Well, I've put this off long enough, but the primaries begin next month (!), and the field will soon be winnowed. And candidates on both sides have seen enough slipping and sliding in polls and counterpolls, so right now I will make this brave prediction:
I's Got No Idea.
But I look at the GOP frontrunners and I do shake my head. The conventional wisdom is that the Republicans are looking forward to tough sledding because of the massive unpopularity of the present administration in regards to practically everything, coupled with a scandal du jour sleezefest that ranges from the merely perverse to the constitutionally illegal. But I don't think this is really the cause for the lack of traction the current field exhibits.
Rather, here's the prob: The GOP field consists of Democrats. Not only that, they are Democrats that we have seen before.
Don't believe me? Here are some brief descriptions of the front runners.
- Tough-talking, scandal-prone, relationship-challenged New Yorker who is unapologetic on support for the war.
- Flip-flopping politician from liberal Massachusetts with questions of religious loyalty and nuanced views of earlier statements.
- Just-folks, weight-challenged, former Governor of Arkansas who radiates common sense but may have errors of judgment from his term in office.
What party am I talking about, here? No wonder most of the rank-and-file is having problems. These are the guys they have been programmed to hate for the past eight years. All they need is a details-oriented, wonky intellectual with a Nobel Prize for saying things they don't want to hear, and they'll have the full set of Democratic bogey-men.
Looking at that, you can see the appeal of gimmicky candidates like Thompson (TV lawyer) or Ron Paul (blimp and a lot of signage). I miss the fact that the media has pretty much written off McCain, who always reminded me of John Glenn in that "real American hero" vibe. Can we run a 1990s version of him?
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