With little more than two weeks to go before the 2008 presidential primary voting begins, things are finally heating up. Day after day new tales of mud-slinging arise and subterfuges unwind, while out on the hustings kindergarten kapers abound.
The biggest news is Hillary Clinton's plunge in the polls, and the question of whether or not she can rebound is on everyone's lips. Even her husband Bill conceded that she might lose in Iowa. But is she doomed to defeat because she is losing ground in the early primaries?
While the old saying "familiarity breeds contempt" seems written just for her, it's not just the voters who are seemingly turning against the world's smartest woman; many liberal pundits have also grown cold and are singing rival Barack Obama's praises.
One Obama backer is New York Times columnist Frank Rich, who laid out a rather odd but predictable reason that his man will win; hypocritical, hyper-religious, racist Republicans. In decrying the "collective nastiness of the Republican field," he wrote:
This country has had its fill of often hypocritical family-values politicians dictating what is and is not acceptable religious and moral practice...the Oprah [Winfrey]-Obama movement practices an American form of ecumenicalism. It preaches a bit of heaven on earth in the form of a unified, live-and-let-live democracy that is greater than the sum of its countless disparate denominations.
This "unified, live-and-let-live" attitude must not include Republicans because Rich continues, "I'd argue instead that any sizable racist anti-Obama vote will be concentrated in states that no Democrat would carry in the general election."
After calling GOPers religious tyrants and racists, he concludes: "For those Americans looking for the most unambiguous way to repudiate politicians who are trying to divide the country by faith, ethnicity, sexuality and race, Mr. Obama is nothing if not the most direct shot."
BUT IF MRS. CLINTON continues her downward spiral and is abandoned by those who are always first to desert a sinking ship, will Obama get the nod?
I don't believe so, and the reason has nothing to do with race or religion. Even his supporters acknowledge that he hasn't much experience, though that hardly matters to the infatuated. Try this rhapsodic gushing from the Boston Globe's endorsement of him whose "exposure to foreign lands as a child and his own complex racial identity" are actually considered presidential assets:
Obama's memoir, Dreams from My Father, is divided into three main sections. The first is a reflection on his youthful search for identity. The second recounts his days in Chicago, which include the first stirrings of a religious life. The third is a roots pilgrimage to Kenya, to better understand his often absent father. It is hard to read this book without longing for a president with this level of introspection, honesty, and maturity -- and Obama published it when he was only 33.
But at some point, the liberal love affair with the dashing author -- who according to Oprah has "an ear for eloquence and a tongue dipped in the unvarnished truth" -- will fade when they realize that it takes more than touchy-feely mush to win the presidency in time of war.
Once Mike Huckabee's 15 minutes of favor with the media fade and the campaigns move into the heartland of America, the true conservative candidate -- Fred Thompson, as predicted by yours truly way back when -- will emerge and the Democrats will realize that, despite his doe-eyed, ethereal appeal, Obama is over-matched.
And oozing his way into the chasm that will inevitably develop when the media get the message that Obama can't win, will be John Edwards. He will get the nomination because when it comes down to cases, deep in their hearts Democrats know that Obama is too inexperienced and that Hillary will most certainly bring out the "broken glass" Republican vote. Where else have they to go?
Besides, Edwards is everything that liberals love to fall back on; a flip-flopping, filthy rich trial-lawyer whose folksy, Carolinian drawl inspires hope that he might carry that elusive southern state so vital to a winning strategy for his party. He is the undisputed king of populist pandering and his unctuous campaign slogan, "Tomorrow Begins Today," just might be platitudinous enough to soothe those pining for the gentle soul of Barack Obama.
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