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PREMATURE ARTICULATION
PART 1

 


By Geoff Metcalf

February 15, 2007

NewsWithViews.com

Handicapping 2008: The Dems

The 2008 Presidential Campaigns have already started. It will be long, nasty, and big bucks are going to be spent. Handicapping a broad field of wannabes 22-months prior to the election is a fool’s errand. Since this is not an event but a process, let’s begin with some basic observations.

Frankly, the only ones jazzed by the prospect of a looooong campaign are political consultants, and anyone selling advertising or print collaterals. For the rest of us it will be an ordeal that will eventually result in numbing followed by burn out.

An unstated but recognized rule of contemporary political campaigns is 'The Golden Rule'...the guy (or gal) with the Gold Rules....

Already, Democrats offer the prospect of the first woman president, the first black president, the first Hispanic president, and a plagiarist with bad hair plugs president.

Initially, Democrats seem most likely to eat their own early. The Hillary Obama rivalry could prove the most entertaining and divisive…unless or until they cut a deal to run as a team (REAL unlikely). The punditry crowd and the chattering class will have more than ample fodder for some time.

  • The Woman: The Janus-faced junior Senator from New York, and former first lady, will be a formidable force despite a plethora of negatives.
  • She has BIG bank, and a seasoned, positioned army of grass roots operatives already established and chomping at the bit.
  • She has successfully (kinda) reinvented herself from the strident UbaLiberal into a more 'reasonable' centrists...kinda/sorta…at least for now.
  • She is also arguably the most divisive personality in the broad field. Reportedly, she is at varying times (contingent on phases of the moon and the latest opinion pools) mean-spirited, manipulative, mercurial, and hard as a diamond.
  • * When the Internet was awash in a story about Obama's Islamist upbringing, and the suggestion he attended a Wahabbi madrassa school, the conventional wisdom, before being debunked, was (notwithstanding plausible deniability) Gang Hillary planted the story.

  • She has more 'baggage' than any other candidate, but mitigates problems with oceans of money...and (for good or ill) a rainmaker husband who has made revisionist perspective a genuine art form.
  • There has never been a woman president and Hillary intends to be the first.

The Black: Barak Obama is the new kid on the block. He skyrocketed to rock star status even before winning his election to the U.S. Senate with his keynote speech at the DNC convention in Boston.

  • He is good looking, articulate, and brutally honest. In many ways he is the antithesis of Hillary.

    * He has already candidly admitted to having dabbled in drugs and interracial dating before a cleansing epiphany (not unlike the wild college partying past of G.W. before his 'awakening').

  • He doesn't have the financial or grassroots support Hillary has…yet, but he may well be able to correct that deficiency in time.
  • There has never been a black president and Barak intends to be the first.

The Do Over: Former one term U.S. Senator and hugely successful trial lawyer John Edwards is the other Dem 'player'.

  • Despite very little experience for the gig, he HAS been through he campaign process as the #2 guy.
  • He is handsome, articulate, and well heeled.
  • He suffers from both a lack of substance AND a proclivity for changing positions to accommodate public opinion (not unlike Hillary).
  • Until the recent official announcement by Obama, Edwards was viewed in some circles as the ‘spoiler’ for juggernaut Hillary/

All three of the Democrat first tier candidates have the challenge of positioning themselves as viable while at the same time not alienating their party's committed 'core voters'. In the case of the Dems the 'core voters' are the committed activists who are overwhelming, WAY liberal, pro-Gay, pro-abortion, pro-taxes and down right John Kerryish anti-war, anti-Bush, anti-anything 'conservative'.

To win the nomination, candidates have to walk that tightrope of not alienating their base, but also not pandering so much as to alienate prospective general election voters.

Democrats have two core challenges to massage.

1. The misconception that the Democratic windfall in the last election signals a sea change in voter attitudes. It didn’t.
2. The misconception that their liberal core values now resonates with a larger broad electorate. They don’t.

Among the first-tier opposition GOP candidates, there is not a single rock-solid ‘Ronald Reagan’ conservative. Notwithstanding the traditional tendencies of ‘the stupid party’, Republicans appear to be grudgingly accepting that it is more important to nominate a candidate that potentially can win, rather than one that is an ideological purist. Democrats, at least thus far, don’t seem prepared to embrace that more practical political reality.

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Oh, some of the candidates (most prominently, Hillary) understand the need to reach out beyond the core (anti-war/anti-Bush/liberal bed wetting flag burners)…but they are caught in a classic ‘catch-22’ that precipitates serial hypocrisies that sooner or later will need to be confronted…somewhere within the next 22-months.

© 2007 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

Web Site: www.geoffmetcalf.com. While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  

E-mail: geoff@geoffmetcalf.com


 

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Among the first-tier opposition GOP candidates, there is not a single rock-solid ‘Ronald Reagan’ conservative...