I wanted to write a bit about my take on the Democratic presidential field. I started writing and realized that I was taking up way too much space. I was trying to avoid missing out on someone and having one of you post angrilly about my missing, I dunno, Dennis Kucinich or Christopher Dodd.
So, I will say that this is the first in a series. If I miss your fave, then either I will write about him or her later, or they will just drop out after realizing that no one has heard of them.
The punditocracy has already declared this a two person race: Barack Obama v Hillary Clinton. Nice of them to whittle down the field before most of the primary schedule has even been set.
Someone yesterday accused me of indulging in “Obamamania.” Well, the guy has been in the news just a wee bit lately, maybe y’all have noticed? I like the idea of his running, but I am not totally down with his candidacy yet. The only danger I see is that the media infatuation will stop. I can see already see the stories round about March or April of next year talking about “Obama Fatigue.” Whether or not most people have even heard of him yet, the media will decide that they are tired of him and thus, the country must be too. Obama’s first test is whether or not he can keep the hype going, or make sure it is revived in time for the opening of the primaries in 2008.
Also, just as I am not totally down with Obama, I’m not totally down on Clinton. The new spin from some of her boosters is that Republicans have been throwing all the’ve got at the woman for nearly a decade and a half, but she still manages to get elected (even in Republican areas of New York) and her national poll numbers are strong. I see their point. The number that is always pointed to by detractors is that one poll or another shows that forty percent or so of voters would never vote for her. Yeah, doesn’t sound great, but I’d like to see how many of them would be willing to vote for any Democrat.
Gleeful Republicans have been declaring her general election candidacy dead on arrival, and many of the folks that Calvin Trillin so eloquently calls “Sabbath Gasbags” seem to agree with this. The knock is that she may excite a large part of the Democratic primary electorate, but that she turns off most voters. Most polling shows that she actually could go toe to toe with most Republican candidates (except for media darling John McCain), so this isn’t borne out by real data, mostly just the establishment media’s dislike of the woman. I was a wee lad at the time, but weren’t Democrats and Washington media types similarly dismissive of a certain Governor of California in the run up to 1980?
I’ll get to the other candidates later.
UPDATE: I may have spoken too soon, there apparently are polls showing Clinton beating McCain.