February 15, 2007
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 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.
The Do Over: Former one term U.S. Senator and hugely successful trial lawyer John Edwards is the other Dem 'player'.
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.
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.
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.
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Among the first-tier opposition GOP candidates, there is not a single rock-solid �Ronald Reagan� conservative...