Barack Obama It has become obvious during the presidential primary season that has galloped by us that this country’s nominating system leaves much to be desired. In too many ways it is a mess. The Democrats, in particular, have the potential of a boondoggle waiting for them over the role the Florida and Michigan delegations will […]
It has become obvious during the presidential primary season that has galloped by us that this country’s nominating system leaves much to be desired. In too many ways it is a mess.
The Democrats, in particular, have the potential of a boondoggle waiting for them over the role the Florida and Michigan delegations will play in determining the party’s nominee. Nonetheless, whatever else it is, this battle-of-the-week process that has come to resemble professional sports too much is an ordeal that will eliminate all but the strongest.
Meanwhile minor meanderings along the long road to the White House have been reported breathlessly by the press as if they were hairpin curves executed at high speed. It seems every imagined faux pas by a candidate or their spouse is routinely auditioned as if it has the potential to be this year’s macaca-sized mistake. Then it is replaced by the next.
Eventually, breathless macaca aside, only one candidate in each political party will be left standing, not counting Ralph Nader, who is not exactly a party animal. Barring monumental stumbles by Barack Obama and John McCain, it appears they will be at the top of the Democratic and Republican tickets, respectively.
This year, with no incumbent president or vice president in the race for the first time since 1952, there is a buzz in the air. Sure, Obama-mania is a big part of it. But he didn’t create this wave, he is simply the most skillful at surfing it we’ve seen, so far.
This wave is coming off of the failures of the Bush administration and the fatigue the American people — especially the young and impatient — are feeling toward the way partisan politics, in general, has been conducted in recent years. This wave is also coming from a lot of other new voters rushing into the fray, for a change, and they want change.
The momentum behind the wave is coming from the bottom up, not from the top down. Whether McCain can adapt to this facet of the battle for Independent votes remains to be seen. At this point, only Obama seems to have an intuitive understanding of the moment.
Still, a crisis on the terrorism front could have a dramatic impact on the campaign, at any time, if people get scared and suddenly want a military figure to be their president. That isn’t to say an act of terror against America’s interests would have to help McCain, but it’s easy to see how it could.
However, if we do get a McCain vs. Obama race for the White House, it says here that would be a tonic for what has been ailing politics for way too long. Both men are quite confident being on their feet representing their views and their vision for the country. They don’t need handlers to help them explain why they believe what they do.
Neither does Nader, but explaining one’s views and finding people to listen to those views is two different things. As this year’s campaign moves into the next phase, after next Tuesday’s four primaries, if Ralph makes a macaca-esque mistake, would anybody even notice?
– Words and art by F.T. Rea