Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Election Dynamics

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

In the February 18, 2008 edition of U.S. News & World Report, Editor-in-Chief Mortimer B. Zuckerman offers a commentary on the leading candidates of the moment. In his essay, written before yesterday's Potomac primaries, Mr. Zuckerman makes the case for the necessity of having a greater number of super delegates because they have more knowledge of two particular issues: the economy, the threat of Islamic terrorism. In Mr. Zuckerman's opinion, superdelegates chosen from the ranks of governors and members of Congress would be better suited to select candidates not as flawed as the ones we have right now (emphases mine):
America faces a leadership crisis. In a poll by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, no fewer than 79 percent of respondents think that this vacuum means that, unless we get better leaders, we are in danger of declining as a nation. Even more—88 percent—think the media are part of the problem, focusing on little gotcha stories and not enough on either character and values or substantive policies. In truth, we require a combination of vision and executive competence of the highest level. We don't want any more Katrinas, falling bridges, airport chaos, and governmental paralysis. We do want an equitable healthcare system, sensible funding of entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) that consume more than 40 percent of the federal budget today and 70 percent by 2030—an intolerable burden to pass on to our children. This is why the country wants change and a clean break with the past.
Also included in Mr. Zuckerman's essay is the following assessment of the leading candidates:
Senator Clinton's slogan is "Ready from Day One." She capitalizes on her deep understanding of how the White House and Congress operate, her mastery of the issues, and her familiarity with the bureaucratic byways that can bog down the best of intentions. She focuses on programs to assist middle- and working-class families but has yet to develop the voice or themes to match the lofty rhetoric of Obama.

Obama, whose slogan is "Change We Can Believe In," downplays concrete programs, thus circumscribing his appeal to middle-class and blue-collar workers. He relies on a generational shift to make his youth and inexperience a plus instead of a minus. The Internet generation has the confidence it can run the world better than my generation. Inspired by Obama's lofty reformist rhetoric, his supporters are comfortable with his assurances he can work in a bipartisan way and restore the effectiveness of and faith in our government. Pressed to be specific, he says he will turn to the American people for answers. Perhaps he thinks that drawing attention to his extremely liberal voting record is not a winning proposition in the general election.
Mr. Zuckerman goes on to defend John McCain as the best Republican candidate and states as follows:

McCain is the front-runner. His resurgence reflects the success of the surge in Iraq. He understood from the beginning that the small-force strategy was wrong. He called for more boots on the ground. His unequivocal—and lonely—support for the surge turned a political negative into a plus. He is entitled to argue that his experience makes him ready to lead as commander in chief from Day 1. He is certainly clear-sighted about the threat from Islamic fundamentalism and how to fight it.

The conservative base may remain wary of McCain, but right now he is the only Republican capable of attracting bipartisan and independent support in the general election. As a champion of immigration reform, he is the only one who can battle for the Hispanic vote, which was the key to Bush's re-election. McCain is the most electable Republican.
Yesterday, Obama swept the Potomac Primaries by a large margin — never mind the disturbing information about the man, including but not limited to information at the web site Muslims for Obama, which states the following:


QUESTION: What are issues and recommendations for solutions that are unique to Muslim Americans?

1. A Law against harrassment of a Muslim women wearing Hijab at the Airport, DMV and other public arenas.

2. Institute a Law to allow Muslim Employees to take a hours off from work for Friday Jummah Prayer.

3. Make the 2 Eid's, recognized National Holidays on Calendars with days off from work.

4. Optional Halal meals in federal buildiings, public schools and colleges.

5. Provide prayer areas suitable for Salah and Jummah, in public and private facilities. (i.e. Malls, Airports, Universities and government buildings.)

6. Organize a Muslim American group to assist in recommendations for US foreign policy affecting majority Muslim countries.
Barack Hussein Obama is the populist candidate of many more than his Muslim supporters, as voters in the various primaries cast their ballots with their hearts and not their heads. Please see this excellent article, "When It's Head versus Heart, the Heart Wins." Also see this posting over at THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS about Obama's fascist appeal.

In sum, Obama is the feel-good candidate. The last such candidate whom I recall was Jimmy Carter, and we all know how that Presidential term turned out.

According to all the news reports I hear this morning and in contraction to the predictions of just a few months ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign is in trouble. One talking head this morning even mentioned that she might not win Texas on March 4. Previous to this morning, that possibility had barely been mentioned because Hillary Clinton typically receives support from the Latino voters aligned the Democratic Party.

The Republican Party, on the other hand, seems more divided than usual, with some supporting McCain out of conviction, others out of expediency and the desperate desire not to see a Democrat in the White House. Apparently, many Republicans cast their votes of protest against McCain yesterday in the Potomac Primary, with Mike Huckabee receiving the lion's share of those we're-not-happy-with-McCain voters.

The American nomination and election process being what it is, anything can happen between now and November. Shocking revelations, such as occurred with the swiftboating of John Kerry, could well affect the final vote of citizens. The final debates between the final nominees are months away. When all is said and done, Super Tuesday, for all its importance, might not have meant as much as many thought it would. For now, however, the tide is with Barack Hussein Obama, especially if American voters want change they may ultimately live to regret.

Disclaimer: This posting is not an endorsement of Obama.

(Excerpt posted at THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS)


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posted by Always On Watch @ 2/13/2008 07:55:00 AM