Best reality show on TVPosted Wednesday, February 27, 2008, at 9:39 AM
We're in the home stretch now for the two races for the presidential nominations, which, for those of us who are political junkies, has become the best reality show on TV.
Of course, the winner here gets something more than 15 minutes of fame and a movie/record contract. He (or she) gets a chance to change the world, hopefully for the better.
* * *
On the GOP side, John McCain has left all of his opponents in the dust and will clearly be the nominee. Huckabee has no chance and should withdraw, allowing McCain to begin focusing on the campaign for the presidency. As a Republican, running in the shadow of the Bush presidency, he's going to need all the time he can get to push his ideas and agendas and begin the battle against the Democrats.
On the Democratic side it's a horse race with Obama ahead by a nose, but neither candidate is likely to hit the magic finish line of enough outright pledged delegates to win the nomination.
Clinton must win Texas and Ohio next Tuesday if she wants to stop the Obama momentum. That means she'll have won almost all of the "big" states that, if won in November, are enough to win the presidency (it only takes winning the top 7 or 8 states with the most electoral votes to win, turning the rest of the states into mere spectators).
But if she doesn't, like Huckabee, she should step aside and, in the interests of the party, clear the way for Obama. Because, Obama has so far won more delegates by popular vote. If Clinton is hoping that the superdelegates will go against the will of the party members who bothered to vote (and they might), it would be a disaster for the party and would hand McCain the White House.
Next Tuesday becomes do or die day for her. And even then, it may be too late.
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Did anybody see that Ralph Nader has decided to run for president as an independent? Again. One of the leaders of environmental activism, the only thing he can really do is drain just enough "greenie" votes from the Democrats in key states to hand the election to the Republicans. Most young voters don't know who Nader is. Let's just be polite and call him a spoiler (or spoiled, something like that. Don't get me started...).
At the same time, there are whispers that Huckabee is being encouraged to run an independent campaign. Once again, all he would do is draw enough of the right wing of the party away to hand the election to the Democrats. Hopefully, unlike Nader, Huckabee will be smarter than that.
* * *
I'm genuinely looking forward to a potential McCain-Obama race for the presidency. That would be my dream race. I think the voters would get two honest men offering clearly different solutions to major problems in this country.
And I think it could be the cleanest election in U.S. history. I seriously doubt if anybody would get swift-boated, because neither of these guys has that kind of nasty streak in them.
Oh, sure, they'll campaign hard, and they'll hit the other guy hard on policies, but it will stay at that level. Voters won't get distracted by meaningless smear campaigns, they'll be able to stay focused on the policies and programs of each candidate.
So far this year anybody who's gotten nasty in this campaign has had it backfire on them. I'm glad to see the voters rejecting any candidate who endorses that kind of tactic.
An election about issues would be such a refreshing change of pace.
* * *
A couple of weeks ago, just before the Democratic caucuses in Idaho, I got some interesting phone calls. Several people wanted to know if there was an election that Tuesday because they wanted to go vote. Then, they asked me who was running.
Another person asked me if it was true that Hillary Clinton was really running for president. She said she'd heard a rumor about that, but didn't believe it.
Thomas Jefferson once said that the success of a Democracy would depend on a well-educated and informed electorate.
I sure hope these people don't vote.
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