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Dash of Pepper

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Hey, everybody's running
By SHEILAH PEPPER
The Gazette Staff
It feels as if we have entered an era in America when politics, for better or worse, is no longer a serious undertaking. The Yellow Brick Road is crowded with candidates.
Seems everybody's running for president regardless of their background or credentials. At last count, as of this writing, six or seven Democrats were in the race along with six or seven Republicans and the first primary is almost a year away!
I suspect on the Democrat side, there is a touch of "Hillary fatigue," hence the current rock star status of Senator Barack Obama. I wonder where Obama will be a year from today. Lord knows.
I have always had a deep sense of mistrust when it comes to Mrs. Clinton but not for the usual reasons most conservatives would state such as her support for socialized medicine, her admiration for far left author Noam Chomsky, and so on.
My mistrust stems from something else entirely and I admit it's a tad sexist and gender-oriented. I deeply suspect that behind that cold and careful façade there is a frightened little girl in white socks and Mary Janes, hiding from the world. I have no idea why I feel this way but it's a thought that recurs every time I watch her speak and listen to those carefully crafted words. If nominated (and that is a big IF) she will split the female vote. For liberal women she is the tabula rasa, the blank slate on which they can realize their unfulfilled dreams. For conservative women, she is obviously an anathema. But the vast non-political majority of women will either relate sympathetically to her status as a "wronged wife" or recoil from her enduring support of a husband who could not keep his trousers zipped.
This drama will be interesting, not because Hillary herself is interesting, but because of the emotional investment so many have made in her.
Former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards seems to be polling well and the press likes him, so he'll stay around for a while. He has already attacked people who have given grudging support for the Iraq war, which Mrs. Clinton has done, sort of. So he may pick up the far left anti-war slippery slope crowd.
On the Republican side, I think the McCain thing, regardless of mainstream press support, has run its course. Guiliani is still a possibility and personally, I could put aside his rather liberal views on the social issues and support him on national security which trumps everything.
Poor Tom Trancredo. He made his announcement that he was forming a presidential exploratory committee on the same day Obama made his announcement and Tancredo has been totally eclipsed. But it's early yet. Tancredo is little known outside of his tough stance in the immigration issue but he is also a culture warrior in the broader sense as his recent book indicates. Maybe we'll hear more from him.
I see Mitt Romney as the GOP's rising star, but my skills in political predictions are rather poor. I confidently predicted that Mrs. Clinton wouldn't run for the senate, then Rudy got sick, withdrew, and the rest is history.
Romney has attracted some of the best strategists in the business and has a fairly formidable fund raising machine. He is also extremely photogenic, if that means anything these days. Another plus for Romney - we have the habit of electing former governors to the presidency and Romney's tenure in Massachusetts was very successful, considering he was operating in a very blue Democratic state. I think he's in for the long haul.
But, hey, anything can happen. Some candidates will turn into Munchkins. Others will have the curtain pulled aside to reveal their true selves. Will Hillary turn into the Wicked Witch of the West or the Good Witch of the East? Who knows?
Right now, everyone's got a ticket to ride on the express of presidential dreams.
Copyright©2007SheilahPepper
Last Updated on Friday, 12 June 2009 16:16  

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