Wednesday, March 28, 2007

See How They Run: The Potential for Precedent

The 2008 election for President is full of potential firsts. There is the possibility of the first female President with Hillary Clinton, or first African American with Barack Obama, or the first Mormon with Mitt Romney (see photo, left). Clinton and Obama are considered the two Democratic front runners and Romney is considered (barely) in the top tier of Republican candidates.

What are their chances?

* Hillary Clinton isn't likely to win, in my opinion, and many rank and file Republicans hopes she gets her party's nomination in the belief that she will spell defeat for Democrats in November. She is considered one of the most polarizing politicians in the US today. She has the highest negatives (and, ironically, positives) of all the major candidates. Winning the campaign for President is predicated on candidates picking up voters as other candidates pull out of the race. I believe that those who will support her, are largely supporting her now. The defeat of other candidates will find their voters going elsewhere.

* Barack Obama's biggest problem is that he is simply too liberal to be President of the United States. He wants to dramatically increase taxes on wealth creation, he promotes socialized medicine, and he generally behaves as though the US is the single biggest problem on the world scene. Obama is even having problems among African American voters with many from that natural base going to Clinton (thanks largely to the popularity of her husband). I believe Americans are ready for a person of any race, but not this particular African American. This isn't due to skin color, but due to the content of his beliefs.

* Mitt Romney is the most likely of these three candidates to break precedence. The former governor of Massachusetts is getting some harassment because of his Mormon religion, but in the end I think he will over come those objections. Romney is charismatic, comes across as very Conservative (although his positions have evolved over time), and has an excellent family life (very important to the crucial Evangelical voters). There are things in the Mormon theology that should be of concern to the general Christian population. But most Americans, even Evangelical voters, don't study theology. If he looks, acts, and talks like a Christian -- which he certainly does -- he will be embraced by most of them. His beliefs are certainly more attractive to the Conservative base than those of Guiliani or McCain.

In the end, I have my doubts that any of the above are going to pull it off. I believe the next President will probably be a former or sitting Governor and from the West or South. I say this based on the population changes we have seen over the last several decades and the fact that virtually every candidate has fitted that bill since 1960. There are lots of months elections between now and 2008, it should be an interesting race.

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Anonymous David Bryant said...

Obama rocks. When I see him, I see our next President.

11:38 PM  

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