Thursday, January 24, 2008

Updated Political Predictions

I really haven't weighed in on the '08 race since my guy (Fred) dropped out. Here's where I stand on the GOP side at this point: I see a race between McCain and Romney. Everybody says McCain is the front-runner, but he has yet to win more than a third of primary voters, or successfully demonstrate that he can get most of the actual Republicans out there to vote for him. And that's a big"if." This guy has spent most of the past 7 years sticking a finger into the eye of the GOP base--on immigration, campaign finance "reform," judicial filibusters, embryonic stem-cell research, and the federal marriage amendment, just to name a few issues. He definitely is good (as I define "good") on the war and abortion, which are major issues for me. But I have to admit, my tentative support for McCain is based far more on his personal courage in Vietnam and grudging respect for the "straight talk" that shows the courage of his convictions than on any real agreement on the issues. I fear that folks like me would be on the receiving end of lots of unwelcome "straight talk" from McCain were he to become president.

The other option is Romney. I agree with his (current) position on almost all the issues, and of all the candidates out there, he is the one that I most see as having the potential to be a great chief executive. I like his intelligence (valedictorian at BYU, combined JD/MBA from Harvard), his business sense. I like his family values (I even kinda view the Mormon thing as a plus--somehow a devout Mormon feels more squeaky-clean than a lukewarm Methodist). But there is something about him that worries me. Maybe it's his hair (admit it, he's a Ken doll). Maybe it's his millions of dollars (even though I believe he earned every dime) Maybe it's that he's TOO perfect. And part of it is the fact that he doesn't seem to have the same straight-talk attitude as McCain. I haven't yet seen him take any unpopular stand and stick with it on principle. If enough people have a similar uneasy feeling about him, at the end of the day I'll wind up nodding in agreement at every line of his concession speech in November.

Supposedly McCain does better in the general election polls. He does have the advantage of having not ticked off the Huckabee voters nearly as badly as Romney has. He also occupies the same "space" in the electorate as Giuliani (tough on terror, not truly orthodox conservative). So he could be the nominee. I wonder if when push comes to shove, the country will really vote for a 72-year-old man. I also worry that he would under-perform in debates. I still think there is a better chance for Romney to emerge as the nominee. But either way, there are two things I can be thankful for: (1) My state's primary is over, so it's out of my hands now; amd (2) I believe now that the Democrat nominee will be Hillary Clinton, who I think is a far weaker general election opponent than Obama.

That brings me to my Democratic prediction. I still wish Obama would beat Hillary. But she's a savvy politician, and she (and her hubby) know all about fighting dirty. She has mostly pulled out of SC, conceding the state to Obama. That should be good for him, right? Wrong. She's done a great job in the past couple of both keeping him on defense against the vaunted Clinton attack machine, and also of taking him out of his "race-transcendent" role of earlier this year. He'll win SC with her gone, and it will be credited to a monolithic African-American "bloc" vote. This will serve to drive even more white Democrat voters to Hillary (a category she already leads in by a huge margin). In the end, Clinton will use race to beat Obama. Then, she'll turn around and still win 85-90% of the African-American vote in the general election anyway. I hate it for poor Obama. But watching him complain (with little effect) about how Bill Clinton is being dishonest about him brings back memories of Newt Gingrich. Welcome to the big leagues, Barack. I should be happy, as she is probably the single greatest chance of uniting the GOP base this November. I don't think either of the leading Republicans could beat Obama, but if the other choice is sending Hillary (and don't forget Bill) back to the White House, I think things could get interesting.

As always, I reserve the right to change my mind as the whole thing evolves.


Tommy said...

I think Billary would do anything to win; that's what makes me ill about her. She just seems so coniving and yucky. She's afraid she can't stand up to Obama on real issues so she takes the low, cheap road to victory. The only reason she didn't divorce Bill when he left the White House was to use him for this campaign. She also knew it would lool bad to be a divorced woman trying to run for President. I hate to see Obama loose; but who knows, maybe he won't. But then I have to wake up from the feel good Obama dream and realize that I don't want him to be President and that he will be harder to deafeat than Billary in the general. More fun to come as the contest drags on!

bekster said...

If Romney vs. Obama: Obama wins by a lot.

If McCain vs. Obama: Obama wins just barely.

If Romney vs. Clinton: Clinton wins just barely.

If McCain vs. Clinton: McCain wins just barely.

The Moral: For Republicans who have not yet voted in a primary, vote McCain! For Democrats, as long as it looks like McCain is winning the Republican side, vote Clinton. If it looks like Romney, vote Obama.

Tommy said...

I meant to write...

"She also knew that it would LOOK bad to be a divorced woman trying to run for President."

I also meant to write...

"I would hate to see Obama LOSE; but who knows, maybe he won't"

I don't know what Barak Obama would look like "loose" maybe I would hate to see that too...

Paul Murphy said...

Listen to you. You are GOP Sal

Goode Design said...

Ann Coulter = Anti-Hillary... they're both a little wacked. I cannot express how much I am unimpressed with this election line up. McCain is now my fave as well. I can't say that I have real hard leanings toward any of the GOP. (which tends to be where I align most days) but there hasn't been one dem in the last 25 years that I could imagine myself voting for.

That said, I don't care what the label is on their butt... I really want to see a person of great character in office. I think Character is the governing attribute for that decision.

The problem here is: both clinton & obama are (seemingly) impressive people. Very charismatic, very full of buzz. McCain will have to work on his stage presence to compete in a media driven election.

I really couldn't vote for any of the socialist party... oops, did I type that? I meant democrat party. Getting stuff provided by the US government is a hoax. I cannot deal with being forcibly taxed to have my responsibility sapped in order to pay for someone elses bad choices.

The point is, many of us are already giving type people... but givers tend to give less when they realize they will have part of that forcibly removed from their hands.

We will never end poverty. It is impossible... It's against the word of the Father ("... the poor will always be with you... ") It will actually get worsened by another entitlement program.

I'd actually like to see social security abolished and people's retirement planning be put into THEIR laps. It would really show who was WISE and who was NOT... ("In the house of the wise are STORES of choice foods and oils.") well, here i go ranting Dave Ramsey stuff again.

Lauren-Michaele said...

COMPLETELY UNRELATED! Larry, I have a confession to make. I think that I developed a new addiction. I'm not really sure how to handle it. It causes so much pain but I love every minute of it. It's marathons....HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU LIVE WITHOUT THEM?!!!