And Now There Are Two...
Last night in the Florida Primary, we apparently saw a couple of knockouts. On the Democratic side, after a string of poor showings, John Edwards has decided to call it quits. While seeming like a nice enough guy, Edwards was never able to catch fire, and even lost his home state of South Carolina. I have always believed if the people who know you best will not support you, that says something. It is one of the reasons I never got all that upset over the Al Gore debacle in Florida in 2000. If he had just won his home state of Tennessee, Florida would not have been an issue.
On the GOP side, "His Honour" the self styled America's mayor will drop out of the race today. I think this sends a message to all future candidates, Iowa and New Hampshire do matter. Rudy, made a huge mistake, although I am not sure there was any way for him to overcome his leftward slant on some of the social issues important to the GOP, mainly his pro-choice and pro-gay marriage stances.
This is historic stuff. Two parties, two candidates each, two debates this week, heading into what is in reality a national primary, Tuesday, February 5th. That day will also mark the anniversary of our Constitution. What better way to celebrate.
On the GOP side, no one thought McCain would still be in the race at this point, let alone the front runner. He was pretty much left for dead after his campaign imploded last summer but has somehow managed to survive, apparently a McCain trait. What is interesting is the number of GOP supporters who hate this guy. There are web sites dedicated to stopping him because he is not conservative enough for them. Most of those people have bought into a philosophy that says the reason Americans are now turning away from the GOP is because they have left their conservative principles and are not conservative enough.
The angst for McCain is so deep that people are willing to support a man, Romney, who was so liberal as a Republican he was actually able to become Governor in Ted Kennedy's home state of Massachusetts. Most of their anger stems from the following issues: McCain did not support the Bush tax cuts because he believed they would add to the deficit [they did], did not support the original Bush/Rumsfeld battle plan for Iraq [it was a disaster], was part of bi partisan group that brokered a deal to get Bush's judges seated [it worked well giving the GOP faithful Roberts and Alito], and opposed torture and waterboarding [maybe he knows something].
On the Democratic side, Obama has an uphill battle. He is literally behind in every state voting on Super Tuesday. Unless he is able to break through over the next few days, Hillary Clinton will be the nominee of the Democratic party. I believe this is a seminal moment for the Democrats. Are they ready to move on, or will they be content to go back to the future. The Florida Primary, which Clinton won, meant nothing. Every candidate agreed to and signed a pledge not to compete in that state and that their delegates would not be seated at their convention. That agreement was signed months ago when it appeared that Hillary would be the nominee and was in the middle of her "inevitable" march to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Now that she finds herself in a real battle, she says it is unfair to those delegates. Well Hillary, perhaps you should have said that three months ago, instead of waiting until primary night, after you won, to make your stink. It is the same thing the Clinton campaign did in Nevada where they waited until four days before the caucuses to challenged a procedure they had agreed on months earlier.
Allow me to say this. The Clintons have run a despicable campaign. They have distorted Obama's record and positions, injected race into the campaign, and done everything possible to muddy his reputation and name. And now there are people in the Democratic party who are upset. Well get over it. I do not recall hearing any dissent when this type of stuff was visited on the GOP when Bill was running for office and was President. It is disingenuous to now complain about the very practices you supported when it was to your advantage.
In short, I can't wait. I'll be serving steaks to a few close friends as we settle in to watch the returns come in. I am not sure that night will settle everything, but I have a hunch John McCain is going to have a pretty good night. And hopefully Obama too.
[the views here are mine and mine alone and are not to be seen in any way as representing the views of my current employer]