No Such Nonsense

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Election Update

Turns out these is an election of some kind in the country to our south. Gee, there's so little coverage of it, I wouldn't have noticed.

For those who have kept their distance from the longest election in the world thus far, let me update you now, as we're about a week away from actually finding out who will be the nominees. After Super Tuesday, February 5, we should have a pretty good idea of the slate on both sides.

On the Democratic side, it is a two-horse race. This situation comes well after the media told us first that it was certainly Hilary's race and then that it was Obama's to win and now, well, that they have no clue. One thing is for sure - the outcome of this race will be historic. Either a woman or a black man will be the nominee. It isn't inconceivable that both could end up on the ticket (though Clinton-Edwards and Obama-Edwards seem more likely, given the closeness of the race and the likelihood of some serious mud to be flung in the coming weeks, than either Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton - especially since it looks like Edwards will drop out of the race today).

The most interesting aspect of this race, of course, is the Bill factor. As in ex-President, I-did-not-have-sex-with-that-woman Bill Clinton. He's been Hilary's biggest booster, her advisor, her campaigner, her attack dog. And while he can not officially take on a role in her cabinet, it's clear that the Clinton value proposition is a two-for-one deal. Just like before, only this time it'll be her name on the door and, presumably, no interns crouched under the desk.

The question for me: given the slim chance that America would ever actually vote in a woman President anyway, does it help or hurt the cause that the first woman to have a real chance at the ticket is so divisive and, well, pretty damn unlikable? Hurt, I think. Like up here in Canada-land, our first woman Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, was so uniformly ineffectual that her party was all but destroyed in the aftermath. It'll be one hell of a long time before we see another PM wearing a skirt (assuming Stephen Harper doesn't have any leanings in this direction that we've been heretofore unaware of).

On the Republican side, it's all less clear. Well, except for one-time-front-runner "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani. That's pretty clear. It looks like the cynics were right after all and Rudy really was crazy to pin all of his presidential hopes on Florida, essentially skipping the early primaries in favour of decisive win here. No momentum, no win, no chance.

That leaves Arizona Senator John McCain, millionaire Mormon Mitt Romney and born-again right-winger Mike Huckabee. This is the race with real buzz - and in my opinion is the real race for foe White House. My money's on McCain, but it can all change in a minute. Just ask Rudy Giuliani.


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