Holiday visits and other activities have kept me from publishing here lately, but I have continued to follow the progress toward choosing candidates to contend for the Presidency.
Only compulsive Republicans and naive non-politicals fail to realize the country needs a Democrat back in the White House. The Democrat candidates are consistently aligned with this national longing, with only minor variations from the candidates on the central themes. The Republicans are out of step, both with the electorate and with each other, their views widely diverging on many issues.
For the Democrats, it is still between Clinton and Obama. She is obviously the best prepared and most immediately capable, but some voters confess to a reluctance to elect a woman, and still more are concerned that another Clinton is not the ideal way to move forward. Obama has failed to capitalize on the charisma factor to convince voters he is ready now to lead us. It still looks like his best chance is if voters act on their Hillary reluctance. Hillary is not going to change her tune the rest of the way to the nomination. If Obama wants to beat her, he has to project more leadership capability to the voters, while playing on their uncertainty over Hillary. Nowadays only overt racists admit to voting just for all-whites, but America has too negative a record on race to rule such prejudice out as a factor in some voters decision on Obama. [Race is a mostly unspoken concern in the current frenzy to stop brown skinned "illegals" from entering the US from Mexico].
The Republican race is more amusing, but also more scary if somehow one of these pretenders were to actually get elected [a circumstance which would make me seriously consider the sanity of the American electorate]. Romney has the money and the looks, but his Mormonism finally forced him to give a speech intended to downplay its role in his potential Presidency. In that speech Romney tried to align Mormonism with Judeo-Christian religion, but then went overboard by making such religion a virtual pre-requisite for being a true American. Giuiliani has played the fear card so much that it has become a joke. Plus he has had as many wives as Romney's great-grandfather probably had, only just not all at the same time [mistresses in waiting are not yet counted as wives, though they may be entitled to taxpayer paid police protection, as Rudy's current wife received when she was only the Mayoral mistress]. Mike Huckabee, the Baptist minister and former Arkansas Governor, has shot up in the polls, a sign of disenchantment with Mitt and Rudy. Huckabee is genuinely nice and compassionate, but his evangelical credentials are starting to bump into reality as people pay more attention to him, such as his prior advocacy for quarantining HIV positive people.
The busy holiday season flies by and then the Iowa caucus, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries become the preliminary bouts on the way to the main event. Following all the primaries in February, including one here in Washington State which I only recently realized is scheduled, the candidates will in all likelihood have been chosen. Then the main event will start. My current sense is the contender in the blue trunks will be Hillary Clinton. Who wears the red is more uncertain, but it could be the surprising Huckabee. Regardless of who wears red, I expect Hillary to win by a TKO.