Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obomination of Identity Politics

I have been doing my best to avoid politics on both sides of the 49th parallel but it has not been easy, and I was sure sucked in last night. I made the mistake of turning on the television in my bedroom and discovered to my horror CNN is the default channel – or I should say ObamaN was the default channel. I did manage to catch Hillary's much ado about nothing concession speech. I must say, when she is on her game, she is good – as in damn good. Too bad, she is set to lose. It is even more of a shame she is set to lose based on race trumping sex rather than the content of her ideas.

There is not much I would agree with Wet Willie over, but he pegged it quite rightly about his wife receiving a raw deal in the national media. Talk about being bushwaked, and if you want to know the real reason there are not more women in politics; just take a long hard look at the media coverage a Hillary or a Couillard receive for your answer.

I make no apologizes for preferring a Hillary presidency over Obama. I do not particularly like Hillary Clinton's politics but in this race, I take character and content over 'change' any day. Hillary has no lack of character and a spine of steel. Americans could weather a potential Hillary presidency without too much damage and our relations with our neighbors and trading partners would not take a direct hit. The same cannot be said for an Obama presidency.

Americans need to ask themselves if they really need to be tortured with a replay of Jimmy Carter's presidency all over again – and the Americans are still literally paying for that one. Although, I do admit there is a wide streak of perversity to my nature. I would positively revel in an Obomination of a presidency just so I can feel vindicated and gloat… as I do do good gloat.

The big question becomes will the Obomination offer Hillary the VP slot on the ticket?

On the one hand, Hillary does come with high negatives and really hurts the whole 'change' narrative but a cursory glance at the alleged frontrunners for the slot and Hillary seems positively fresh and dynamitic in comparison. He could offer it as a concession to the politics of compromise and reconciliation. Besides, he needs to throws some crumbs to entice the democratic feminist base to stay or risk alienating them into staying home or crossing over to McCain in November.

I admit I will enjoy watching him being forced to say nice things about Hillary knowing he does not mean a word to it. Actually, I enjoy watching anyone being forced to say nice things about Hillary and not meaning a word of it. There is also the added perk of watching Michelle and Hillary clash over Whitehouse turf – talk about the clash of the Titans. Michelle may have the angry black woman spiel down pat but Hillary is the original mud slinger with friends hidden in corners all over Washington.

If anything, I am more convinced today than ever that the 2008 Presidential race is McCain's race to lose. Democrats and republican voters are pretty much an evenly split voting pool. For one ticket to prevail over another requires one ticket to either alienate their base into staying home or culling votes from the other side.

Obama has no pull factor with Republicans. As in nada, no and less than none. McCain may not be the poster child of the Republican ticket and republicans may grumble he is not Reagan but then again - who is? And unless 4 years in perdition look damn good - the base will rally around McCain barring any serious missteps he might make in the race.

A lot will depend on just who McCain picks as a running mate on the VP slot. The top four favourites seemed to be failed republican primary nominee Mitt Romney, Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, Governor Bobby Jindal of Lousianna and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.

Mitt Romney would potentially shore up McCain's tattered conservative credentials and help address a key weakness on economic policy but Romney comes with very high negatives among both conservative and liberal voters. Nor does Romney have any pull factor among Democratic voters – more like repell than pull. McCain's a smart guy so I cannot see him falling into the Romney trap. Charlies Crist is a popular governor with a solid record and he can obviously deliver Florida – a swing state, but Florida is McCain's too lose anyway. Besides nothing says old and in need of a change more than the aesthetics of two old white haired men standing side by side on the ticket in the identity politics race of 2008.

All of which brings me to my two new favourite conservative Republicans. Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin. I cannot decide who I love better as a republican running mate for John McCain. I think it depends on who Obama picks. If he plays the Hillary card for VP, McCain should go for Jindal and unleash Desi power which would be totally awesome. If Obama picks a male than McCain should go for Palin and the aesthetics alone could carry the card. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Palin is still drop-dead gorgeous, with the highest approval rating of any current sitting governor, a record as a solid fiscal conservative with strong family values, NRA member and real hunter.

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