Thursday, December 27, 2007

Predicting a Winner in Unpredictable Election 2008

Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls. No wait, John Edwards has made it a 3-way tie. No. Wait. Barack Obama is still in the lead. And Mitt Romney is still holding on, but, no, no. Mike Huckabee has moved ahead in Iowa. Don't count John McCain out. What about Rudy Giuliani? Hmmm. He may still pull this off. And Fred Thompson?

Dead in the water.

No wonder the experienced pundits cannot remember a more closely watched election. The polls and news reports are all over the place. Take for example the local Examiner. Each day it posts a "Momentum Meter" displaying the different up, down, or sideways momentum of top candidates. Each day, the frontrunners' momentum changes. Clinton's up, she's down, she's all over town as Ron Paul goes uppity yup up in his flying machine (apologies to that old song whose name escapes me... oh just a minute, it's...never mind... too obvious).

There's spin room talk, reasoned opines, campaign hype, and newsroom sound bites. Everyone wants to comment about the wide open field. Nobody has the nerve to predict a likely winner. Seasoned journalists fear the label of stupidity. Intellectuals cringe and pontificate.

It's as if the whole country is back in second grade. No one wants to ask the possibly stupid question. Didn't you love when someone raised their hand to ask the question everyone else was thinking but didn't have the nerve to ask? Other kids laughed, sure, but more times than not, the teacher would praise that gutsy kid. Then, of course, the kid would become obnoxiously emboldened to ask every stupid thought that came to mind until the teacher practically dissed 'em just to move on. We've all been there, right? Maybe even some of us have been that kid.

Well, it's my blog and I'm going to use it any way I like. Critics and comments be damned, I don't care if I'm wrong. The time has come to say exactly what's been on my mind and this is the perfect forum to do so.

Mike Huckabee did not come out of nowhere. After spending little to no campaign money, Huckabee had a very impressive showing in the Iowa straw polls. Clearly, he had a devoted Iowa following long before the Republican debates. For some reason, the mainstream media is shocked by Huckabee's momentum from behind. It's practically all they can talk about. Now the whole country is buzzing about the Reverend Mike.

Fred who? Might as well start calling the Fred Heads the Dead Heads (with apologies to The Grateful Dead).

Although Mitt Romney is an obviously capable candidate, he will have a very difficult time overcoming his own party's religious bias. People tend to elect politicians who think and look like them. Not many Mormons in Iowa. But, let's not forget New Hampshire. Romney appeals to people in New Hampshire because more open minded Republicans live there. People on the east coast practically pride themselves on their fair and open-mindedness. But Romney comes off looking rude and arrogant. In short, I do not think Romney will connect with enough voters in his own party, nor with enough crossover Democrats. Therefore, he's out of the running.

Open-minded Republicans have warmed up to Rudy Giuliani. They will forgive his marital indiscretions and previous stance on abortion. Unfortunately, a lot of people in nearby New York did not like Hizzoner, nor the strong arm tactics used to polish the Big Apple. Giuliani did what almost no other mayor before him could do. Clean up Manhattan, turn it back into the ultimate tourist destination, improve the economy, and reduce crime. For all of these impressive accomplishments, he got a big fat black eye. Too facist. Too mean. No heart. Speak to any New Yorker. They'll be more than happy to tell the tale.

New York is Hillary country anyway. Not many red voters left in that state. Speaking of Hillary, she can't win. I'm convinced of it. Oh, she may get the nomination, I'm not discounting that, but if she does get it, woe are the Democrats. The Republicans will tear her apart limb by limb. Then she'll do something really stupid (as if she hasn't alreday) alienating most if not all of her own party's professionally successful males. Professional white women have already turned on her. Even if liberal yuppies, immigrants, and the hand to mouth working poor turn out at the polls, there will not be enough of them to overcome Republicans, Independents, and swing voters like me. So, putting myself not too far out on a limb, I predict Hillary will be toast, if not sooner, then later.

The Democratic party is in a sorry state of flux. Over the past four years, even with a congressional majority, Democrats have not accomplished their stated objectives. Bush vetoes, Cheney arm twists, and partisan politics are only half the equation. The other half -- the one established pundits hardly ever examine -- is the American people.

Luckily, our political representatives haven't taken away the voice of the citizenry. Democracy and freedom continue to be the tools of grassroots mobilization. Americans are well adapted in utilizing readily accessible avenues of control. Demonstrations, boycotts, and walkouts immediately come to mind. An informed electorate decides which representatives remain in office. The proliferation of C-SPAN, a free press, and freedom of information make government officials accountable. If enough constituents become unhappy, poof, they're gone.

It's politically incorrect to note the dramatic change in the nation's populous. No one wants to be labeled an ignorant bigot. Not to oversimplify, but the United States is no longer a homogenous society comprised of haves and have nots. There's old money, high society, and the intellectually elite. There's Hollywood and organized sports, overnight millionaires who are out of control and barely able to handle their own success. There's liberal hippie throwbacks, moral conservatives, illegal immigrants, legal immigrants trying to achieve the American dream, oppressed minorities, upwardly mobile minorities, and the working poor. Throw in some middle of the road yuppies, disaffected youth, and rednecks, and there you have it, a 21st century melting pot.

I no longer recognize the Democratic party. It's been hijacked by a liberal cabal hell bent on destroying the nation. Democrats ready to turn the country over to socialism, communism ... take your pick ... anything other than our present system of government. On the opposite side are Republicans who do not identify with moral conservatives.

Together, these unconnected voters comprise the de facto third party. They are attuned to government. They mobilize. They vote. These are the people who will elect the next president. The question is which candidate, if nominated by their respective party, appeals to enough of these voters.

Truthfully, I don't think it will be any of the Democrats. While Obama is tempting and charismatic, he does not have the necessary experience. And Edwards? Just plain smarmy. The man should still be plugging away in Congress, he accomplished so little. Oodles of money from personal injury trials does not a leader make.

Unless by some miracle the party wakes up and decides to nominate someone with respectable experience, like Joe Biden or Christopher Dodd, the Democrats will not win the White House. I, myself, have become a victim of the collective thinking "neither of them can win so don't bother." So close to the start of the primaries, I am troubled by the ability of a pack mentality to weaken my resolve. But, no matter. I will pull the lever for Dodd. If he or Biden finishes third in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina, this election will be a whole new ball of wax. But right now, that doesn't seem possible. At least not with the information I've gleaned.

That leaves the Republican candidates. McCain or Romney seem like possibilities, but are actually doubtful, and I've already counted Romney out. If any Republican can appeal to enough Democrats and Independents, it's Giuliani or Huckabee. And for some reason, Giuliani doesn't appeal to enough Republicans. It's almost like he was running in the general election. Nobody wins a national primary if they don't resonate with their own party.

Therefore, my prediction for the eventual outcome of the election -- and mind you, this is only if his own party nominates him -- is Mike Huckabee. Let's face it, he's a Democrat in disguise. More than a few of my Democratic friends find him strangely palatable. Go figure.

Check in with this column after South Carolina. Who knows? By then, I might be tooting the electability of Ron Paul ... as he goes uppity yup up in his flying machine.

Update: 2/7/08. Here we are after South Carolina and it's a very tight contest between Huckabee, McCain, Obama, and Clinton. Ron Paul continues to hold on, but for what exactly, I don't know. Leverage at the convention? Spoiler benefits? Somebody better talk to that man before he pulls a Ross Perot.

Looks like some of my calculations for this unpredictable race were right on the money. Romney just announced he's throwing in the towel. Guess he wasn't so keen on investing that personal fortune after all. And so many Republicans detest McCain, Huckabee is beginning to look like the heir apparent. Most say he cannot catch McCain. We'll see.

Unlike the Democrats, vocal Republicans continue to lament sorry pickings. Did they really think they were going to end up with a hardline conservative? Sorry, balding white men and country club darlings in cardigans, but you people are out of touch with reality and twenty-first century America. The conservative movement is over. Dead. Done with. It's time to move on. If we're lucky, we'll reach a happy medium, but no better. Too many people on the other side. Can't we all find a way to get along?

Oddly enough, I am starting to warm up to Obama. People who have met him say he is the real deal, charismatic, innovative, and the politician most capable of leading this country into a prosperous future. Did Jack Kennedy have sufficient experience when he was elected? Did Eisenhower? Experience is not the end all be all when it comes to the presidency.

Whoever becomes the next president will have a mighty hard time cleaning up after the Bush Administration. Many Democrats doubt whether Obama is up to the task. Let me say that between him and Hillary, neither is sufficiently experienced for the Oval Office. However, unlike Mrs. Clinton, Obama has not demonstrated a level of inexperience likely to result in complete and utter disaster. I have blogged before about Hillary's inability to manage her own campaign and if that isn't definitive proof of why she should not be elected, I don't know what is.

2 comments: said...

No surpises in the constant change in polling results, that is expected. Not to mention that those with the $$$ and "machine" in place to get out the votes will rise to the top.

Hillary and Romney are back in first place. Huckabee's surge is soft--limited dollars, and apparently for "conservative" enough. If he survives at all beyond Iowa, is a "Miracle"

Nevertheless an interesting race,
and I love it!!

Secret Of Mind said...

It's nice prediction..but keep smile and have a faith that 2008 will be the best year for all