Super Tuesday – What’s Next?

Okay, here are some early thoughts on possible scenarios for the 2008 election: 

McCain vs. Clinton  – McCain wins.  As far as social conservatives are concerned, they are a lot alike, but Clinton makes their heads explode so they hold their nose and vote for McCain to keep Clinton from winning.  Fiscal conservatives vote McCain.   While Clinton has a strong fan base, I think a lot of democrats are pretty ambiguous about her.  I bet some democrats would vote for McCain because he is moderate enough for them.   I doubt she would inspire young people to vote.  

McCain vs. Obama – Obama wins.  Obama is progressive but he somehow still manages to speak to the typically slow to change church crowd.  So social conservatives turned off by McCain stay home; the others vote Obama. Black people, 28-40 year-olds, and gay people (if he doesn’t start shrinking away from his current inclusive tenor), and Baby Boomers who are reminded of JFK (a narrative the Obama team is starting to nurture) flock to the polls for Obama in unprecedented numbers. 

Romney – Clinton – I could see this one being close, but I would call it for Clinton.  They both come off as cold.  Romney is a Republican Kerry- a little too patrician, aloof.  Clinton may be frumpy, but if it comes across as sensible this will be forgiven.  They are both “say anything” candidates.  Clinton’s narrative is at least more compelling and consistent.  It might come down to a question of who the close-minded people fear most – a Mormon or a woman in power.

Romney vs. Obama:  Obama.   No one will be excited to vote for Romney.  Obama will have a giant fan base by November.  

Three confessions: 

1.  I refuse to entertain the thought of Huckabee getting the Republican nomination.    

2.  You will notice I did not mention policy issues once in the discussion above.  For the most part, I do not believe current elections are really about policy.  They are about message and image communication.  If we are lucky, we get a skilled leader to go along with these.    

3.  I really thought Kerry would win in 2004, so you can take all of the above with a grain of salt. 

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5 Comments on “Super Tuesday – What’s Next?”

  1. adam j Says:

    the pessimist in me trusts that somehow this will all turn out badly… wasn’t it mencken who said, ‘no one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the american people,’ or something like that…. anyway, i would add judgment into that quote.

    here’s a kind of scary thought… what if mccain picked huckabee as a running-mate… then he might get some of the hard-core, ‘oh my god, i can’t believe he just said that’ conservatives. for some reason, conservatives don’t like mccain… though he seems sufficiently hawkish and lacking in good judgment to me to be a fine conservative.

    i think i am more and more leaning obama too… hillary, while i think she would be good, has just too many people who really, really hate her, which i find strange, but then again i don’t really get nascar either.

    one small comforting thought, in terms of general competence we couldn’t really go backward… could we?

  2. Susan Says:

    I can’t stand election years. Boo to them.

  3. George Says:

    As a gay person, I do NOT support Obama! While he talks a good talk, actions speak louder than words, and certainly he has done a lot to show he really doesn’t give a hoot about the homos. A couple of examples:

    1. He hired homophobe and “ex-gay” Donnie McClurkin to headline a gospel tour through South Carolina to pick up the evangelical black vote. Nice! And he kept him on despite the gays’ outrage.
    2. In 2004 he refused to have his picture taken with Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco, because he didn’t want people to see his image with someone who supports gay marriage. Mmm-hmmm!

    This makes me think that Obama blows mostly hot air, and I trust Hillary a heck of a lot more. Now you may be right that Obama has a better chance of beating McCain, and if he does win the nomination, you can bet I’ll be all for him, but in the meantime, I say give me back the good ol’ days of the Clintons!

  4. annabel Says:

    haha! i was just speculating about the same thing on my blog the other day (not nearly as eloquently.) i agree obama would beat mccain where hillary may fall short, which wound up one of my main reasons for voting for him (obama.) did you see my post about how in syracuse (my town) obama and hillary tied exactly?! pretty incredible, especially for her home state.

  5. Troy Says:

    George, I was most annoyed with the McClurkin business (posted about it even) and Obama may indeed be a blowhard. I will say he went on record in the media that he disagrees with McClurkins views on homosexuality (something that he wouldn’t have had to do had he not made the error in the first place), and he distanced himself from Mc during that tour. To kick Mc off would have created a mess he might not have recovered from. Since that time, Obama has mentioned in the most public of televised speeches in high profile black churches that gay people are not treated equally, even by people who should know better. And he and Hil’s views are pretty much the same on the marriage/dp issue.

    As for Newsom, I LOVE that man, and what he did was very important for our cause. However, when he opened SF city hall for our marriages Obama was only then running for the Illinois senate. It would be political suicide to identify with him. Would totally have destroyed any chance he had with Illinois downstaters.

    I know it all sounds cynical, but decisions like these (and the Clintons have made several similar ones over the years) are what have kept him in the running and why someone who is equally wonderful (maybe more) like Dennis Kucinich is no longer in the race. As long as he ultimately ends up in the right place, I’m okay with him learning as he goes. Somehow Obama manages to keep everyone in the same room, in our current political climate that is something of a miracle.


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