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Can we name that tune with one note?

In 2004, it took two notes for me to call the general election.  Of course that one might have appeared to be a bit easier because the Republican opponent was predefined.  I mourned after the New Hampshire primary because it meant that the race was over.  GWB would be around for another four years.  

The ‘08 election has always been the Democrats to lose.  The GOP has done little more than look for this year’s Dole.  A candidate that won’t embarrass the Party too much.  Won’t turn off the GOP base too much that they’ll disappear for a few election cycles.  It’s not clear that the GOP can accomplish even that little this time around.  Romney, Guiliani and McCain are unacceptable to the evangelical base.  Huckabee may appall the others in that big red tent.  My guess is that they’ll take their time in settling on the nominee because that is the only way that the Party can continue to command attention in the news for something other than more GOP/GWB stench wafting out of the White House.  

If, or as soon as, the MSM stops giving Huckabee the gee whiz, "he’s such a nice guy," GWB style treatment , he’ll be gone.  The only thing Romney has going for him is that his campaign wouldn’t have to go dark after securing the nomination.  On the other hand, McCain may be less objectionable and damaging for the long term prospects of the Party.  It might be mildly entertaining to watch the machinations of the GOP in the selection of their sacrificial lamb.  

We could get all systematic and handicap the next few primaries to project the next President.  Consider all the possible permutations and combinations.  Engage in more money chase exercises.  Easier would be simply to listen to the post Iowa caucus speeches by the front running candidates.  Each of them accented a single word that characterizes his/her campaign.  Forget "change." That’s like so yesterday now that it spews out of the mouths of all the candidates.  (Not to mention the objective fact that change is inherent in the election of a new President.)

A glance at the loser side of the aisle is worth a moment for comparison and amusement.

Rudy’s word, no surprise, is 9/11.  His noun and verb were extraneous.      

Romney’s is "them."  He did better in Iowa than "them."  The "them" that didn’t appear in Iowa like McCain and Rudy.  The Thompson that may or may not have been seen.  The Paul that excited internet nerds.  ("Them is a dual function word for Romney's campaign because it's also code for "them" those illegal immigrants.)

Huckabee’s is "we."  "We" the Huckabee family.  "We" the evangelicals in Iowa that supported him.  His "we" is like the synthesis of  the worst of Bill Clinton and GWB.

It’s as if GWB has split and divided into three separate parts and McCain has scooped up the waste products in the process.  The businessman, the preacher and the 9/11 war hawk.  Good gracious, compared to these three, GWB is positively complex and multidimensional.

So which Democrat will be the next President?      

Edwards’ word is "me/us."  "Me/us" the Edwards: the beloved dead grandparents, the parents, the sick and injured that don’t have health insurance as Elizabeth Edwards does.  (Is it appropriate is it to give a standard stump speech after a primary contest, thrilling though it may be to ones’ supporters?  Does this man ever give a speech or make an appearance without using "son of a mill worker" any more than Rudy cannot mention 9/11?)  

Hillary’s is "I."  I am so ready, willing, able; I, I, I.  ("I" for institutional.  "I" for Iowa.  Enough for a win in ‘04 but only third place in ‘08.  Can we now put to rest the notion that Bill Clinton on the stump would have helped Gore in 2000?)  Her word has been reinforced in New Hampshire.  The campaign is "personal" for her.  Her team is letting it be known that if the voters don’t nominate her that will not stop her.  And they can’t understand why a large chunk of her assumed natural constituency, women, have been balking at her candidacy.  Hint: a lot of women don’t like to have anything or anyone shoved down their throats    

Obama’s is "you."  (Two observations.   First, he doesn’t focus on  his personal story, and yet is completely open about it.  Were it not so unique (more challenging/difficult/compelling than Edwards’ story and Obama passed on quickly turning his Harvard law degree into big bucks), his self-presentation style would mean nothing.  As it is, it wordlessly communicates that he’s forward looking/thinking and perhaps optimistic.  Second, his performance in Iowa says something important about his managerial skills.  No name, no money and no organization in Iowa a year ago and he went up against a man that has been camped out in Iowa for five years and a woman with 100% name recognition, a big pot of seed money and the backing of the institutional Democratic Party and he beat both of them.)

For 2008, Obama has the hottest word.  And he uses it effectively.  Plus, he has the coolest logo.

The saddest and ugliest element to emerge in the past few days is people to the left side of the aisle playing the race card.  Those doing this are demonstrating that they are just as vile and sleazy as every Republican that has engaged in election race baiting for the past fifty years.   And I don’t think this is spontaneous.  It’s being organized and pushed within certain Democratic camps.

Can we now move on to VP speculations?  Plenty of good candidates for it.  One at the top of my list is Bill Bradley.

Originally posted to Marie on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:33 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I like Mark Warner for Veep (0+ / 0-)


    I got tased in The Great Markos Candidate Meltdown Cranky Pants Sting of Ought 7

    by Walt starr on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:36:04 PM PST

  •  Hillary will win the nomination (0+ / 0-)

    But it sure SEEMS like it's over, doesn't it?

    It's largely the media hype that's creating the impression.

    But I remember Gary Hart winning in NH, and he looked unstoppable at the time.

    •  Obama doesn't have a "Monkey Business" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      escapade in his past. Also, one new poll shows Obama at 50% in SC.

      We got 212,000 voters, they got 115,000. HUGE HUGE WIN for all of us.

      by Bill White on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:38:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Monkey Business was '07 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bill White

        Hart won NH in '04. He actually lost with Mondale's ubiquitous "Where's the Beef?" debate quip. But the larger point is correct, Fritz had all the organization and money, and maintained a nationwide lead.

        Without subtlety of perception, life is nothing more than an 80-year long slow-motion beheading.

        by PBJ Diddy on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:52:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Er.... (0+ / 0-)

          '84 and '87 respectively...D'oh!

          Without subtlety of perception, life is nothing more than an 80-year long slow-motion beheading.

          by PBJ Diddy on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:52:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama has money and a newly built (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          national organization.

          One might actually think he did some homework and research before jumping into this thing.

          We got 212,000 voters, they got 115,000. HUGE HUGE WIN for all of us.

          by Bill White on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:55:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The point is that the two campaigns (0+ / 0-)

            are so different in their individual contexts that comparisons don't apply: Both were upstarts, both won upsets, but Mondale MAINTAINED his lead while Hillary is losing hers; Mondale HAD money Hart did not while both have money now; Mondale had WON Iowa, Clinton has yet to win anything; the calendar was drawn out (nomination wasn't decided until May, I think?) vs. a compressed one now.

            The previous comment tried to say, "I remember Hart having momentum...." as though Obama's fate would resemble Hart's that year (also-ran) an incorrect premise, and you countered that unlike Hart, Obama had no "Monkey Business" to drag him down, although that was the following election cycle, so also not relevant.

            Without subtlety of perception, life is nothing more than an 80-year long slow-motion beheading.

            by PBJ Diddy on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 03:58:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Jim Webb . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IhateBush, grapes, marykk

    We got 212,000 voters, they got 115,000. HUGE HUGE WIN for all of us.

    by Bill White on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:37:50 PM PST

    •  He was in republican cabinet (0+ / 0-)

      but he would be a good pick. The only hesitation I have with Webb is that he would then be the incumbet VP and possibly a presidentail hopeful.

      I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

      by Salo on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 03:36:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marie! (0+ / 0-)

    Do I detect a hind of optimism?  :)

    •  No more optimistic than anyone relishing the end (0+ / 0-)

      of the Bush regime.  I've been observer and not a biased supporter this time around.  CA residents haven't been a factor in the nomination since 1972; so, except for the 2004 race, it has been easier not to pick a pony in the race.

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

      by Marie on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:55:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Were you a preemie? (0+ / 0-)

    There is a year of trash to be slung before we can (maybe?) release the roses to cover the smell.

    There is such a thing as good grief. Just ask Charlie Brown.

    by averageyoungman on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:38:43 PM PST

  •  No. It's not over. (4+ / 0-)

    That's apparantly clear when you're on the ground working in some of these campaigns. Everyone's in it for the long haul.

    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

    by grannyhelen on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:41:20 PM PST

  •  Bradley ...? (0+ / 0-)

    Because we need a VP who's good at hoops? All he does is go around saying stuff the MSM loves to quote.

    The best fortress is to be found in the love of the people - Niccolo Machiavelli

    by al Fubar on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:45:12 PM PST

  •  I'm hoping... (0+ / 0-)

    that however this all plays out that the final ticket is Edwards/Obama or Obama/Edwards. I think the 2 compliment each other and hope that both of them are able to accept being veep for the other. Either way, it's a winning ticket!!!

    Attention Waxman Staffers! Clean up on aisle 1600! huttotex 3/27/07

    by reflectionsv37 on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 02:47:15 PM PST

    •  Disagree - they really aren't complementary (0+ / 0-)

      By that I mean the way Clinton/Gore and GWB/Cheney complemented each other.  If you think outside the silly south of the Mason Dixon line box, you can see many very good VP choices.

      What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

      by Marie on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 03:03:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why All The --- (0+ / 0-)

    Why all the pickin' and pokin' and disecting the worm . If Obama wins New Hampshire he will go on , and on , and on to win the nomination . If he wins the nomination he will go on to win the White House .
    my prediction after tomorrow .

  •  It's Over: For VP Janet Napolitano (0+ / 0-)

    If you really want change, then elect a ticket with no white males. I went to a Hillary campaign, and the women were so excited about the prospect of having a female president. With the collapse of the Clinton campaign, that energy could be lost. I think having an experienced, yet relatively young female governor would reignite that energy and really make Obama's campaign about change.

  •  I did TOO! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The morning after the New Hampshire primary, I said with resignation "well, I guess we have Bush for four more years."

    I just knew Kerry didn't have what it'd take to unseat an incumbent and go the distance.

    But back in December 2006 when Obama first showed interest in making the race on Meet The Press (i think that was the show), I was so excited.

    Because he has "it."

    What is "it"??

    I'm not sure, but I know when I see it. He's the one.

    •  Its about values not issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's why Obama is inspiring. Ever since the political parties made primaries and caucuses the main method of selecting nominees for president since 1972, Democratic candidates have tended to run on a laundry list of issues. Obama intuitively knows that people are inspired when there is a higher calling. Campaigns are not just about a laundry list of issues, but about vision and values. Because Democrats have nominated a series of technocrats for president, they are hungry for inspiration, which Obama provides for the first time since RFK in 1968.

      •  It's both -- but I think you're (0+ / 0-)

        giving Obama a bit too much credit.  No such thing as a one man/woman band when it come to running for the WH unless one's name is Gravel.  I'm not actually convinced that Obama himself is inspiring.  The idea of Obama is more interesting and he's making the sale because he's articulate, smart and doesn't say anything much.  Perhaps the country and Obama can become politically mature together.

        What FDR giveth; GWB taketh away.

        by Marie on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 04:04:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Empty or canny? (0+ / 0-)

          The tough thing about Obama is knowing whether his speeches are long on flowers and short on meat because  -- even if he's a fine literary writer -- there's not really that much deep dark political meat there, or if just because he's a clever guy who understands that voters want flowers, and he either hasn't come up with "City on the Hill" type slogan or has sensible strategic reasons for thinking this is the wrong time to introduce the slogan.

          But Edwards and HRC really have their own battles to fight with the Vision Monster, and it doesn't seem to me that any of the Republicans have a crystal clear vision for our country, either.

          And I think that what any Democrats have going for them is that their sane. They might not have spectacular visions of glory, but they have similar, sensible policy proposals -- and, with a few major exceptions -- proposals that are comparable to the big Republican candidates' proposals. With a Democratic Congress, any one of them can probably pass a bunch of bills THAT MODERATE REPUBLICANS THEMSELVES -- and even fairly conservative Republicans, have wanted for years.

          Such as an expanded children's health insurance program and campaign finance reform.

          Those aren't really issues on which a majority of Republicans even disagree with us. We've had a paralysis because of a combination of insane evil wingnut string pullers and a Republican allergy to letting the Democrats achieve any legislative victories.

  •  He's Clean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Remember Joe Biden's early on comment about Barack . He said , "He's clean and ----- " unquote . Joe took quite a bit of flack for that . I think what Joe meant to articulate is that he is clean as far as having no issues that have tainted his career .
    That is one thing that I think is appealing to many older voters . He is not an entrenched career politician . In Short - He's Clean .

  •  araer (0+ / 0-)


    "Fired Up!" "Ready To Go!" Obama '08

    by Bodean on Mon Jan 07, 2008 at 05:22:06 PM PST

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