Friday, February 08, 2008


Unfortunately for Democrats who believe the moment is right for a return to the White House after an eight-year absence, the ingredients for a nightmare scenario have emerged. The close fight between Clinton and Obama, coupled with the Democrats' rules that reward second place, prescribe a drawn-out fight for the nomination in a primary season that has exposed significant race, ethnicity and gender divides.

How funny that their "everyone gets a trophy" philosophy is coming back to bite them. It worked the other way on the other side, with McCain's unimpressive pluralities dumping "winner-take-all" delegate counts into his column, because the Republicans' system reflects the Republican worldview that "to the victor go the spoils," and if you wanted the (one) prize, you should have done better. Now McCain can gear up to win the general election while the Democrats are faced with two heavyweight contenders, neither of whom wants to be the other's VP, and a party that needs one of them to exit gracefully, which probably only one of them is constitutionally able to do.

I also read some Romney post-mortems today (see links) and see that he ran a reasonable campaign against Giuliani, but unfortunately his opponents turned out to be the unlikely McCain and the unlikelier spoiler Huckabee when Thompson fizzled and Rudy flopped. The analysis on Romney is pretty straightforward: he failed to play to his strengths (brilliant mind, proven leader, business savvy) and failed to adequately address his perceived weaknesses (Mormon faith, opportunistic flip-flopping on social issues).

What an unpredictably interesting race this has turned out to be on both sides.


Dude said...

If Hillary squeaks out the nomination, I honestly think McCain should ask Obama to be his running mate. He can't piss off conservatives any more than already and they're going to vote for him anyways over Hillary. Putting Obama on the ticket would snag such a huge share of the Democratic vote that there would be no way he could lose.

Tom said...

That is an interesting idea, Dude. If anyone could pull it off, McCain can.

Romeny may have served himself better imagining a generic opponent rather than a specific one. The more I think about it, the more I believe the Mormon thing was his undoing. I didn't find any problem with it. I had a great boss for three years who was a mormon. I wish we more of them.

But I had a few friends and relatives that were bothered by the Mormon thing. They all preferred McCain or Huckabee.

E said...

He had to address the Mormon issue, and could have done so by saying "I am, I don't apologize for it, the Mormon faith is characterized by [many fine, traditional qualities], and those qualities make me more qualified, not less, to be POTUS."

I've known a few Mormons and they were great, upright guys. But when I read their Book of Mormon, I found it to be bunk (unlike the NT, which I read and found to be highly compelling and brilliantly coherent), and notwithstanding Mitt's many accomplishments, I can see how his adherence to what many understand or misunderstand to be a wrong religion is off-putting.

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