Thursday, January 03, 2008

Out of the Dynasty Loop

If Obama and Edwards can keep outdoing Hillary Clinton I could actually stomach voting for a Democratic presidential ticket once again (for the record, I've only ever written in 3rd party candidates, except when I made the mistake of voting for Bill Clinton in 92, and he promptly disregarded my advice on lifting the embargo on Cuba).

I'd prefer an Edwards/Obama ticket, but I'll take it either way and the pragmatist in me says it will be Obama/Edwards. You got your northern big city liberal and your southern democrat self-made man--that combo can carry the whole country--and both are way more likeable than HRC. And likability is what it's all about in November. Clinton/Obama would not be viable. Especially versus - it's early, I know - Mr. Congeniality Mike Huckabee. HRC is highly competent, but she is not electable (winning over New York state is one thing; winning over the country is another). Obama and Edwards: highly competent and highly electable.

But is an 8% lead really that shocking (as the LA Times characterized Obama's win)? Didn't we all know Obama was a strong contender against HRC? If anything, Edwards' showing is the shock, real coverage of his campaign having been forsaken for hoo-ha over an expensive haircut -- who knew he'd tie HRC?

My preferences aside, Obama/Edwards is a better choice than Obama/Clinton (maybe winnable) or Clinton/Obama for one very important reason: that administration would get U.S. out of the dangerous political dynasty loop.

Also. I gave up on CNN as a serious news organization a good long while ago. But nothing says trivialization of the presidential race like a news org creating an online video game called....Presidential Pong. No, I'm not going to link.

NYT one-ups LAT's hyperbole by describing the Iowa winners as insurgents. A senator and a governor, insurgents? Perhaps if Ralph Nader won a Democratic primary (in some alternate reality where that's legal as well as no pipe dream), you could stretch the word and describe him that way. But every definition and synonym I've just spent the last 5 minutes looking up all relates "insurgent" to some violent, radical element. I know I nitpick, but I feel entitled - it's the Times and they are reporting on the presidential election.

And there's more. David Brooks describes Obama as leading a juggernaut. In my crappy Webster's New World Paperback Dictionary (Third College Edition): "a terrible, irresistable force." In my much better Oxford Concise Dictionary (Seventh Edition): "institution or notion to which persons blindly sacrifice themselves or others; large overpowering force or object."

Brooks also calls Obama and Huckabee the 2 earthquakes. I know journalism runs on drama, but earthquakes? I guess the metaphor is more tone appropriate, but Iowa held a primary yesterday; it didn't foment a revolution, and neither have any of the candidates. This is what a presidential race is supposed to be like - a competition. It's not an articulate way to put it, but WTF?

BTW, Brooks does make some great points about why Huckabee's win should not strike fear into the hearts of anyone, including those who aren't so hep with the whole creationism thing.

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