% said they’d vote for McCain if Clinton didn’t get their party’s nomination. The percentage of Obama voters that said the equivalent was only marginally less.
At this point, the best thing that could happen for the Democratic party would be for the nominating process to go to a second vote in Denver. At a second vote, delegates are released from their original loyalties and can vote for whomever their whims decide…even an additional candidate. Is Al Gore planning to be in Denver? Things just got interesting…