Wednesday, January 9, 2008

30 Days of Bloggery: Now we have a race

Whoo, this blogging every day thing is a bit tricky! I don't know how folks like Roger and Mike do it.

PhotobucketAnyway, looks like we have a fight going on now in the U.S. election. Anyone who thinks Clinton winning New Hampshire means she's out of the woods has another think coming. I still think Barack Obama has a pretty good chance to take the nomination, but it's going to be a brawl over the next month or so.

The downfall of Hillary Clinton and rise of Obamamania in just a handful of days has happened with whiplash speed, but it's all been brewing a while, I think. The thing about electing a president, in the age of television, it means you're electing the person you're going to see constantly for the next four to eight years -- someone you're going to want to hang out with, in other words. That indefinable factor is what got people like Bush elected over Gore and Reagan over Carter, and I think it's what's going to be the nail in the coffin for Hillary. It ain't smart, but it's human nature.

I'm quite sorry for Hillary, actually, as she's been pretty consistently raked over the coals by a very vocal minority for nearly 20 years now -- and she doesn't deserve all of it. But the fact is a lot of people just plain don't like her, and that simmering dislike is always about ten seconds from boiling over. (The media talking heads really don't like her, as you saw post-Iowa.) When you get down to it, a lot of folks are probably thinking, do I really want to see Hillary running the country? A shame because she is eminently qualified, but the baggage she carries is far too heavy to overcome I suspect. Even if she gets the nomination, if she's facing McCain, she's toast.

I really get the sense a kind of movement has formed behind Obama, one with more push than Dean-mania or Perot-lunacy. If only he can get those damned youth voters out (Clinton handily won the over 50 vote in N.H.), he might well win it. Obama will get plenty of dirt thrown against him -- I actually got the "Obama is a secret Muslim overlord" email forwarded to me today -- but I think and hope in the end he might win a victory of hope over more of the same old business. We'll see. Mailing my own ballot off to the California primaries tomorrow!

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